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Gender and work, 7.5 Credits

Swedish name: Genus och arbete

This syllabus is valid: 2020-09-07 and until further notice

Course code: 2KC031

Credit points: 7.5

Education level: Second cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Gender Studies: Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements

Grading scale: VG Pass with distinction, G Pass, U Fail

Responsible department: Umeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS)

Revised by: Director of Umeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS), 2020-06-10


This course introduces the area of gender and work. The relation between production and reproduction is explored over time, as well as the processes of inclusion and exclusion in the labour market. Dealing with issues such as the historical and intersectional dimension of welfare politics, activation policies, migration and care work the course explores how gender and other structuring categories relate to reproductive and productive practices. What is work? How do norms of wage work govern the ideas of equality and welfare? What are global care chains and how do they emerge? How come unequal conditions are maintained and reinforced in family and work organizations and how can these be challenged? The course is divided into three broad themes: 1) Gender and Rights in and through labour over time; 2) Gendered Dilemmas: Work inside/outside the Labour Market; 3) Care work, gender and migration.

Expected learning outcomes

Having completed the course, the students are expected to have the ability to:

Knowledge and understanding
After the course, the student is expected to:
  • understand and explain how production and reproduction, paid and unpaid work relate to each other, and to gender, age, class, race/ethnicity, and sexuality 
  • understand the historical emergence of work-related rights and of the segregated labour market
  • understand domestic work migrations related to home and care work, and the development of global care chains. 
Skills and Abilities
After completing the course, the students shall:
  • account for and relate independently to central perspectives, dividing lines, concepts and themes concerning gender, work and migration.
  • independently and critically reflect on power relations in and outside the labour market.
Judgement and approach
Upon completion of the course, the student shall:
  • orally and in writing present independent analysis on the relation between production and reproduction. 

Required Knowledge

To be admitted to the course applicants must have completed three semesters of full time studies, equivalent to 90 ECTS, of which at least 15 ECTS must be an independent project or four semesters of full time studies equivalent to 120 ECTS.

English proficiency equivalent to English A from Swedish Upper secondary education.

Form of instruction

The course is a full-time on-line course in English. The course is taught entirely through an electronic Learning Management System where the student takes part in lectures, mandatory assignments and other learning activities. The studies are characterized by a high degree of independent and active search for knowledge, and critical reflection, both individually and in groups.

Examination modes

Examination takes place through fulfilment of two parts:
1) Mandatory assignments during the course
2) Individual written assignment.
For part 1 the grades are Fail (U) or Pass (G). For part 2, as well as for the whole course, the grades are Fail (U), Pass (G) and Pass with Distinction (VG). The grade for the whole course in based on the examination of part 2. The whole course is not graded until part 1 is fulfilled.

Other regulations

Students have the right to apply to have a previous education or experience evaluated for transfer of credits. For more
information, see:


Valid from: 2020 week 27

Acker Joan
Inequality regimes: gender, class, and race in organizations.
Included in:
Gender & society[Elektronisk resurs]b published in association with Sociologists for Women in Society
Thousand Oaks, Ca : Sage : 2000- : 20 : pages 441-464 :
Reading instructions:

Anderson Bridget
Just another job? Paying for domestic work
Included in:
Gender and development [Elektronisk resurs]
[Oxford] : Oxfam : 1996- : pages 25-33 :

“ The claim of economic citizenship: the concept of equality in a historical context
Carlsson Wetterberg Christina, Melby Kari
Included in:
Gender equality and welfare politics in Scandinavia
Bristol : Policy : 2008 : xi, 244 s. : pages 43-62 :
Reading instructions:

Off the Record: Reconstructing Women's Labor Force Participation in the European Past
Humphries Jane, Sarasúa Carmen
Included in:
Feminist economics.
London : Routledge : 1995- : pages 39-67 :

Care, Gender and Migration: Towards a Theory of Transnational Domestic Work Migration in Europe
Lutz Helma, Palenga-Möllenbeck Ewa
Included in:
Journal of contemporary European studies..
Abingdon (Taylor&Francis Ltd, 4 Park Sq., Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN) : Carfax : 003- : v. : 25 cm. : pages 349-364 :

Beyond the Global Care Chain: Boundaries, Institutions and Ethics of Care
Nguyen Minh T. N., Zavoretti Roberta, Tronto Joan
Included in:
Ethics & social welfare [Elektronisk resurs]
2007- : pages 199-212 :

Odih Pamela.
Gender and work in capitalist economies [Elektronisk resurs]
Maidenhead : Open University Press : 2007 : xviii, 205 p. :
Reading instructions: Pp. 2-24, 81 -97 (“Introduction" + Chap. 4:"Gender and identity in Modern Times")

Parreñas Rhacel Salazar
The reproductive labour of migrant workers.
Included in:
Global networks [Elektronisk resurs]
Oxford : Blackwell : 2001- : 12(2) : pages 269-275 :

The forest and the trees: Industrialization, demographic change, and the ongoing gender revolution in Sweden and the United States, 1870–2010
Stanfors Maria, Goldscheider Frances
Included in:
Demographic Research [Elektronisk resurs]
2007- : 36 : pages 173–226 :

Sugiman Pamela Haruchiyo
Labour's Dilemma: The Gender Politics of Auto Workers in Canada, 1937-1979 [Elektronisk resurs]
University of Toronto Press :
Reading instructions: pp. 1-26. “Introduction" + Chapter 1: “A gendered setting"

Tornhill Sofie
Capital Visions: Scripting Progress and Work in Nicaraguan Free-Trade Zones
Included in:
Latin American perspectives
Berverly Hills, Calif. : Sage : 1974- : 38 : pages 74-92 :

Williams Fiona
Migration and Care: Themes, Concepts and Challenges
Included in:
Social policy and society :[Elektronisk resurs]b a journal of the Social Policy Association.
Cambridge : Cambridge University Press : 2002- : 9 : pages 385-396 :