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Unit information: Segregation and Inequality in International Perspective in 2020/21

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Unit name Segregation and Inequality in International Perspective
Unit code SPOL10038
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Mr. Francisco Palma Carvajal
Open unit status Not 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 of inequality and segregation in different societies 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, 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

  1. Recognize, define and identify differences in the concepts of inequality and segregation from an international perspective
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of the theories underpinning the empirical analysis of the concepts of inequality and segregation
  3. Ability to explain and evaluate the stages by which we take a theoretical concept (inequality) and render it into an empirical observable phenomenon
  4. Ability to choose, describe, analyse and evaluate data and measurement methods concerning issues related to social inequality and segregation

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered through blended learning involving a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions across the teaching block, including weekly lectures/narrated presentations, self-directed exercises and group activities. Weekly synchronous sessions will be scheduled to enable discussion, debate and the sharing of learning. Feedback will be provided for formal assessments, preparation for which will be supported through online activities, study group sessions and in the weekly synchronous sessions. The sessions will also include a syncronous lab session.

Assessment Information

Part 1: Report (2,000 words) (75%) - Assesses learning outcomes 1, 3 and 4.

Part 2: Critical reading (1000 words) (25%) - Assesses learning outcomes 1, 2, 3 and 4.

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.

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

Salvedra, W., Nolan, B., and Seeding T (2009). The Oxford Handbook of Economic Inequality. Oxford: Oxford University 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.