Sociology of work (BSS320)

This course is designed to help students understand the key sociological themes relevant to working life, particularly under the circumstance of a more dynamic and competitive global labor market. It provides a practical introduction of working life, and additionally a critical understanding of the opportunities and challenges for individuals, organizations, and society. The course responds to a list of Norwegian national initiatives (such as The Equality and Discrimination Act, 2017 nr.5; NOU 2017:2 Integration and trust), that are crucial in working life to achieve equality.  It is also designed in line with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, SDG 5 (5.1 and 5.C), SDG 8 (8.5 and 8.8), and SDG 10 (10.2 and 10.3), to empower and promote opportunities for all, irrespective of sex, ethnicity or other status in a decent working life. 

This course is taught in English.

Course description for study year 2023-2024. Please note that changes may occur.


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The course is about the frameworks and processes that characterize what we call modern working life from the sociological perspective. Examples include:

  • Technology, globalization, and work
  • Central changes in occupational structure and working life, in Norway and internationally
  • Differences in employment and organizational forms across societies

The course also investigates the changes, challenges and opportunities in today's work situations, and how these influence our relationship with work and the role of work. Examples include:

  • Socialization and identity at the workplace
  • The relationship between work and family
  • Gender issues in the workplace
  • Social capital, cultural capital, and job search in the labor market

Learning outcome

In this course, your analytical skills will be further developed through the acquisition of knowledge about key perspectives in sociology of work. This includes being able to identify important working life sociological issues, collecting key information via theories, concepts and existing studies in sociology of work, analyzing the information and cases you obtain, and then presenting the results to others. This gives you the basis to have informed discussions about social issues and patterns in working life from diverse points of view.

Upon completing the course, students are expected to obtain the following knowledge, skills and general competence: 


Students will

  • Have good knowledge of the core topics in the sociology of work
  • Develop an advanced understanding of complexity and relations, challenges and opportunities about the modern occupational structure and working life
  • Achieve knowledge of procedures and strategies in the face of a changing and dynamic global labour market.


Students will obtain:

  • Ability to analyze critical mechanisms and processes that contribute to the maintenance and change of modern working life,
  • Ability to discuss different perspectives on work situations,
  • Ability to think sociologically of relationships and developmental features and mechanisms in modern working life.

General competence:

Students will gain:

  • Ability to apply scientific knowledge to understand complex relationships
  • Ability of reflection and critical analysis

Required prerequisite knowledge



Form of assessment Weight Duration Marks Aid
School exam 1/1 5 Hours Letter grades Curriculum books, Textbook,

Students can take exams in Norwegian or English.

Course teacher(s)

Course coordinator:

Dian Liu

Course coordinator:

Isak Lekve

Course teacher:

Lars Klemsdal

Method of work

The course consists of 2-hour lecture plus student group work per week. The language of instruction is English.

Overlapping courses

Course Reduction (SP)
Sociology of work (BSP350_1) 10

Open for

Sociology - Bachelor's Degree Programme Exchange programme at Faculty of Social Sciences

Course assessment

There must be an early dialogue between the course coordinator, the student representative and the students. The purpose is feedback from the students for changes and adjustments in the course for the current semester.In addition, a digital course evaluation must be carried out at least every three years. Its purpose is to gather the students experiences with the course.


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