Not available in 2017/18
SO310      Half Unit
The Sociology of Elites

This information is for the 2017/18 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Michael Savage STC S210


This course is available on the BSc in Sociology. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.


No specific pre-requisites, but this is only open to 3rd year students in Sociology and other programmes. It is not available as a 1st or 2nd year option.

Course content

In the early 21st century, there is a new fascination with the super-rich, the 1%, the 'elites'. This course therefore aims to expose students to the challenges and excitements of studying this small but very significant social class, using cutting edge research on recent trends as well as important older studies.


10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the LT. 1 hour of seminars in the ST.

Reading Week: Week 6 Lent Term.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 essay in the LT.

Formative assessment will be through a 2000 word essay to be handed in on the Monday of Week 7, directly after Reading Week. Students will also be asked to give presentations in seminars, and informal feedback will be given on these.

Indicative reading

Piketty, T., (2014), Capital in the 21st Century, Boston, Harvard UP.

Khan, S., (2010), Privilege, Princeton, Princeton UP.

Dorling, D., (2014), Inequality and the 1%, London, Verso.

Savage, M., and Williams, K., (eds) (2008), Remembering Elites, Oxford, Blackwells.

Scott, J., (1982), The Upper Class, Macmillan.


Exam (100%, duration: 3 hours) in the main exam period.

Key facts

Department: Sociology

Total students 2016/17: 16

Average class size 2016/17: 9

Capped 2016/17: Yes (30)

Lecture capture used 2016/17: Yes (LT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

PDAM skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills