Labor Study

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Length: a minimum of 8  pages.

Write on a job you currently have or have had in the past. You can write about more than one job if you like. The paper should explain your job: what you do, where you do it, how you do it, why you do it, how you are paid.  You should not just summarize your work experience do not simply turn it into a resume. You should think about your work critically. For example,

  • How is your work structured to increase productivity?
  • Is your work alienating? Why? How?
  • Who is the owner? Do you see them?
  • What is your pay? Is it the minimum wage? How much does each product you make or sell cost to produce? How much are they sold for? Who makes the majority of the profit from you work? You could even look at the quarterly statements for your company and examine the disparity.
  • Is your company tied to any particular labour practices? How do they frame their employee/management relationship? Does this hold true to your experience?
  • Include reflection and, even more importantly, analysis.
  • Take your personal experience and expand the analysis to look at the individual and technical aspects of your job(s). Extrapolate from there to look at the structural reasons for the way your work is organized.
  • Examine the rationale for company policies beyond just your personal experience.

The essay should describe how you feel and think about your job. Is it interesting? Do you want to continue doing it for the rest of your life? Or perhaps you hate it. Do you ever want to change parts of it? How do you react to the pressures and hassles of the job? Are the employer’s expectations reasonable? Do they conflict with your expectations? These are some of the questions you might consider. Then examine those questions with a mind to understanding why your work was structured in the manner that it was.
These comments are just a guideline. Feel free to construct a paper that suits your interests and your specific job. For example, if you are English major and feel more comfortable writing a narrative rather than a formal essay, then you may do so. If you wish to communicate in poetry rather than prose, then, again feel free to do so. Creativity in approaching this assignment is welcomed.

Note: If you have never held a paying job then please write this assignment on your volunteer experience or examine the issues of work from your experience. For example write about how you have reached University without having to work. What is your relationship to class issues? How is your life financed? If you do not have to sell your labour why is that? What does that mean for you? How does your situation compare to what we have discussed and read about in class? What is the relevance of our texts to your own experience? Is it foreign to you? What have you learned about those who sell their labour, the working class and working poor, from this course?

Rubric

Work Essay 2Work Essay 2CriteriaRatingsPtsThis criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeIntroduction and thesis.Clear introduction that introduces topic and highlights how the paper will be approached. Thesis statement is clear. Conclusions sums up not just events but analysis covered in the papered.5.0 ptsFull Marks0.0 ptsNo Marks5.0 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeContent and themes.Analysis of content and themes of course integrated into analysis of your work experience with relevant references to text cited.5.0 ptsFull Marks0.0 ptsNo Marks5.0 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeInterpretation and analysis.The paper moved beyond simply reviewing your work to meaningfully engage important thematic and interpretive issues around labour. Provides a more sophisticated analysis of themes we have explored in the course (i.e. engages in issues of employee, employer relationships, class, power, skilled vs. unskilled labour, unionisation, human rights, alienation).5.0 ptsFull Marks0.0 ptsNo Marks5.0 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeSpelling, grammar, and structure.Spelling was accurate. Grammar was correct. Quotations and citations were accurately and properly attributed to their sources. Paragraphing was sensible. Writing was clear and easy to follow. Essay style and substance was appropriate to University level.5.0 ptsFull Marks0.0 ptsNo Marks5.0 pts
Total Points: 20.0 

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