Dynamics of Home and Work

The details
Colchester Campus
Postgraduate: Level 7
Sunday 17 January 2021
Friday 26 March 2021
29 June 2020


Requisites for this module



Key module for

MA L3N212 Sociology and Management,
MA L3N2MO Sociology and Management

Module description

Work matters. It is important for individual well-being and identity. This course takes a global perspective to explore the nature of work, defined in its broadest sense to encompass all labour, whether conducted formally or informally, as paid employment, domestic labour, or voluntary work. It draws on a radical re-thinking of traditional understandings of work, disrupting the conventional dichotomies of work/leisure, public/private, "home"/"work", and production/reproduction.

The module focuses on the ways work and home are organised differently across the globe. It aims to explore the gendered processes operating in work; examine the varieties of gender division, with regard to work, in different societies, their creation and effects; and investigate the intersection of gender at work with class, ethnicity and other social divisions. It considers how work contributes to the construction of femininities and masculinities.

Module aims

On completion of this module, students will be expected to be able:

to provide students with knowledge of this specialist area of sociological concern

to familiarise students with contemporary debates about gender, home and work and with the gender dimensions of ongoing developments in the organisation of work and employment

to promote comparative analysis of developments in this field

to enhance skills of critical analysis leading to independent research

Module learning outcomes

The course begins with theorising the temporal and spatial (re-)organisation of work in late modernity, examining the relationship between global and local divisions of labour, and the division of labour between family members.

It goes on to consider key themes around global differences in the relationship between home and work: domestic work; home work; community and voluntary work; sex work and prostitution; the manifestation of global class inequalities through regimes of production and consumption; the relationship between political change and gender inequalities outcomes.

In exploring these areas, we will draw on case studies from south Asia, Latin America and post-communist societies, though there is scope for students' own interests to be reflected in the programme of work.

Module information

Please note that assessment information is currently showing for 2019-20 and will be updated in September.

Please make sure you read the MA Requirements and Assessment guidelines in the MA Handbook.

Learning and teaching methods

Students will be expected to contribute to discussion and debate on a weekly basis and to present papers reviewing their reading and thinking.


  • Parreñas, Rhacel Salazar. (2015) Servants of globalization: migration and domestic work, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
  • Clarke, John; Critcher, C.; Johnson, Richard; University of Birmingham. Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies. (1979) Working class culture: studies in history and theory, London: Hutchinson, in association with the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies, University of Birmingham.
  • Kang, M. (2010) 'Manicuring intimacies. Inequalities and resistance in nail salon work', in Intimate labors: cultures, technologies, and the politics of care, Stanford, Calif: Stanford Social Sciences.
  • Sered, Susan Starr. (1988) 'Food and Holiness: Cooking as a Sacred Act among Middle-Eastern Jewish Women', in Anthropological Quarterly. vol. 61 (3) , pp.129-
  • Hewamanne, Sandya. (2002) 'Uneasy Alliances: Sri Lankan Factory Workers Writings on Political Change', in SAGAR: South Asia Graduate Research Journal. (8) , pp.1-7
  • Hewamanne, Sandya. (2012-05) 'Threading meaningful lives: respectability, home businesses and identity negotiations among newly immigrant South Asian women', in Identities. vol. 19 (3) , pp.320-338
  • Salzinger, Leslie. (c2003) Genders in production: making workers in Mexico's global factories, Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • Hewamanne, Sandya. (1999) '"If They Allow Us We Will Fight": Strains of Consciousness Among Women Workers in the Katunayake Free Trade Zone', in Anthropology of Work Review. vol. 19 (3) , pp.8-13
  • Pettinger, Lynne; Glucksmann, Miriam. (2005) A new sociology of work?, Oxford: Blackwell. vol. Sociological review monograph
  • Williams, C. C.; Nadin, S. (2012) 'Work beyond employment: representations of informal economic activities', in Work, Employment & Society. vol. 26 (2) , pp.1-10
  • Ehrenreich, Barbara; Hochschild, Arlie Russell. (2003, c2002) Global woman: nannies, maids and sex workers in the new economy, London: Granta Books.
  • Norma Baumel Joseph. (2002) 'Introduction: Feeding an Identity-Gender, Food, and Survival', in Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women's Studies & Gender Issues: Indiana University PressIndiana University Press. (5) , pp.7-13
  • Melissa W. Wright. (2006) 'Field Note: Ciudad Juárez, Mexico', in Women's Studies Quarterly: The Feminist Press at the City University of New YorkThe Feminist Press at the City University of New York. vol. 34 (1) , pp.94-97
  • Pun, Ngai. (2005) Made in China: women factory workers in a global workplace, Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
  • Aihwa Ong. (1991) 'The Gender and Labor Politics of Postmodernity', in Annual Review of Anthropology: Annual ReviewsAnnual Reviews. vol. 20, pp.279-309
  • Sama Team. (2009) 'Assisted Reproductive Technologies: For Whose Benefit?', in Economic and Political Weekly: Economic and Political WeeklyEconomic and Political Weekly. vol. 44 (18) , pp.25-31
  • Parry, Jane; Taylor, Rebecca; Pettinger, Lynne; Glucksmann, Miriam. (2006-01-05) 'Confronting the challenges of work today: New horizons and perspectives', in The Sociological Review. vol. 53, pp.1-18
  • O'Connell Davidson, Julia. (2014) 'Let's go outside: bodies, prostitutes, slaves and worker citizens', in Citizenship Studies. vol. 18 (5) , pp.516-532

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Essay    100% 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Sandya Hewamanne, email:
Dr Sandya Hewamanne
Michele Hall, Graduate Administrator, Telephone 01206 873051, Email:



External examiner

Dr Umut Erel
Open University
Senior Lecturer
Available via Moodle
Of 18 hours, 18 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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