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Unit information: Segregation and inequality in the UK (measurement and debate) in 2016/17

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Unit name Segregation and inequality in the UK (measurement and debate)
Unit code SPOL10017
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Gumy
Open unit status Open



Participants are encouraged to take Convincing stories? Numbers as evidence in the social sciences (UNIV10002) but it is not mandatory to do so.

School/department School for Policy Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

This unit forms part of the shared interdisciplinary pathway for students taking any of the '... with quantitative research methods' degree programmes in childhood studies, geography, politics, social policy and sociology. It is also open to other students in the University. The aim is to consider the extent to which the UK is a segregated or unequal society giving particular consideration to what is meant by segregation and inequality, how these concepts may be formalised and measured, how the measurement affects our impression of the severity or otherwise of social and ethnic divisions in the UK, and the way notions of poverty, inequality and 'the underclass' are used in political and social debate. The unit provides a student-friendly introduction to a key issue in social science: how do we take an idea, turn it into something measurable, and what are the consequences of doing so?

Intended Learning Outcomes

On completing this unit students will appreciate the importance of data and measurement as a means to understand the prevalence and impacts of inequality and segregation within society, having knowledge of the methods of measurement typically used, of the stages required to take a theoretical concept (segregation) and render it into an empirically observable phenomenon, and of the social geography of the UK.

Teaching Information

Lectures, seminars and one practical/lab session

Assessment Information

A group data analysis project (50%) and individual unseen examination (50%)

Reading and References

Hills J, Sefton T, Stewart K, 2009, Towards a more equal society? Poverty, inequality and policy since 1997. Bristol: Policy Press.

Lloyd C, Shuttleworth I, Wong DW, 2014, Social-spatial segregation: Concepts, processes and outcomes. Bristol: Policy Press.

Meen G, Gibb K, Goody J, McGrath T, Mackinnon J, 2005, Economic segregation in England: causes, consequences and policy. York: JRF.

Platt L, 2011, Understanding Inequalities: stratification and difference, Cambridge: Polity Press.

Shaw M, Galobardes B, Lawlor DA, Lynch J, Wheeler B, Davey Smith G, 2007, The handbook of inequality and socioeconomic position. Bristol: Policy Press.

Wilkinson R, Pickett K, 2010, The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone. London: Penguin.