Work, Migration and Alternative Economies

This specialist module builds on learning in social, political, economic and cultural geography modules to develop your understanding of three key aspects of social and spatial inequalities: work, migration and alternative economies.

The course examines the relationship between the state, markets, informal economic activity, personal life and social relations. Topics which may be covered include: labour geographies, regional unemployment, transformations of the welfare state, discrimination and marginalisation in work, welfare, migrant experience and social policy.

The aim of the course is to demonstrate how geographers think about how dominant global economic processes shape unpaid and paid work, welfare, migration, formal and informal work spaces and alternative economies. Fairness, justice, rights, coping, resilience and responsibility are concepts which underpin the course. Central to these issues is a politics concerning whose life and work is valued. You will also consider how spatial inequalities are shaped by issues of political and media representation, collective organising and shifts in social policy. The course will be particularly useful if you are considering a career in policy-making, non-governmental/voluntary organisations, social enterprises and the public sector.

By the end of the module you will be able to:

  • Critically analyse political and social debates around contemporary trends in, and policies on, work, migration and informal or alternative economies and how these have changed over time.
  • Deliberate and evaluate the effects of discriminatory power and particular representational forms on contemporary experiences of social inequality using appropriate evidence.
  • Demonstrate a clear understanding of human geography and social science literature on work, migration and informal or alternative economies.
  • Demonstrate ability to make effective connections between research on everyday life and work, representations of different social groups and global economic processes, including how these inform the spatial dimensions of policy and practice.