SO312      Half Unit
Work, Inequality and Society

This information is for the 2017/18 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Patrick McGovern STC.S313


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 course is only open to 2nd and 3rd year students in Sociology and other programmes. It is not available as a 1st year option.

Course content

Sociological perspectives on cross-national differences in employment and social inequality.

Theoretical perspectives on inequality;  gender in the labour market; occupational segregation;  the ‘glass ceiling’;; immigrant employment; race, ethnicity and discrimination; social class at work; class reproduction in elite firms; the rise of wage inequality; and income inequality in the mass media.


10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the MT.

Students on this course will have a reading week in Week 6, in line with departmental policy.

Formative coursework

1,500 word essay due in Week 8 of MT.

Indicative reading

Tilly, C. & C. Tilly (1998) Work Under Capitalism;   

Grint, K. (2005) The Sociology of Work (3rd ed.);

Grusky, (2014) (4th ed) Social Stratification;

Hakim, C. (2004) Key Issues in Women’s Work (2nd ed.);

McGovern, P. et al. (2007) Market, Class, and Employment;

Padavic, I. & Reskin, B. (2002) Women and Men at Work;

G. Payne (ed) (2013) Social Divisions, 

L. Platt  (2011) Understanding Inequalities

Further reading will be detailed in the course syllabus.


Essay (75%, 3000 words) in the LT.

Class Presentation (10%) and Online Blog (15%) in the MT.

Assessed essay due Wednesday of Week 1 in LT. Two hard copies of the assessed essay, with submission sheets attached to each, to be handed in to the Administration Office, S116, no later than 16:30 on the day of submission. An additional copy to be uploaded to Moodle no later than 18:00 on the same day.

Key facts

Department: Sociology

Total students 2016/17: 11

Average class size 2016/17: 11

Capped 2016/17: Yes (30)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

PDAM skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills