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Module Details for SOU33052 Social Stratification and Inequalities

Module Code


Module Name

Social Stratification and Inequalities

ECTS weighting


Semester/term taught

Tern 2

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, you should be able to:

  1. Contract different theories and measures of social class.
  2. Discuss social inequalities within and between high-income democracies.
  3. Assess the evidence for theories of the causes of social inequality.
  4. Identify the policy implications of research findings in social inequality research.
  5. Work effectively and collaboratively in small groups.

Module Content

All societies have patterns of stratification and inequality, i.e. structured differences in economic resources, power and prestige which are relatively enduring and often reproduced between generations. What’s interesting from a sociological perspective is that the structure and pattern of these inequalities varies between societies and over time in the same society. This suggests that the fundamental processes driving inequality and stratification are social and economic processes. This module focuses on the theories and measures of social class as well as social class inequalities in electoral behaviour, education and health.

Recommended Reading List

  • Erik Olin Wright (2015) Understanding Class. London: Verso.
  • Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett (2009) The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone. London: Penguin Books.
  • Geoffrey Evans and James Tilley (2017) The New Politics of Class. Oxford: OUP

Assessment Details

Presentations (20%) and end-of-term essay (80%).