HUMN 3107 Labour and Culture

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 102781

Coordinator George Morgan Opens in new window

Description In recent history, social, economic, political and technological forces have produced profound changes to work and working life, undermining the stability of jobs and vocational skills, and disrupting and fragmenting career structures. This subject traces 1) the history of work, from pre-industrial to post-industrial times, 2) the rise of the factory system, 'Fordism' and scientific management of production, 3) the modern idea and experience of leisure and recreation as an adjunct to wage labour, and, in post-Fordist times, of culture and creativity as a central part of work, 4) the influence of technology on skills, and the rise of the 'knowledge economy' in the digital era, 5) the role of worker organisations in securing and protecting conditions of work.

School Humanities & Comm Arts

Discipline Studies in Human Society, Not Elsewhere Classified.

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 3 subject


Successful completion of 60 credit points in currently enrolled program.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Describe the changes to the organisation of productive work through history.
  2. Analyse the forces that have led to changes in production processes and to the contractual arrangements around paid work over time.
  3. Critically evaluate ongoing debates about the future of work and employment.
  4. Critically evaluate ongoing debates about the role and influence of technological change on working life.
  5. Articulate the distinction between material and immaterial labour and between Fordism and post-Fordism.
  6. Identify the roles that knowledge, innovation and symbolic creativity plays in contemporary economic life and commodity production.

Subject Content

Content may include:
Pre-Industrial Work: Gathering, Hunting, Making and Growing
Crafts, Guilds and Artisans
Industrial Revolution, Factory Labour and ?eClock Time?f
Work and Leisure
Mass Production, Taylorism and De-Skilling
Fordism, to Post-Fordism
Ethnicity, Indigeneity and Divided Labour Markets
Globalisation, Outsourcing and Supply-Chain Capitalism
Digital Technology, Immaterial Labour and The Knowledge Economy
Organised Labour in Industrial and Post-Industrial Times
Creative Industries, Networking and the Projective City
Jobs, Vocations, and Careers
Co-Working, Digital Nomadism and the New Geography of Work
Towards a Post-Work Society?


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Portfolio 300 words x 5 30 N Individual
Essay 2,000 words 40 N Individual
Final Exam 2 hours 30 N Individual

Teaching Periods

Autumn (2024)

Bankstown City


Subject Contact George Morgan Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window

Parramatta - Victoria Rd


Subject Contact George Morgan Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window