SO312      Half Unit
Work, Inequality and Society

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Patrick McGovern STC.S110


This course is available on the BSc in Language, Culture and Society, BSc in Social Policy and Sociology and 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.

Reading Weeks: Students on this course will have a reading week in MT 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.
Presentation (10%) and blog post (15%) in the MT.

An electronic copy of the assessed essay, to be uploaded to Moodle, no later than 4.00pm on the submission day. Assessed essay due Wednesday of Week 1 in LT. 

Attendance at all classes and submission of all set coursework is required.

Key facts

Department: Sociology

Total students 2018/19: 22

Average class size 2018/19: 10

Capped 2018/19: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

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