AP/SOSC 3210 6.00
The Working Class In Canadian Society
This course considers the emergence and reconstitution of a working class in Canada over the past 200 years. This process involved both the capitalist restructuring that brought a large class of wage earners into existence and the struggles of Canadian workers to assert their needs and concerns. The course, therefore, examines three spheres of working-class life. First, it looks at the conditions that gave rise to permanent wage-labour in industry and the various ways in which that experience has been transformed by recruiting from new pools of labour, re-organizing the labour process, and introducing new technology. Particular attention will be paid to the range of responses from wage earners to the evolving world of paid work, depending on skill, gender, and ethnicity, especially the structures and ideologies of various workers' movements. Second, the course is concerned with the changing nature of the working-class household - the gender ideologies that shaped its composition, the standards of living within it, the labour carried out within it, and the forces of social reform and state intervention intended to reconstruct working-class home life. And, third, the course considers the social and cultural dimensions of working-class communities and the challenges posed by moral reformers and mass commercial culture. The course attempts to determine the extent of working-class identity that has emerged in Canada and how it has changed.