- To be able to describe patterns of social problems, solidarity and social justice, in particular in relation to gender, economic inequality, intergenerational issues and variation in social policy across European countries in an independent and scientific manner.
- To be able to differentiate and compare social problems across European countries.
- To be able to describe issues around social inequality in the field of work, care, welfare and health, and relate them to various sociological, psychological and political philosophical approaches for understanding social inequality in relation to solidarity and social justice.
- To be able to recognize and differentiate these interdisciplinary theoretical approaches and apply them to European examples of social problems related to gender inequality, economic inequality, intergenerational inequality.
- To be able to explain the ways in which social policy influences and is influenced by social inequality and differing perspectives on solidarity and social justice.
- The ability to reflect on these insights in written form from an interdisciplinary, social science perspective.
Social inequality is evident throughout Europe and beyond. Societies continue to face persistent structural inequalities arising from differences in race, class and gender. In fact, in recent years the class divide has become even stronger, with rising inequality between the rich and the poor. And despite significant progress in recent decades, significant gender inequalities, such as unequal divisions of work and care, remain. At the same time, European societies are confronted with emerging inequalities in other contexts such as sexuality, migration and health. These emerging inequalities are often related to more structural forms of inequality along the lines of race, class and gender. As a result, European countries face complex social problems that require sufficient social policy responses.|
In this course, you will become familiar with some of the most pressing social inequality issues as they relate to work, care, welfare and health. By focusing on European societies, you will learn to compare and contrast social inequality patterns, as well as responses to social inequality. How do various societies respond to enduring, growing or changing inequalities? Do these challenges lead to an erosion of solidarity, in an 'us versus them' rhetoric? Or an expansion of solidarity, such as Germany's initial response to the asylum-seeker crisis with 'Wir schaffen das!'? And to what extent are we accepting of social inequality? Taking a sociological, psychological and political philosophical approach to these topics, this course offers an interdisciplinary approach to understanding social inequality and the social policy responses in contemporary Europe.
This course is offered within the minor Work, Care and Welfare, the minor Social Inequality in Contemporary Europe, and is an elective course within Sociology. This course offers students the opportunity to study questions about social inequality, solidarity and social justice from an interdisciplinary perspective, linking these issues to socially relevant themes and debates. Therefore the course fits well within the bachelor Interdisciplinary Social Science or Sociology.
The ability to develop and defend a theoretically-informed standpoint about social inequality, solidarity and social justice in written form. The ability to compare and contrast national developments in social inequality and report on this in written form.
Entry requirementsPrerequisite knowledge
|First year of a social science bachelor or similar knowledge (e.g. policy and organizational studies, social geography, history, cultural studies)||Required materials-Recommended materials|
|Yet to be specified|Instructional formats
Class session preparationStudents should attend all lectures and they are required to read the course material prior to lectures, to participate actively during the lectures and to turn in all assignments on time.
Class session preparationDuring the course students will participate in different activities, including a neighbourhood excursion, small group discussions and a data practical, to work on portfolio assignments. The portfolio requires students to complete and submit intermediate assignments on time and provide structured peer feedback. Students will be given further information during the course itself.
Class session preparationThe course literature needs to have been studied thoroughly beforehand. Weekly preparation for these tutorials focused on the literature requires answering questions about the literature beforehand and submitting these online. Students are expected to participate actively in the tutorials.
AssessmentKnowledge of and insight into social policy responses in the form of solidarity and social justice to social problems related to gender, economic inequality, intergenerational issues and variation in social policy across European countries and the ability to reflect on these insights in written form from an interdisciplinary, social science perspective in a coherent manner.
AssessmentKnowledge of and insight into social policy responses in the form of solidarity and social justice to social problems related to gender, economic inequality, intergenerational issues and variation in social policy across European countries and the ability to reflect on these insights in written form from an interdisciplinary, social science perspective.