Checking date: 19/04/2023

Course: 2024/2025

Structure and social change
Bachelor in Political Science (Plan: 396 - Estudio: 205)

Coordinating teacher: TORRE FERNANDEZ, MARGARITA

Department assigned to the subject: Social Sciences Department

Type: Electives
ECTS Credits: 6.0 ECTS


1) Familiarity with the basic conceptual framework of social stratification research as well as common indicators 2) Interpretation of empirical data presented in form of table or figure 3) Ability to identify and comprehend the main arguments of a scientific text 4) Critical thinking 5) Search for information and data sources on a relevant topic 6) Ability to present orally in front of an audience, and writing skills 7) Cooperation and communication with fellow students
Skills and learning outcomes
Description of contents: programme
This course introduces students to the major contemporary theories and the central concepts relevant to the study of social stratification in advanced industrial societies, with particular attention to class inequalities. It presents some of the key findings from the comparative literature on social stratification and shows how theoretical debates can be tested against empirical data. The course offers a comprehensive introduction to key debates in the field of social stratification, including debates on meritocracy, the declining significance of social class, the causes of income polarisation, and the determinants of gender and ethnic stratification in contemporary societies. Detailed program: 1. Basic concepts and the theory of Karl Marx 2. Max Weber's theory of social stratification 3. Contemporary schemes of class and status 4. Inequality of income and wealth 5. Poverty and deprivation 6. Class mobility 7. Gender stratification 8. Ethnic stratification 9. Family and inequality 10. Inequality and health
Learning activities and methodology
Theoretical classes for the development of competences and knowledge related to the main debates in the field of social stratification. Practical classes to further explain certain issues, as well as to carry out individual tasks; all these tasks are oriented toward the acquisition of the specific competences promoted by the course described above. Individual work of the student includes study of the course material, essay writing, preparation of various tasks and exercises to be carried out during the course of the semester, literature search and library work, attending office hours and written correspondence with organizational purposes, both with classmates as well as with the course instructor(s). Finally, studying for and taking the final exam(s).
Assessment System
  • % end-of-term-examination 60
  • % of continuous assessment (assigments, laboratory, practicals...) 40

Calendar of Continuous assessment

Extraordinary call: regulations
Basic Bibliography
  • Marshall, Gordon. Oxford Dictionary of Sociology. Oxford University Press.. 1998
  • Platt, Lucinda. Understanding Inequalities. Polity Press. 2011
Additional Bibliography
  • Blau, F. Ferber, M and Winkler, A. . The Economics of Women, Men and Work (3d edition). . Prentice Hall. 2001
  • Collins P.H., and Solomos, J. (eds) . Sage Handbook of Race and Ethnic Studies . Sage. 2010

The course syllabus may change due academic events or other reasons.