Labour Movements, Social Movements and Development

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Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation ElectiveNA2

Semester and Year Offered: Winter Semester

Course Coordinator and Team: Sumangala Damodaran, Moggallan Bharti

Email of course coordinator:

Pre-requisites: None

Aim: In the last couple of decades, with massive changes in international and national industrial organisation patterns, in the world of work and with rapid spatial reconfigurations in urban and rural areas, there have been vigorous debates on inequalities that have been created and the movements that have attempted to address and confront the sources of such inequalities. The role of labour movements, the rise of other movements and the relationships between them have been a significant aspects of the debates that have happened. This course introduces students to the changes in work and spaces that have occurred as well as the role of, the transformations in and the relevance of labour movements in the changed context. It will enable them to engage with older as well as contemporary debates on labour, labour processes and their relationship to labour and social movements. It will also address questions of whether the posited separation and, often, opposition between ‘labour movements’ and ‘social movements’.

Course outcomes:

The course is expected to achive the following objectives:

  • Equip students to understand the rapid changes that have been taking place in the world of work in the last three decades or so.
  • Engage with theoretical debates about labour movements, collective action and social movements in the context of work and employment.
  • Identify specific sectors where both changes as well as mobilizational strategies have taken place.

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

  • Labour and the World of Work
  • Recent Changes in the world of Work and Alternative Theoretical Conceptualisations
  • Labour Movements and Labour Reforms
  • ‘Social Movements’ vs ‘Labour Movements’?
S.NoAssessmentDate/period in which Assessment will take placeWeightage
1Assessment 1 – Memo and PresentationFirst week of February50 per cent
2Assessment 2 – Term paperFirst week of March50 per cent

Reading List:

  • Andrew Herod (2003): Workers, Space, and Labor Geography, International Labor and Working-Class History, No. 64, pp. 112-138
  • Alain Lipietz (1993): The Local and the Global: Regional Individuality or Interregionalism? Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, New Series, Vol. 18, No. 1 pp. 8-18
  • Manuel Castells (2000): Toward a Sociology of the Network Society, Contemporary Sociology, Vol. 29, No. 5 pp. 693-699
  • Celik, Ercument (2010): Street Traders – A Bridge Between Trade Unions and Social Movements in Contemporary South Africa
  • Standing, Guy (2009): Work After Globalization: Building Occupational Citizenship (Cheltenham, UK, and Northampton, MA, Edward Elgar)
  • Bhattacharya, S (2007): Vicissitudes of the Relationship between State, Capital and Labour: an Appraisal of Neoliberal Labour reforms in India and Beyond’ in Labour, Capital and Society, Vol 40, 1 and 2.
  • Bieler, Andreas and Devan Pillai (2009): Labour and the Challenges of Globalisation