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Sociology of Inequality

année académique

Titulaire(s) du cours

David PATERNOTTE (Coordonnateur)

Crédits ECTS


Langue(s) d'enseignement


Contenu du cours

The course is divided in three parts:1. The first part introduces students to some of the main approaches to inequalities in social sciences. It highlights the various ways inequalities have been studied and conceptualised, insisting on the history of academic and public discussions. The perspective is deliberately interdisciplinary, and focuses on key debates within contemporary social sciences. 2. The second part concentrates on sociological research, and looks more carefully at social dynamics at play in situations of inequality. It also highlights key concepts to better understand inequalities. Major sociology books will be analysed with students, and key extracts will be discussed during the course. 3. The third part deals with some of the challenges to equality building. It discusses the promises and limits of legal approaches to inequalities, and looks at the theoretical and empirical challenges raised by the concept of intersectionality.

Objectifs (et/ou acquis d'apprentissages spécifiques)

This course aims to familiarise students with basic concepts and theories describing and explaining inequalities, and to provide them with tools to understand and participate to contemporary debates on the topic. It will highlight the various ways in which inequalities have been conceptualised as well as the variety of inequalities in Western societies. For this reason, the theoretical approaches discussed during the course will be illustrated using a wide range of examples dealing with different social groups and different kinds of issues.

Méthodes d'enseignement et activités d'apprentissages

See evaluation criteria.

Références, bibliographie et lectures recommandées

See course outline.

Autres renseignements




Méthode(s) d'évaluation

  • Autre


1. A written exam (2 hours). Students will be assessed on their capacity to reflect on contemporary (in)equality issues. They will be given a recent non-academic text (most likely a newspaper article), and will be asked to discuss it using insights from the course. Students can bring their notes. The exam can be answered in French or in English. 50% 2. A short mid-term essay in English. 40%3. Collective presentation of the essay. 10%

Construction de la note (en ce compris, la pondération des notes partielles)

See above.