Global Opportunities

GEO3160 : Crises of Economy: Money and Labour (Inactive)

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


This advanced human geography module provides third year students with an opportunity to engage with the vibrant and growing field of contemporary research on geographies of economy, explored through two crucial domains of life, namely financial markets and labour markets. The module will introduce foundational concepts and key geographic perspectives on economic crises, financial markets, and people's everyday struggles to make a living in the contemporary global economy. The module develops conceptually rich and empirically detailed accounts of contemporary issues in financial and labour markets including: financialization, austerity and debt, the rise of fintech and alternative financial imaginaries; flexibilisation of work and labour precarity, work-life conflict, offshoring and virtual migration of labour, and the rise of the gig economy. The module will be of immediate relevance to students considering postgraduate studies and / or careers that concern economy – society interactions.

This module extends key ideas introduced in GEO2099.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module begins with foundational perspectives then leads into substantive thematic lectures and learning activities. Each part concludes with a module review and includes sessions to explain assessment expectations and to provide feedback to students.

A typical outline is as follows, but the module leader may make changes to the specific sessions.

Part 1: Crises of Economy: Geographies of Labour
1.       Introduction: Advancing Labour Geographies (1hr)
2.       Flexibilising Work and Labour Geographies of Precarity (and Lockdown)
3.       Work-Life Crisis: Work Intensification, Willing Slaves and a Crisis of Well-Being
4.       New players and technologies: Offshore, Making Americans in India’s New Service Economy
5.       Alternative labour imaginaries? Digital Labour in the Gig Economy

Part 2: Crises of Economy: Geographies of Money
6.       Introduction: Advancing Geographies of Money(1hr)
7.       Financial crises & financialization
8.       Responses to crisis: austerity, credit and debt
9.       New players and technologies: the rise of Fintech
10.       Alternative financial imaginaries: the rise of Islamic Finance
11.       Summary overview (LIVE) (1hr)

Each of the listed themes above (excluding the introductory 1 hour lecture for each part) will have a 2 hour lecture format delivered asynchronously and available online. The four substantive topics in each part will also have a seminar workshop delivered in person (or online if necessary) in groups of up to 24 and will also include a linked two-hour guided learning exercise engaged with an academic reading, news article, film or video.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture31:003:00Present in person (2 intro lectures, 1 summary wrap up lecture)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture82:0016:00Present in Person (8 substantive lectures, 4 labour 4 money, 2 hr each)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture31:003:00Present in person
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading1123:00123:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops81:008:00Present in person seminar workshops (groups c. 24 students)
Structured Guided LearningStructured non-synchronous discussion82:0016:00SEMINAR WORKSHOP PREPARATION (GUIDED READING WITH ADVANCE QUESTIONS)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery23:006:00Present in person surgery (2 x coursework essays)
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures introduce, develop and illustrate theories and case studies of geographies of crises and their ramifications in financial and labour markets. Introductory and summary lectures provide introduction to the module, summarise the key themes and explain expectations for the final assessment.

Workshops, held online, provide opportunities for more interactive critical analysis, discussion and presentation of case study material that illustrates key topics in financial and labour geographies through lively and timely case studies of different issues, including the financialisation of economies, austerity and its effects on different groups, the politics of debt and alternative financial imaginaries, flexibilisation of labour and rise of the precariat, work-life conflict and growth of homeworking, virtual migration of workers in global service chains, and algorithmic management of digital labour in the gig economy.

The structured research and reading activities provide students with an opportunity to prepare for, and follow up, the workshop sessions through both academic reading and consultation of contemporary news articles and film.

Live coursework surgeries allow students to ask questions and/or engage in academic discussion about the take home exam.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1202A502000 word take home exam.
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2A502000 word essay
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Both assessments will allow students to demonstrate the following:

Ability to abstract and synthesize information on crises, money and labour issues;

Ability to critically analyse case studies of developments in financial and labour markets and how these shape economy and society;

Ability to assess and critically evaluate the merits of contrasting theories that explain different perspectives on money and labour;

Ability to develop reasoned arguments in essay format, as well as through online discussion and guided learning, regarding the challenges, policies, politics and practices of managing economic crises and their repercussions for money, work and other aspects of everyday life.

Ability to communicate all of the above effectively in writing.

Reading Lists