Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Work and Society


Wayne Lewchuk




Unpredictable schedules, low pay and poor treatment are all too often central characteristics of the types of employment post-secondary students are able to find. Coupled with rising tuition many students face increased pressure to balance paid employment with their studies. The largest proportion of working students are found in the retail, hospitality and food services industries, where employer demands for flexibility are high. This thesis aims to understand how student working conditions affect their ability to pursue their education. The study posits the question as to whether the employment 'opportunities' available to students, where scheduling demands are high, risk affecting the very education they are working to pursue. How then do students navigate the difficult decision about whether to seek out paid employment or rely on student loans? The thesis also works to briefly examine if and how neo-liberal restructuring has exasperated conditions for student workers.

McMaster University Library