Checking date: 28/03/2022

Course: 2023/2024

Social Stratification I
Master in Social Sciences (Plan: 481 - Estudio: 325)


Department assigned to the subject: Social Sciences Department

Type: Compulsory
ECTS Credits: 6.0 ECTS


Specific Competences - To seek, analyse and understand the properties of quantitative data associated with the study of social phenomena. - To evaluate socioeconomic achievement studies starting from the relationship between theory and methodological developments. - To understand the relationship between macro, meso and micro factors in the formation and reproduction of social inequalities. - To be aware of the relationship between methodological advances and theoretical debates. Learning outcomes 1. To be be aware of contemporary theories and debates about class stratification: employment relations; employment income; micro-classes; the role of qualifications and the concept of exploitation. 2. To be able to identify the most commonly used class schemes and socioeconomic indices (EGP, EO Wright, ISEI), their operationalization and their different theoretical foundations, similarities and differences. 3. To understand the concepts and the latest comparative empirical evidence on social mobility: the debate on meritocracy and the comparative study of relative mobility. 4. To be aware of the methodology for the study of mobility: mobility tables, Odds Ratios, log-linear models. 5. To know the concepts, methodology and the latest empirical comparative evidence on inequality of educational opportunities: Primary effects and secondary effects. 6. To understand the theoretical debates and empirical evidence on the effect of social capital and social networks on educational attainment and job success. 7. To be aware of the contemporary debates and the most recent evidence on the intergenerational transmission of social (dis)advantage: intelligence, non-cognitive capacities, personality traits and cultural capital. 8. To understand the conceptual and empirical relationship between income inequality and class inequality: relationships between income inequality and intergenerational mobility and between educational homogamy and income inequality. 9. To understand contemporary debates and comparative evidence on labour precariousness and the processes of dualization of the labour market, with special attention paid to the stratifying role of institutions. 10. To have knowledge of contemporary debates and comparative empirical evidence on the impact of social class on political behaviour: processes of class misalignment and realignment; class, political trust and participation; the socio-economic bases of populism and attitudes towards immigration.
Skills and learning outcomes
Description of contents: programme
Contemporary Class Theories: Debates and Operationalization (EO Wright, John Goldthorpe, David Grusky): Social Structure and Life Opportunities Applications of the employment income model to the study of labour duality: The relationship between labour institutions and stratification The Study of Class Mobility: The Origin-Education-Destination Triangle: Predictions and Key Debates The study of class mobility: Methodology (mobility tables, odds ratios and log-linear models) and comparative evidence; the relationship between methodological developments and theoretical debates. Educational attainment and the meritocracy debate Primary Effects of Class of Origin on Educational Achievement: The Intergenerational Transmission of Capacities Secondary effects of class of origin on educational achievement. Risk aversion, time preferences and educational decisions; rational action and formal models. Social Capital, Networks and Socio-Economic Achievement: Debates and Empirical Evidence. The Class Vote: Trends and Mechanisms; Class, Political Confidence and Legitimacy. The socio-economic bases of populism and the rejection of immigration and the role of economic crises. New approaches to the study of inequality: Socio-genetics, personality traits and the importance of early intervention.
Learning activities and methodology
TRAINING ACTIVITIES Theoretical class Practical classes Tutorials Individual student work TEACHING METHODS Presentations in the professor's lecture room with computer and audiovisual support, in which the main concepts of the subject are developed and a bibliography is provided to complement the students' learning. Critical reading of texts recommended by the subject professor: Press articles, reports, manuals and/or academic articles, either for later discussion in class, or to expand and consolidate knowledge of the subject. Resolution of practical cases, problems, etc. raised by the professor, either individually or in a group. Presentation and discussion in class, under the moderation of the professor, of topics related to the content of the subject, as well as practical case studies. Developing pieces of work and reports, individually or in group.
Assessment System
Basic Bibliography
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  • Breen, Richard and Goldthorpe, John. . "Explaining Educational Differentials: Towards a Formal Rational Action Theory". . Rationality and Society, 9(3): 275-305. . 1997.
  • Breen, Richard and Jonsson, . ¿Inequality of Opportunity in Comparative Perspective: Recent Research on Educational Attainment and Social Mobility¿. . Annual Review of Sociology, 31:223¿43. . Jan 2005.
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  • Breen, Richard, van de Werfhorst, Herman G. and Jæger, Mads M. . "Deciding under Doubt: A Theory of Risk Aversion, Time Discounting Preferences and Educational Decision Making". . European Sociological Review, 30(2): 258-70. . 2014.
  • Breen, Richard.. Social Mobility.. Oxford University Press.. 2004.
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  • Cameron, Stephen V., and James J. Heckman. . ¿Life Cycle Schooling and Dynamic Selection Bias: Models and Evidence for Five Cohorts of American Males.¿ . Journal of Political Economy 106:262-333. . 1998.
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  • Evans, Geoffrey and Mills, Colin. . ¿In search of the wage-labour/service contract: new evidence on the validity of the Goldthorpe class schema¿. . British Journal of Sociology 51: 641¿661. . 2000.
  • Farah, Martha J et al. . ¿Environmental Stimulation, Parental Nurturance and Cognitive Development in Humans.¿ . Developmental Science, 11: 793¿801. . 2008.
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  • Gil-Hernández, Carlos J., Marqués-Perales. Ildefonso and Fachelli, Sandra. . ¿Intergenerational Social Mobility in Spain between 1956 and 2011: The Role of Educational Expansion and Economic Modernisation in a Late Industrialised Country¿ . Research on Social Stratification and Mobility, 51:14-27. . 2017.
  • Goldthorpe, J. H. . On Sociology: Numbers, Narratives and the Integration of Research and Theory.. Oxford University Press.. 2000.
  • Goldthorpe, J. H. and Erikson, R. . The Constant Flux: A Study of Class Mobility in Industrial Societies. . Oxford: Clarendon Press.. 1993.
  • Goldthorpe, John H. . "Rent, Class Conflict, and Class Structure: A Commentary on Sorensen," . American Journal of Sociology 105(6): 1572-1582. . 2000.
  • Goldthorpe, John H. . ¿Social Class and the Differentiation of Employment Contracts¿. Pp. 101-124. . In John H. Goldthorpe, On Sociology. Volume II: Illustration and Retrospect. 2nd edition. Stanford: Stanford University Press. . 2007.
  • Goldthorpe, John, and McKnight, Abigail. . ¿The Economic Basis of Social Class.¿ Goldthorpe, John, and McKnight, Abigail. 2004. ¿The Economic Basis of Social Class.¿ CASE paper No 80. . Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, London School of Economics. . 2004.
  • Granovetter, Mark S. . ¿The Strength of Weak Ties¿. . American Journal of Sociology 78: 1360-1380. . 1973.
  • Grusky, David B. (ed.) . Social Stratification: Class, Race, and Gender in Sociological Perspective. 3rd edition. . Boulder: Westview Press. . 2008.
  • Heckman, James J. Stixrud, Jora, and Urzua, Sergio. . ¿The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior¿. . Journal of Labor Economics, 24(3):411-482. . 2006.
  • Inglehart, Ronald . . ¿Changing Values among Western Publics from 1970 to 2006¿. . West European Politics 31:1-2 130-46. . 2008.
  • Ishida, H., Mueller, W. and Ridge, J. M. . ¿Class Origin, Class Destination and Education: A Cross-National Study of Ten Industrial Nations¿. . American Journal of Sociology, 101:145-193. . 1995.
  • Jackson, M. . ¿Disadvantaged through discrimination? The role of employers in social stratification¿. . The British Journal of Sociology, 60: 669¿692. . 2009.
  • Jackson, Michelle. . ¿Personality Traits and Occupational Attainment.¿ . European Sociological Review, 22(2):187-199. . 2006.
  • Jaeger, Mads M. and Richard Breen. . ¿A Dynamic Model of Cultural Reproduction.¿ . American Journal of Sociology, 121(4):1079-1115. . 2016.
  • Kiernan, K. E. and Huerta, M. C. . ¿Economic deprivation, maternal depression, parenting and children¿s cognitive and emotional development in early childhood". . British Journal of Sociology, 59:783¿806. . 2008.
  • Lareau, Annette. . Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life. . Berkeley: University of California Press. . 2003.
  • Mare, Robert D. . ¿Change and Stability in Educational Stratification.¿ . American Sociological Review 46:72-87. . 1981.
  • Marshall, Gordon. . Oxford Dictionary of Sociology. . Oxford University Press. . 1998.
  • Morgan, Stephen L. . On the Edge of Commitment: Educational Attainment and Race in the United States. . Stanford: Stanford University Press. . 2005.
  • Morgan, Stephen L. . "Adolescent Educational Expectations: Rationalized, Fantasized, or Both?" . Rationality and Society 10:131-62. . 1998.
  • Morgan, Stephen L. and Aage B. Sørensen. . "Parental Networks, Social Closure, and Mathematics Learning: A Test of Coleman's Social Capital Explanation of School Effects." . American Sociological Review 64:661-681. . 1999.
  • Mouw, Ted. . ¿Social Capital and Finding a Job: Do Contacts Matter?¿ . American Sociological Review 68: 868-898. . 2003.
  • Oesch, Daniel. . Occupational Change in Europe. How Technology and Education transform the Job Structure, . Oxford: Oxford University Press. . 2013.
  • Petersen, Trond, Ishak Saporta, and Marc-David L. Seidel. . ¿Offering a Job: Meritocracy and Social Networks.¿ . American Journal of Sociology. 106,3:763-816. . 2000.
  • Platt, Lucinda. . Understanding Inequalities. . Polity Press. . 2011.
  • Polavieja, Javier G. . ¿Temporary Contracts and Labour Market Segmentation in Spain: An Employment-Rent Approach¿. . European Sociological Review, 19(5): 501-517. . 2003.
  • Polavieja, Javier G. . ¿Economic Crisis, Political Legitimacy and Social Cohesion¿ . in Duncan Gallie (ed.) Economic Crisis, Quality of Work and Social Integration: The European Experience. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 256-278. . 2013.
  • Polavieja, Javier G. . ¿Labour-Market Competition, Recession and Anti-Immigrant Sentiments in Europe: Occupational and Environmental Drivers of Competitive Threat". . Socio-Economic Review, 14(3): 395-417. . 2016.
  • Reeves, Aaron et al. . ¿The Decline and persistence of the old Boy: Private Schools and Elite Recruitment 1897 to 2016¿. . American Journal of Sociology, 82(6): 1139-1166. . 2017.
  • Rivera, Lauren A. and Tilcsik, András. . ¿Class Advantage, Commitment Penalty: The Gendered Effect of Social Class Signals in an Elite Labor Market¿. . American Sociological Review, 81(6) 1097¿1131. . 2016.
  • Saunders, P. . ¿Might Britain be a Meritocracy?¿. . Sociology, 29(1): 23-41. . 1996.
  • Scott, John. . ¿Social Class and Stratification in Late Modernity¿. . Acta Sociologica, 45:23-35. . 2002.
  • Stocké, Voker. . ¿Explaining Educational Decisions and the Effects of Families¿ Social Class Position: An Empirical Test of the Breen-Goldthorpe Model of Educational Attainment¿. . European Sociological Review, 23(4):505-519. . 2007.
  • Sullivan, A. . ¿Cultural Capital and Educational Attainment.¿ . Sociology, 34(4):893-912. . 2001.
  • Sullivan, A. . ¿Bourdieu and education: How useful is Bourdieu's theory for resarchers?¿. . The Netherlands ' Journal of Social Sciences, 38(2):144-166. . 2002.
  • Sullivan, A., Ketende, S. and Joshi, H. . ¿Social Class and Inequalities in Early Cognitive Scores¿. . Sociology, 47(6):1187-1206. . 2013.
  • Sørensen, Aage B. . ¿Toward a Sounder Basis for Class Analysis¿. . American Journal of Sociology, 105(6):1523-1558. . 2000.
  • Tahlin, M. . ¿Class Clues¿. . European Sociological Review, 23(5): 557-572. . 2007.
  • Wright, Erik O. . Class Counts, Student Edition, Except of Chapter 1. . Cambridge University Press. . 2000a.
  • Wright, Erik O. . ¿The Shadow of Exploitation in Weber¿s Class Analysis.¿ . Paper presented at the International Symposium on Economy and Society: Max Weber in 2000, September 21- 24, 2000. . 2000b.
  • Wright, Erik Olin. . ¿Class, Exploitation, and Economic Rents: Reflections on Sørensen¿s ¿Sounder Basis¿ . American Journal of Sociology 105 (6): 1559¿71. . 2000.
  • Yakubovich, Valery . ¿Weak Ties, Information, and Influence: How Workers Find Jobs in a Local Russian Labor Market¿. . American Sociological Review 70: 408-421. . 2005.

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