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Connecting Worker's Experience with Wider Issues and Debates: An Analysis

Part 2 Instructions

In Part 2 (2,000 words) you should relate the worker experience captured in Part 1 to wider issues and debates covered in the lectures, aswell as (optional) the “TED talks” and podcasts featured in the Unit (e.g. change and continuity at work, class, social reproduction, migration, state policy, unemployment/underemployment, welfare, alternatives and futures of work), connecting the everyday working life of the individual to broader phenomena and transformations in work and employment. You may wish to draw upon and cite ideas and arguments from the other readings set on the unit here (e.g. the Cruddas book Dignity of Labour or the Futures of Work articles).

In Part 2, the analysis could either take a ‘depth’ approach, going into detail on one specific aspect of the worker’s experience sourced from one week or part of the unit – social reproduction, for instance – or could take a ‘breadth’ approach, relating the testimony to numerous themes from across the unit. Both roads are acceptable. You might also wish to relate the testimony experience to the policy context and suggest ways in which the work could be better managed, organised or regulated – as one finds in the ‘On the Front Line’ pieces the assignment is modelled on.

As this is an unusual and creative assignment, an example essay – written last year by the Unit Director – is available on Blackboard to give you some idea of what is expected. You can give your feedback on it in the final week of the unit! 

The summative assignment should heed the marking criteria specified here in the Unit Handbook:

Knowledge and understanding 

Does the essay demonstrate comprehension and application of knowledge and concepts about the world of work and employment delivered and discussed in the unit? Does the essay convey the results of independent research and reading to craft a realistic account and analysis of working life? 

Creativity and imagination 

Does the essay demonstrate the use of imagination to creatively and compelling construct a narrative about the fictional or semifictional daily working life of an individual or character? Does the essay use appropriate and evocative language to capture the experience of working life? 

Empathy and authenticity 

Does the essay demonstrate empathy – i.e. the capacity to place oneself in another’s shoes – with how working life is lived and experienced by other individuals? Does the essay convincingly and realistically craft an authentic portrayal of working life based on knowledge and understanding attained in the unit and in independent reading and research? 

Argument and analysis 

Does the essay present a coherent and logical analysis of the worker testimony deploying themes and concepts from the unit to frame and contextualise an individual experience of work within broader academic and policy debates? Does the analysis show evidence of a strong underpinning argument? 

Structure and style 

Is the essay well written, with minimal mistakes in language, grammar and syntax? Does the essay show signs of effective planning and organisation, with a clear structure and good narrative and argumentative/analytical flow between and within paragraphs? 

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