SO5002 - Sociology and Social Inequalities

What will I learn on this module?

On this module you will draw upon your sociological imagination to critically examine the way in which a range of social inequalities (such as 'race', class, gender, disability and sexuality) are created, experienced, maintained and reproduced. This will be done through reference to competing theoretical and historical explanations as to the causes and nature of inequality. Both those that challenge and those that seek to legitimate the inevitability of social inequality will be critically explored.

The module will be divided into two parts. In the first part you will draw upon and critically assess classical and contemporary sociological theories and ideas about the nature of social inequality such as ideology, intersectionality, symbolic violence, structuralism, material and cultural inequality.

In the second part you will critically apply and assess sociological ideas to historical and contemporary events which cast light on the nature of social inequality and the conflict that this stimulates. This will involve reference to case studies, for example, social class and deviance and disruption in the workplace, strikes, conflict and sabotage; cultural representations of the body and disability.

How will I learn on this module?

You will participate in a mixture of lecture and seminar activities.

Seminar activities will include small group discussion, debates, research tasks and group presentations. The module will draw upon a range of resources: short films, first-hand accounts and biographies, creative writing, photography and case studies.

You will have access to the e-learning platform with a dedicated Blackboard site to support this module. The site will include electronic copies of the module reading list and lecture materials notes and materials. The site will also be used to draw attention to contemporary news events which are relevant to the study of inequality through module announcements. A range of other support information to support learning will be available here such as tutor contact details, assessment criteria and assessments and learning outcomes and tutor advice/guidance and further internet links.

You will be expected to engage in private and self-directed study. The lecture programme, module guide, e-learning platform, and tutor prescription will provide a clear framework for this study. Tutorial time will be available to all students (on a group or individual basis) during staff ‘office hours’ or upon appointment with a module tutor.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported by the teaching team through seminars and Blackboard, supplemented by one to one tutorials and email. You will be given contact details and office hours for the teaching team to enable them to book tutorials and ask questions by email.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding
1. You will be able to identify differing forms of social inequality.

2. You demonstrate a critical understanding of relevant social theories and ideas in relations and to social inequality.

3. You will apply these theories and ideas to case studies in order to analyse the experience, maintenance and reproduction of different forms of social inequality.

Intellectual / Professional skills and abilities
1. You will be able to choose and use a range of cognitive tools in order to critically analyse and compare a forms of inequality and conflict.

2. You will work co-operatively with others to select and analyse evidence in order to verbally present arguments pertaining to case studies of inequality and conflict and appropriate sociological theory.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA)
1. You will develop a critical and comparative understanding of diverse examples of social inequality and conflict drawn from analysis of case studies of inequality.

How will I be assessed?

A 2,500 critical review of an article relating to social inequality (50% weighting)

Digital poster presentation (50% weighting)





Module abstract

Please find details of this module in the other sections provided.

Course info

UCAS Code L300

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Social Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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