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Introduction to the course

Tony Dundon introduces the course and topics for each of the 5 weeks.
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Hello and welcome to the course: Power, Politics and Influence at Work. The purpose of the module is to stimulate learning and hopefully conversations around big ideas affecting us all in the world of work. For example, do we have a satisfactory voice in our workplace, why is there growing inequalities in society, and who has the power to influence things for the good, and what can workers and activists - say trade unions - do to improve the work experiences and the equality for people in a society. The course is supported by a book of the same title. It is published by Manchester University Press. It is short, relatively cheap, and it’s available on most outlets and online providers.
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It will help to have the book as you work your way through each of the five weeks that make up the module. In addition to the book there are a series of materials each week to support your
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learning: discussion prompts, video talks, video interviews, short articles to read online, and some multiple-choice quizzes. In week one, this week, the objective is to review the context of the world of work along with the different frameworks to understand power in the workplace. We will shortly touch on the historical developments of some worker struggles, how to define power, and the subject area of work and employment studies. In week two, the objective is to explain the rise in precarious and non-standard forms of employment, along with the discussion about new technologies, the gig-economy, and how this is changing people’s working lives.
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In week 3, the goal of describing the role of the state will be considered, along with the law and how things like bogus self-employment, gender inequalities among other issues affect the world of work. The objective for week 4 is to discuss who speaks for whom in the workplace. In week five, the final week, we will look to a decent work agenda for the future. We will review three particular scenarios, each of which may be shaped by the power capacities and the mobilizing forces of workers, and to try and improve rights and agendas
There is a supplementary book, Power, Politics and Influence at Work, that can help but it is not essential to successfully participate in and complete the course.
With thanks to Sarah Downing for editing videos.
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Power, Politics, and Influence at Work

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