Universität Wien
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240050 VS Labor and the Tranformation(s) of Modern Social Conflict (3.3.2) (2012W)

Continuous assessment of course work

Compulsory attendance in the first unit!


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 40 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

  • Monday 08.10. 09:45 - 11:15 Übungsraum (A414) NIG 4. Stock
  • Thursday 11.10. 09:45 - 11:15 Übungsraum (A414) NIG 4. Stock
  • Monday 15.10. 09:45 - 11:15 Seminarraum A, NIG 4. Stock
  • Thursday 18.10. 09:45 - 11:15 Übungsraum (A414) NIG 4. Stock
  • Monday 22.10. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal A, NIG 4.Stock
  • Monday 29.10. 09:45 - 11:15 Übungsraum (A414) NIG 4. Stock
  • Monday 05.11. 09:45 - 11:15 Übungsraum (A414) NIG 4. Stock
  • Thursday 08.11. 09:45 - 11:15 Übungsraum (A414) NIG 4. Stock
  • Monday 12.11. 09:45 - 11:15 Seminarraum A, NIG 4. Stock
  • Monday 19.11. 09:45 - 11:15 Seminarraum A, NIG 4. Stock
  • Monday 26.11. 09:45 - 11:15 Seminarraum A, NIG 4. Stock
  • Monday 03.12. 09:45 - 11:15 Seminarraum A, NIG 4. Stock
  • Monday 10.12. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal A, NIG 4.Stock
  • Monday 17.12. 09:45 - 11:15 Seminarraum A, NIG 4. Stock


Aims, contents and method of the course

Course description: The seminar will provide a historical and contemporary overview of social conflicts explored from the standpoint of labor. Despite several accounts of how capital social formations re/produce, transform, and classify work and working people throughout the world, this class aims to analyze these from an anthropological perspective and show how such a perspective could contribute to current debates. Readings will touch upon the intersection of class, ethnicity/race, gender and how such configurations lead to the production of difference and inequality, inscribing these onto social and physical space. The course material ranges from early industrialization to the current financial crisis. Geographically, the selected case materials will cover diversified locations and will also be adjusted in accordance to students, interests and needs.

Course Content: This is a four-credit undergraduate course that consists of weekly seminars.
The selected material aims to be comparative and interdisciplinary with a focus on
anthropological perspectives. It provides a comprehensive introduction to the kind of socioeconomic
changes undergone by the modern world during the last five centuries. This period
of time is coeval with the birth and worldwide spread of capitalism. The transformation of
labor and the manifold social conflicts entailed by it will be placed against this background.
The emphasis will fall on understanding and unpacking the interaction between various
historical forms of capitalism and social practices of work around the globe. Special attention
will be given to how capitalist development produces classification and qualification schemes
of working people in relation to gender, ethno-racial categories and spatial location, which
either perpetuate/sharpen existing inequalities or create new fault lines.

Assessment and permitted materials

Course Requirements:
1. Class attendance is mandatory. For excused absences students must contact the
instructor via e-mail before the beginning of the seminar.
2. Students are required to complete all the assigned readings before class and come to
the seminar fully prepared for the discussion.
3. Each student has to introduce one of the key readings. The written presentation is due
24 hours before the seminar (maximum 2 pages) and must be sent via e-mail to the
instructor. Ideally, the oral presentation should take no longer than 20 minutes.
Students are free to use and refer to supplementary readings and material to
strengthen their presentation.
4. It is mandatory for each student, regardless of the reading she/he presents, to prepare
2 comments/questions for every seminar. These can be sent via e-mail to the
instructor or alternatively be handed in during the class.
5. Students are strongly encouraged to read the news.

Grading:The final grade will represent an overall evaluation of class participation, class
presentation, and term paper.
1. Class participation means actively taking part in seminar discussions and preparing 2
comments/questions for each seminar (see point 5 for Class Requirements)
2. Class presentation includes both the written hand out (which is sent to the instructor
via e-mail at least 24 hours before the presentation) as well as the oral presentation
during the seminar. Ideally, the presentation of a key reading should include a
summary of the text, the main thesis of the text, comments on the text and questions
vis-à-vis the topic that the text introduces.
3. Term Paper should be between 2000 and 2500 words (references excluded!) and refer
to one or several topics we touched upon during the seminar. It is advisable that
students discuss and consult with the instructor regarding the choice of their topic.
Whenever possible, the instructor will try to offer additional material that is not
available in the library.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Learning Outcomes:
• To get familiar with anthropological approaches and conceptual frameworks in labor
• To be able to grasp the nature of social conflicts centred on labor as they have been
historically constituted and spatially located.
• To begin to reflect on contemporary transformations of work

Examination topics

Structure of Classes: Seminars will begin with a short introduction of the topic by the
instructor and will be followed by presentations of the assigned readings. Students will
present the readings and comment upon them, engaging the rest of the class in a common

Reading list

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:39