Worlds of Work - SOCI8860

Looking for a different module?

Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


This module examines the way work shapes society and in turn how society shapes work. Drawing on the fields of sociology, cultural sociology, social policy as well as other disciplines this module explores work in a variety of competing and complementing ways and in doing so offers students a chance to appreciate different themes, issues, methodologies and approaches. These include work identity and meaning; age, generation and class; visual methods and approaches; the cultures of work; work/life balance and the end of work.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 22
Private study hours: 180
Total study hours: 200


MA in Sociology,
MA in Methods of Social Research
MA in International Social Policy

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

Coursework - essay 1 (2000 words) - 40%
Coursework – essay 2 (2000 words) - 40%
Seminar Contribution - 20%

Reassessment methods

100% coursework

Indicative reading

Bradley, H. and van Hoof, J. 2005 Young People in Europe Labour Markets and
Citizenship, Bristol: The Policy Press.
Cooke, L. P. (Forthcoming). Gender-Class Equality in the Political Economy. New York: Routledge.
Furlong, A. and Cartmel, F. 2007 Young People and Social Change, chapter 3, Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Glucksmann, M./ Cavendish, R. (2009[1982]) Women on the Line. London: Routledge.
Harper, Douglas (1987) Working Knowledge, Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press.
Loretto, W., Vickerstaff S. and White P. (editors) The future for older workers: New perspectives, Bristol: The Policy Press.
Pettinger, L. J. Parry, R.F. Taylor and M. Glucksmann (eds) A New Sociology of Work? Oxford and Malden, MA.: Blackwell Publishing/The Sociological Review.
Sennett, Richard (2008) The Craftsman, London: Penguin.
Sennett, R. (1998) The Corrosion of Character, New York, Norton.
Strangleman, T and Warren, T. (2008) Work and Society: Sociological Themes, Methods and Approaches, Oxon: Routledge.
Treas, Judith and Sonja Drobnic. 2010. Dividing the Domestic: Men, Women, and Household Work in Cross-National Perspective. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press Series on Social Inequality.
Wolkowitz, C. (2006) Bodies at Work. London: Sage.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

8.1 Identify the debates and theoretical problems when looking at work over historical time, including the meanings attached to the process of
industrial change.
8.2 Identify the debates and theoretical problems when looking at work across individuals' life courses, including group differences in access
to and returns from paid work and participation in and responsibility for unpaid work.
8.3 Discuss the role of the state in shaping work, both the labour market as well as for individuals.
8.4 Identify the range of ways in which work is experienced by individuals and social groups and how in turn they make sense of work in their
8.5 Discuss the ways in which work is simultaneously global, local and idiosyncratic.
8.6 Debate a range of inter-disciplinary research evidence used to explicate the theoretical concepts, including noting the strengths and
weaknesses of different methodological approaches as well as proposing areas for future research that add to the body of knowledge.
8.7 Discuss the limitations of present sociological understandings of work and identify matters requiring further research.
8.8 Present findings to academic and non-academic audiences.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

9.1 Communicate research results to academic and general audiences in both written and oral media.
9.2 Manage their time, prioritise workloads and manage stress as well as taking responsibility for their learning and professional development.
9.3 Undertake desk-based research, access and evaluate ICT and library based resources appropriate for postgraduate study; make critical
judgments about their merits and use the available evidence to construct a developed argument to be presented orally or in writing.


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
Back to top

University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that module information is accurate for the relevant academic session and to provide educational services as described. However, courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Please read our full disclaimer.