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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2019 - 2020

Module Title Social Inequality and Intergroup Relations
Module Code SOC4
School Open Education

Online Module Resources

Module Co-ordinatorDr James BruntonOffice NumberD102
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 15
Pre-requisite SC100
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

In Ireland and elsewhere, inequality tends to be a major feature of society. Differences in wealth, income, prestige, education, gender, race and other social attributes profoundly impact how our lives are experienced and how we view, and are viewed by others. In this module, different forms of social inequality are outlined, as well as the ways that they can be examined from a practical and theoretical perspective. A range of studies are drawn upon that demonstrate how the manifestations of inequality vary in both time and space. Changes in the class structure are outlined as well as key issues related to inequalities in contemporary Irish society such as health care, housing and education. The module outlines a range of sociological perspectives on inequality as they relate to class, poverty, gender and racism.

Learning Outcomes

1. Assess the extent and the effects of economic and prestige inequalities in advanced societies
2. Analyse the transformations that have occurred in the class structures of advanced societies and the links between these transformations and industrialization
3. Contrast the dominant ideologies about educational equality in Ireland with the tendency for the educational system to reproduce inequality
4. Examine how gender identities are created and reinforced in education and society using the theories which regard gender as an important factor in arriving at an understanding of society
5. Analyse the traditional approaches to the study of poverty, the extent of poverty in Ireland and the national and European policies on poverty
6. Examine how sociologists classify race and racism, what has been written in Ireland about race and racism, how the Irish have been victims and perpetrators of racism, and where these concepts are important factors in society

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Tutorial15No Description
Online activity60No Description
Independent Study300No Description
Total Workload: 375

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

PART 1: Stratification and Mobility

Unit 1: Material Inequality

Unit 2: Prestige Inequality

Unit 3: The Class Structure of Advanced Societies - Part 1

Unit 4: The Class Structure of Advanced Societies - Part 2

Unit 5: Social Mobility in Industrial Societies

PART 2: Gender Inequality and Education

Unit 6: Social Class Position and Education

Unit 7: The Dynamics of Class Related Control and Resistance

Unit 8: Gender and Education

Unit 9: Theorising Gender

Unit 10: Living in a Class versus Gendered World

Unit 11: Theorising Masculinities

PART 3: Poverty and Social Exclusion

Unit 12: Poverty Studies

Unit 13: Definitions and Measurement of Poverty

Unit 14: The Extent of Poverty in Ireland

Unit 15: European Policy and Poverty

Unit 16: New Thinking on Social Exclusion and Poverty

Part 4: Prejudice and Inter-Group Relations

Unit 17: What do 'Race' and 'Racism' Mean

Unit 18: Theoretical Perspectives on 'Race' and Racism

Unit 19: Some Perspectives on Race and Racism in the Irish Context

Unit 20: Making Sense of Irish experiences of 'Race' and Racism

Unit 21: 'Race', Nationalism and Contemporary Ireland: Three Case Studies

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
Indicative Reading List

  • Bulmer, Martin and Solomos, John: 1999, Racism, Oxford University Press, Oxford,
  • Connell, R.W: 2005, Masculinities, Second, University of California Press, Los Angles,
  • Connell, R.W.: 2014, Gender: Short Introductions, 3rd, Polity Press, Cambridge,
  • Garner, S: 2003, Racism in the Irish Experience, Pluto Press, London,
  • Giddens, A: 2013, Sociology, Seventh, Polity Press, London,
  • Grusky, D. B: 2014, Social Stratification in Sociological Perspective: Class, Race and Gender, 4th, Westview Press, Boulder,
  • Lentin, R. and McVeigh, R: 2002, Racism and Antiracism in Ireland, Beyond the Pale Publications, Belfast,
  • Lynch, K. and Lodge, A: 2002, Equality and Power in Schools: redistribution, recognition and representation,
  • O’Sullivan, S: 2007, Contemporary Ireland: A Sociological Map, RoutledgeFalmer,
  • Share, P., Corcoran, M.P., & Conway, B.: 2012, A Sociology of Ireland, Fourth, Gill and Macmillan, Dublin,
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