Sociology of Work
This assignment requires you to write an individual 1,000 word essay. It is worth 30% of the total marks available for the module.
Choose one of the following four current issues:
The RMT union’s strike action aimed at guaranteeing the presence of guards on Greater Anglia trains http://www.rmt.org.uk/news/rmt-secures-important-guard19718/
The gender pay gap based on the result of recent compulsory gender pay reporting https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-43668187
The rise of inequality in Silicon Valley https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/jan/14/silicon-valley-tech-firms-income-inequality-world-bank
Monitoring and surveillance of call centre workers https://www.theguardian.com/careers/2017/feb/16/as-a-call-centre-worker-i-saw-how-employees-are-stripped-of-their-rights
For your chosen issue, you should draw on sociological theories and concepts to write an essay that explains the wider sociological debates within which your topic arises.
In writing your essay, you should draw on theories and concepts from the lectures, the textbook, the recommended readings, and also your own independent research. This independent research should focus on peer-reviewed scholarly articles and/or chapters from academic books (not textbooks). Given this assignment is worth just 30% of your total mark, we would not recommend that you source more than four original items.
The essay should be submitted electronically via KEATS.
State clearly at the start of the essay which question you are answering.
The word limit is 1,000 words. You should not include appendices or footnotes as these will not be marked. The word limit includes the title, all text, diagrams, and in-text citations.
A full list of references written in the Harvard style should be included at the end of the essay, but they DO NOT count towards the word limit. See advice on referencing style in the Harvard Referencing Quick Guide.
The essay should use Times New Roman 12 point font with double line spacing.
A list of academic sociology journals can be found here: sociology journals
You can access the content of most academic journals free of charge via the college electronic resources, for example here: Proquest Social Science Premium Collection
We will be spending some time in the tutorial in week 5 looking at how to search electronic journals, but if you still have questions after this please ask the library staff for assistance.
We recommend in particular that you look in the following academic journals for articles relevant to your assignment:
Gender and Society
Gender, Work and Organization
British Journal of Industrial Relations
Industrial Relations Journal
New Technology, Work and Employment
Work, Employment and Society
Work and Occupations
This is not an exclusive list and you are welcome to search more widely for relevant articles. It is important to make sure that you cite articles written by sociologists, industrial relations or organizational management scholars, rather than by economists or psychologists as they have a different focus. You should check the author’s affiliation (which will typically state the author’s department and be listed in an asterisk after their name in the title of the article), and exclude articles authored by anyone in an economics or psychology department. Scholars writing in sociology may be found in sociology departments or in business schools. It can sometimes be difficult to tell if a specific author is a sociologist just from their affiliation, but it should be possible to evaluate from the article whether the stance they are taking is sociological or not.
What is included in the word count?
The following are included in the word count:
- In-text citations, eg ‘the sociological imagination involves shifting the focus from that of the individual to that of society as a whole (Mills, 1970)’
- Introduction, main body and conclusions
- Any diagrams, figures or tables you include in any of the above