Skip to main content

Unit information: Class and Social Divisions in 2021/22

Unit name Class and Social Divisions
Unit code SOCI20045
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Will Atkinson
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

While postmodern sociology celebrates the 'death of class', empirical research continues to demonstrate its major influence in a wide variety of domains. Theoretically there has always been controversy about the nature of class and its basis, about the boundaries between classes, about the experience of class and how it relates to politics. The unit explores these debates in relation to contemporary theories of class analysis. And it examines current thinking and research on the relationship between class and other social divisions and on class identities and cultures in late modern societies.


  • To present the latest theoretical and empirical developments in the study of class
  • To explain the relevance of class as both a sociological concept and as an explanatory concept
  • To explore the social location of class in relation to other aspects of social division

Intended Learning Outcomes

Level 5

On successful completion of the unit, students will be able to

  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of the major contemporary theoretical perspectives on class
  • Evaluate the key current challenges to the concept of class
  • Critically assess the empirical impact of class on a range of outcomes

Teaching Information

1 hr lecture and 2 hr seminar per week.

Assessment Information

(a) 1,500 word essay(25%)

(b) 2,500 word essay (75%)

Both assessments test all of the Learning Outcomes listed above.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. SOCI20045).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.