SGO4604 – Work and workers of the global Work-Place

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course is replaced by SOSGEO4604 – Work and workers. Global perspectives (continued)

Both globalization and effects of the “New Economy”, emphasizing flexibility and deregulation of labour markets, have spurred a renewed interest in labour issues in Human Geography over the past couple of decades. Focusing on varying working conditions, we discuss labour regulation and labour resistance in many very different contexts. The course draws on several contemporary discourses: Effects of globalization and neo-liberal policies on work regimes; the critique of the place of labour in neo-classical theoretical models; and the nature of contemporary capitalism and imperialism as discussed in Marxist theory. Emphasis is placed on the agency of labour; workers actively shaping conditions of their lives and of production. Examples are drawn from (among other countries) Canada, China, Great Britain, India, Namibia, Philippines, Russia, Senegal and Vietnam

Learning outcome

The objective of the course is to introduce to the student contemporary discourses of Labour Geography. We focus on processes of change within labour regimes in several contexts, with the following specific aims:

Knowledge aims:

• The student should be capable of identifying and analysing present-day positions, building on the understanding provided by classical and contemporary theorists in the field.
• The student should be capable, where relevant, to link intermediate and grand theories when discussing empirical examples of work and working conditions.

Learning aims:

• To improve the students’ understanding of the complexities of socio-economic change, and improve their ability to convey this complexity in writing as well as in discussions.
• To enable the student to argue pro et con different positions in many debates, and encourage openness to valid arguments in any paradigm.
• To enable the students to express themselves independently and with a high level of precision.

Critical approach

• The student should become a critical thinker, with a clear understanding of central concepts of the discourses.
• Working conditions and labour regimes change character according to scale of production, place and space. Through the course, the student should acquire a taste for dilemmas in labour regulation, both at the workplace and at national levels. This is a true sign of mature thinking


This course is a part of the Master's program in Human Geography.

Students in other master programs may apply to be accepted as guest students. Please note that the following special restrictions apply:

  • applicant must be admitted to a master program.
  • this course will be taken as a part of their Master's degree.
  • A confirmation from the students student adviser must be attached to the application.
  • there are available places in this course.

Applications must be sent to the Department by 26 August 2013.

If you already have completed our Master's programme in Human Geography and want to take additional master courses, please read this: Hospitanter ved ISS.


This course will be taught at The University of Oslo, Blindern campus. Other locations may be used.

The teaching consists of lectures and seminars.

The course is designed for both Norwegian students and students on exhange programmes or bilateral agreements. All teaching will be given in English.


6-hour written exam

The Faculty of Social Science is responsible for the exam, and the exam is normally held at The University of Oslo, Blindern campus. Other locations in Oslo may be used.

The 6-hour school exam will be given in English only.
The students can choose whether they will answer the exam questions in English, Norwegian, Swedish or Danish.

Previous exam texts

Examination support material

Students may use dictionaries at this exam. Dictionaries must be handed in before the examination. Please read regulations for dictionaries permitted at the examination.

Language of examination

The school exam will be given in English only. The students can choose whether they will answer the exam questions in English, Norwegian, Swedish or Danish.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Autumn 2013


Autumn 2013

Teaching language