Postgraduate Course: Social inequality and social protection (PGSP11258)
|School||School of Social and Political Science
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||How can we conceptualise the inequalities of social class, generation, race, disability and gender? How are such inequalities bought about through processes across the life course, from cradle to grave? This course aims to make the student familiar with the social structure and the institutional contexts across life courses and the corresponding social and public policies. The course focuses on policies that are used to support human development and family formation, childhood and educational trajectories, vocational training, labour market entry, occupational careers and income trajectories, retirement and ageing. The course takes the UK as its focus, although students are also encouraged to take a comparative perspective.
How can we conceptualise the inequalities of social class, generation, race, disability and gender? How are such inequalities bought about through processes across the life course, from cradle to grave? This course aims to make the student familiar with the social structure and the institutional contexts across life courses and the corresponding social and public policies and other forms of social protection. The course focuses on policies and other forms of protection that are used to support human development and family formation, childhood and educational trajectories, vocational training, labour market entry, occupational careers and income trajectories, retirement and ageing. The course takes the UK as its focus, although students are also encouraged to take a comparative perspective.
Part 1: Conceptualising inequality
Week 1: Defining inequality, thinking about the life course
Week 2: Inequalities manifested - social stratification
Week 3: Static and dynamic aspects of inequality
Week 4: Intersectionality and inequality
Part 2: Key transitions and inequalities
Week 5: Youth transitions
Week 6: Childhood poverty
Week 7: Combining work and family
Week 8: Income security in old age
Part 3: Working with policy makers to reduce inequalities across the lifecourse
Week 9: An introduction to policy impact evaluation
Week 10: Negotiating discourse
This course is taught in 10 x 2 hour relatively informal interactive seminar sessions. A session will typically consist of some lecture time and some group work. Group work might be in pairs or in bigger groups. Students will be expected to share what they have read that week with classmates. Group work might consist of: a class debate; making a zine; working out measurement items for the relative poverty measure; mini-presentations.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Not being delivered|
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- To become familiar with the terms used in debates around inequalities of social class, generation and gender
- To be able to articulate the use of various forms of social protection as applied across the life course
- To be able to develop a framework and set of criteria for assessing and evaluating social policy provision; and to strengthen skills in policy analysis and policy making
- To demonstrate a critical understanding of the implication of social policies for the distribution and quality of social and economic security as achieved by different groups in society
- To gain an understanding of various forms of measurement of inequality and how these impact on policy formulation and evaluation
|Baldock, J., Mitton, L., Manning, N. and Vickerstaff, S. (2011), Social Policy, 4th edn, Oxford: Oxford University Press.|
Byrne, D. (2005), Social Exclusion, Buckingham: Open University Press.
Crompton, R. (2008), Class and Stratification, 3rd edn, Cambridge: Polity Press.
Dorling, D. (2010), Injustice: why social inequality persists, Bristol: The Policy Press.
Fulcher, J. and Scott, J. (2011), ¿Inequality, Poverty, and Wealth¿, Chapter 18 in Sociology, 4th edn, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Giddens, A. And Diamond, P. (eds) (2005), The New Egalitarianism, Cambridge: Polity Press.
Glennerster, H. (2009), Understanding the Finance of Welfare, 2nd edn, Bristol: The Policy Press.
Graham, H. (2007), : Health and Socioeconomic Inequalities, Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Grusky, D. B. and Syelenyi, S. (eds) (2006), Inequality: Classic Readings in Race, Class and Gender, Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press.
Grusky, D. B. and Syelenyi, S. (eds) (2011), The Inequality Reader: Contemporary and Foundational Readings in Race, Class, and Gender, 2nd edn, Boulder: Westview Press.
Hills, J. and Stewart, K. (eds) (2005), A More Equal Society? New Labour, Poverty, Inequality and Exclusion (CASE Studies on Poverty, Place & Policy), Bristol: Policy Press.
Hills, J., Sefton, T. and Stewart, K. (eds) (2009), Towards a More Equal Society? Poverty, Inequality and Policy since 1997. Bristol: The Policy Press.
Lister, R. (2004), Poverty, Cambridge: Polity Press. Especially chapter 3.
Millar, J. (2009), Understanding Social Security: Issues for Policy and Practice, 2nd edn, Bristol: The Policy Press.
Ridge, T. & Wright, S. (2008), Understanding Inequality, Poverty and Wealth, Bristol: The Policy Press.
Example Key Journals
American Sociological Review
Benefits: The Journal of Poverty and Social Justice
Economic and Labour Market Review - http://data.gov.uk/dataset/economic_and_labour_market_review
European Sociological Review
Research in Social Stratification and Mobility
Journal of European Social Policy
Journal of Social Policy
Pathways ¿ A magazine on poverty, inequality, and social policy
The Poverty Alliance
The Poverty Site
Equality and Human Rights Commission
Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex
Have a look at their Working Paper Series
Joseph Rowntree Foundation
UK Government Equalities office
UK Government Equality strategy
UK Government (previous administration¿s) National Equality Panel
Minimum Income Standards
Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics ¿ interactive maps on key topics by postcode sector in Scotland.
OECD Ministerial meeting on Social Policy - Building a fairer future: the role of Social Policy
Links to interesting reports
Social Policy Association¿s ¿In Defence of Welfare¿
Growing Unequal? Income Distribution and Poverty in OECD Countries -
Doing better for families OECD (2011)
¿How to Talk About Redistribution: An Historical Perspective¿, by Ben Jackson
The IFS publishes an annual analysis of the latest poverty and inequality data (for the 2007 publication see http://www.ifs.org.uk/publications.php?publication_id=3932)
The Commission on Social Determinants of Health, chaired by Professor Sir Michael Marmot published its final report in August 2008
Copies of the report summary and full report are be available from the
following WHO website:
The Scottish Government Early Years Framework
Poverty and income inequality in Scotland
Poverty and Ethnicity in Scotland
Macpherson, S. and Bond, S. (2009), Equality Issues in Scotland: a review of research, 2000-8, Research report 29, Edinburgh: Equality and Human Rights Commission.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Course organiser||Dr Alison Koslowski
Tel: (0131 6)51 1147
|Course secretary||Mr Lee Corcoran
Tel: (0131 6)51 5122