Sociology (SOCI) 321

Sociology of Work and Industry (Revision 6)

SOCI 321 course cover

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online (with eTextbook)

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Social Science

Prerequisite: LBST 200 or LBST 202 is recommended.

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Sociology home page

Télé-université du Québec equivalency: SOC 2005

SOCI 321 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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The Sociology of Work and Industry is a three-credit, senior-level course. The focus of this course is work: how it developed into its present forms; how it is organized; how individuals experience it; and the social relationships and institutional frameworks so essential for it to occur.

By critically examining key concepts, theories, and research findings in the sociology of work and industry, the course provides students with a deeper understanding of the dynamics of change and continuity, the basis for cooperation and conflict, and the varieties of human experiences in the world of work.

Learning Outcomes

After completing this course, students should be able to:

  • describe employment trends in Canada,
  • explain the fragmentation of labour markets,
  • give reasons why labour markets produce inequalities and insecurities,
  • discuss the relations between paid and unpaid work,
  • explain what management has to do with conflict and control in the workplace, and
  • propose strategies to make work more equal, secure, and self-determined.


  • Unit 1: Getting Started—Definitions, History, and Theories of Work
  • Unit 2: Looking for Work—Diversity, Inequalities, and Insecurities in Canadian Labour Markets
  • Unit 3: Doing Paid and Unpaid Work—Household Production, Gender, and Caring Work
  • Unit 4: Managing Workers—Nice Words, Little Cooperation, and Lots of Control
  • Unit 5: Limiting Management Control, Alienation, and Stress—Unions and Alternative Forms of Economic Organization


To receive credit for SOCI 321, you must complete four written assignments and achieve an overall grade of D (50 percent) or better for the entire course. Your final grade is determined by a weighted average of the grades you receive on these assignments for credit. The weightings of each assignment are as indicated below.

Activity Weighting
Assignment 1: Research Memo on Labour Markets 20%
Assignment 2: Essay on Paid and Unpaid Work 20%
Assignment 3: Managerial Control and Workers’ Collective Action 35%
Assignment 4: The Future of Work 25%
Total 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Registration in this course includes an electronic textbook. For more information on electronic textbooks, please refer to our eText Initiative site.

Krahn, H. J., Hughes, K. D., & Lowe, G. S. (2021). Work, Industry, and Canadian Society (8th ed.). Nelson Publishing.

A print version of the eText may be available for purchase from the publisher through a direct-to-student link provided on the course website; you can also acquire the textbook on your own if you wish.

Other Resources

All other learning resources will be available online, including a Course Information and a Study Guide.

Challenge for Credit Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows you to demonstrate that you have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university-level course.

Full information about Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the SOCI 321 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least D (50 percent) on the examination.

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 6, May 19, 2020.

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