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Module Details for SOU33061 Comparative Sociology of Europe (Part 1 MT)

Module Code


Module Name

Comparative Sociology of Europe

ECTS weighting


Semester/term taught

Michaelmas Term

Module Content

The module provides a comparative sociological approach of European societies. The course starts with the foundations of comparative social science and moves later to the study of selected “real-world” problems that affect individuals, families, communities, societies and politics in contemporary Europe. This course contains four key blocks. ‘Block 1’ starts with an overview of the foundations of comparative sociology, starting with theoretical approaches (i.e., neo-Durkheimian versus neo-Weberian) and moving to methodological issues (i.e., how can we design good comparative research?). ‘Block 2’ focuses on ‘Politics, Policies and Institutions’ by paying attention to the rise and evolution of the Welfare State and recent trends if Populism across Europe. ‘Block 3’ looks at ‘Social and Ethnic Divisions’, addressing the comparative study of social inequalities and ethnic division in 21st century Europe. Finally, ‘Block 4’ of the module looks at topics on ‘Gender, Care and Work’ by studying gender inequalities from international approach.


Learning Aims
  • To provide an overview to theoretical and analytical debates on international comparative research across Europe;
  • To critically address the most prominent sociological theories on comparative sociology;
  • To evaluate qualitative and quantitative studies to study sociological problems from a comparative perspective;
  • To provide a complex understanding of how European societies differ on key selected sociological topics around politics, social inequalities, ethnicity, gender or demographics;

Assessment Details

Final Examination (75%) and Coursework (25%)