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ANTHRO 184W: Anthropology of Work

What is work? What kinds of labor can be registered as work? How is a worker made? This course will provide an anthropological inquiry into the category of work. We will explore how work is conceptualized, what is and isn't considered work, and how work is shaped by social relations and inequalities of race, class, and gender and lubricated by networks of kinship, ethnicity, religion and caste. The course will also examine how different imaginaries of "the worker" shape who is included and excluded from recognition and access to protections under labor laws globally. We will look at work across time and space, examining how contemporary and historical networks of migration and mobility have shaped distinct and differentiated meanings, practices, and experiences of work globally. We will draw on critical feminist scholarship on work as well as critical studies of race, ethnicity, class, religion, and caste to inquire how a worker is made under capitalism, looking at the ways in which time, alienation, and the commodification of labor shape different forms of control as well as everyday forms of resistance. This class will have a research component. Enrollment limited to students with Sophomore standing and above
Last offered: Spring 2022
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