Intellectual Heritage: Modern Work Ethics: History, Ideology, Theory
A. Course Description:
In this class we will study a broad range of ideas about work from the eighteenth century to the present. These ideas have been generated by thinkers in various disciplines such as philosophy, science, economics, political theory and literature. We will consider the broad historical contexts of various conceptions of work and will address questions such as: What are the historical connections between various definitions of work? How does work define our social status and our personal identity? What is the relative value of different kinds of work? How have differences of gender, race, religion and class shaped our notions of work?
B. Required Texts:
Packet of photocopied materials, available from University bookstore.
C. Aims of Course:
(1) to guide the student in critical and close reading of the given texts;
(2) to train the student to write in a critical, coherent and organized manner on issues raised by these texts;
(3) to foster the student’s intellectual development through a broad range of classroom activities such as class discussions, oral presentations and varied writing assignments.
D. Course Requirements:
(1) a critical portfolio (40% of grade): this will consist of a series of page-length writing assignments on the readings. An average of two pages per week will be assigned, and each assignment will be collected during the class in which it is due. Each entry should be typed, numbered, dated and titled.
The criteria for grading the portfolio are:
(i) thoroughness and detail: your entry should demonstrate careful reading of the text and you should refer to specific points in the text. You should not simply repeat what was stated in class;
(ii) quality of ideas presented: you should refrain from stating the obvious, and focus on central elements of the text on which you can say something significant;
(iii) quality of writing, especially clarity, organization and coherence;
(iv) neatness of presentation;
(2) two papers, 3-4 pages of double-spaced type (10% each), due 10/20 and 12/1.
(3) one oral presentation (10%); this will involve formulating four or five challenging questions on a given reading and presenting answers to the class;
(4) class participation (10%): this refers to active participation in class discussion, the asking and answering of questions, offering feedback to peer presenters, and engagement in assigned classroom activities;
(5) class attendance: any unexcused absence will decrease the student’s grade by one point, e.g. C+ to C;
(6) a final examination (20%), on Wednesday, December 22, 2-5 p.m.
Anyone missing class, for any reason, should contact the instructor as soon as possible at the phone numbers given above.
E. Weekly Schedule of Lectures and Classes:
In general, lectures will be given on Mondays and Wednesdays will be devoted to student presentations, feedback from peers and instructors, as well as critical reading and writing activities.
For ALL lectures, both sections of the class will meet in ATG 121.
UNIT I: ANCIENT AND FEUDAL WORK ETHICS IN TRANSFORMATION
Wed 9/1 Introduction to course: Habib/Levine.
Mon 9/6 Labor Day
Wed 9/8 Lecture on Feudal/Christian work ethics: Dr. Hugh White
Reading: Selections from Herbert Applebaum, Chs. 6 and 14.
UNIT II: VERSIONS OF THE BOURGEOIS ETHIC
Mon 9/13 Lecture on Hegel, Max Weber, Adam Smith, Samuel Smiles: Habib
Wed 9/15 Student presentations; class discussion; writing
Mon 9/20 Lecture on Benjamin Franklin, Horatio Alger, William Dean Howells: Levine
Wed 9/22 Student presentations; class discussion; writing
UNIT III: CRITIQUES OF BOURGEOIS WORK ETHICS
Mon 9/27 Lecture on Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels: Habib
Wed 9/29 Student presentations; class discussion; writing
Mon 10/4 Lecture on Ernest Jones and Rebecca Harding Davis: Levine
Wed 10/6 Student presentations; class discussion; writing
UNIT IV: WORK AND FREEDOM
Mon 10/11 Lecture on William Morris, C.P. Gilman, John Paul II: Levine
Wed 10/13 Student presentations; class discussion; writing
Mon 10/18 Lecture on Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Dubois: Dr. Wayne Glasker
Wed 10/20 Student presentations; class discussion; writing; paper 1 due.
UNIT V: LABOUR AS A POLITICAL FORCE
Mon 10/25 Lecture on history of Unions: Habib
Reading: extract from Labor’s Untold Story.
Wed 10/27 Student presentations; class discussion; writing
UNIT VI: IMAGES OF LABOUR
Mon 11/1 Lecture/Slide presentation, “Images of Work”: Dr. Roberta Tarbell
UNIT VII: LATE CAPITALIST MODELS AND
Wed 11/3 Lecture on Frederick W. Taylor, Emile Durkheim, Antonio Gramsci: Habib
Mon 11/8 Lecture on Japanese models of work: Dr. Robert Wood
Wed 11/10 Student presentations; class discussion; writing
Mon 11/15 Lecture on Jane Addams: Dr. Peter Levine
Wed 11/17 Student presentations; class discussion; writing
UNIT VIII: ALTERNATIVE MODELS AND ANALYSES
Mon 11/22 Lecture on the Russian Revolution: Instructor TBA
Wed 11/24 Thanksgiving
Mon 11/29 Lecture on the Chinese Cultural Revolution: Dr. Arthur Klinghoffer
Wed 12/1 Student presentations; class discussion; writing; paper 2 due.
Mon 12/6 Lecture on Feminist perspectives (Gloria Steinem, Virginia Woolf, bell hooks): Levine
Wed 12/8 Review: Levine/Habib
Dec 22 Final examination, 2-5.