Checking date: 28/03/2022

Course: 2023/2024

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


Department assigned to the subject: Social Sciences Department

Type: Electives
ECTS Credits: 6.0 ECTS


Specific Competences To seek, analyse and understand the properties of quantitative data associated with the study of social phenomena. Evaluate socioeconomic achievement studies based on the relationship between theory and methodological developments. Ability to understand published empirical findings derived from data analysis using advanced techniques. Ability to write one's own academic texts in English. Learning outcomes 1. Awareness about the complexity of policy issues over intergenerational mobility and the ethical dilemmas associated with the debate on inequality and meritocracy. 2. Knowledge on new developments and interdisciplinary debates about the reproduction of inequalities across generations, including the false dilemma of "nature versus nurture". 3. Awareness of new interdisciplinary evidence on the social mechanisms by which advantageous resources, cognitive abilities and personality traits are transferred from parents to children. 4. Understanding of the differences and similarities between the sociological and the economic approach to the study of mobility. 5. Awareness of the most important scales for measuring "non-cognitive skills" and personality traits in addition to the logic of standardized learning tests. 6. Develop the ability to understand scientific studies from multiple social science disciplines (sociology, economics, psychology) and to know the idiosyncratic conventions of each. 7. Learn to read rigorous research results, starting with multiple regression tables and including clever causal identification designs such as those based on birth month, matching and instrumental variables. 8. Awareness of the main explanations for international variation in social stratification patterns, including the influence of the welfare state and, in general, the role of institutions and public policies in social stratification. 9. Summarize the state of a given literature by identifying relevant knowledge gaps. 10. Know how to develop their own original hypotheses based on a coherent theoretical framework. 11. Know how to propose an adequate research design to answer a specific and relevant research question. 12. Know how to criticise constructively the work of others, propose improvements and offer different perspectives. 13. To learn how to present one's own research work (in progress) to a group in a stimulating way, in line with the established schedule.
Skills and learning outcomes
Description of contents: programme
Ethical and normative dimensions of (un)equal opportunities and mobility The economic approach to the study of social mobility: Differences and similarities with the sociological approach New advances in the study of intergenerational transmission of capabilities from an interdiciplinary perspective Mechanisms of transmission of cognitive skills and advantageous personality traits New perspectives in the study of social mobility The equalising role of schools Compensatory advantage as a mechanism of educational inequality The equalising role of institutions: Welfare States and Stratification Personality traits, self-control, achievement and inequality: The role of non-cognitive capacities in inequality New evidence on parental investments New advances in socio-genomics and the "nature versus nurture" debate Conclusions
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
  • Anger, S., & Schnitzlein, D. . "Cognitive skills, non-cognitive skills, and family background: Evidence from sibling correlations.¿ . Journal of Population Economics, 30(2), 591¿620. . 2017.
  • Bernardi, F. . "Compensatory advantage as a mechanism of educational inequality: A regression discontinuity based on month of birth." . Sociology of Education, 87: 74¿88. . 2014.
  • Blanden, Jo. . "Cross¿country rankings in intergenerational mobility: a comparison of approaches from economics and sociology." . Journal of Economic Surveys, 27(1), 38-73. . 2013.
  • Borghans, L., Golsteyn, B. H., Heckman, J. J., & Humphries, J. E. . What grades and achievement tests measure. . Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113(47), 13354-13359. . 2016.
  • Bowles, S. & Gintis, H. . ¿The Inheritance of Inequality.¿ . Journal of Economic Perspectives, 16, 3¿30. . 2002.
  • Brand, J.E. & Xie, Y. . ¿Who Benefits Most from College? Evidence for Negative Selection in Heterogeneous Economic Returns to Higher Education.¿ . American Sociological Review 75(2): 273¿302. . 2010.
  • Branigan, A. R., McCallum, K. J., & Freese, J. . ¿Variation in the heritability of educational attainment: An international meta-analysis.¿ . Social Forces, 92(1), 109¿140. . 2013.
  • Conley, D., Domingue, B. W., Cesarini, D., Dawes, C., Rietveld, C. A., & Boardman, J. D. . Is the effect of parental education on offspring biased or moderated by genotype?, . Sociological Science, 2, 82. . 2015.
  • DiPrete, T. A. . ¿Life course risks, mobility regimes, and mobility consequences: A comparison of Sweden, Germany, and the United States.¿ . American Journal of Sociology, 108(2), 267¿309. . 2002.
  • Downey, Douglas B., Paul T. von Hippel & Beckett A. Broh. . ¿Are Schools the Great Equalizer? Cognitive Inequality during the Summer Months and the School Year.¿ . American Sociological Review 69: 613¿635. . 2004.
  • Esping-Andersen, G. . Welfare regimes and social stratification. . Journal of European Social Policy, 25(1), 124¿134. . 2015.
  • Hout, M. & DiPrete, T. . ¿What we have learned: RC28's contributions to knowledge about social stratification.¿ . Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, 24(1), 1-20. 0¿165. . 2006.
  • Hsin, A., & Xie, Y. . ¿Life-course changes in the mediation of cognitive and non-cognitive skills for parental effects on children¿s academic achievement.¿ . Social Science Research, 63, 15. . 2017.
  • Liu, A. . Can non-cognitive skills compensate for background disadvantage? ¿ the moderation of non-cognitive skills on family socioeconomic status and achievement during early childhood and early adolescence. . Social Science Research, 83(April), 102306. . 2019.
  • Roberts, B. W., Kuncel, N. R., Shiner, R., Caspi, A., & Goldberg, L. R. . The Power of Personality: The Comparative Validity of Personality Traits, Socioeconomic Status, and Cognitive Ability for Predicting Important Life Outcomes. . Perspectives on Psychological Science, 2(4), 313¿345. . 2007.
  • Roemer, J. E. . ¿Equality of Opportunity¿, in Arrow, K. J., Bowles, S. and Durlauf, S. N. (Eds.) Meritocracy and Economic Inequality, . Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, pp. 17¿32. . 2000.
  • Schneider, D., Hastings, O. P. & LaBriola, J. . "Income Inequality and Class Divides in Parental Investments." . American Sociological Review, 83: 475¿507. . 2018.
  • Swift, A. . Would Perfect Mobility Be Perfect? . European Sociological Review, 20, 1¿11. . 2004.
  • Watts, T. W., Duncan, G. J. & Quan, H. . "Revisiting the Marshmallow Test: A Conceptual Replication Investigating Links Between Early Delay of Gratification and Later Outcomes." . Psychological Science: 0956797618761661. . 2018.

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