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SOC3096 : Educational Inequalities in a Global Age (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Adél Pásztor
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


The aim of the course is to introduce students to some of the key issues, debates and perspectives in the sociology of education field. The sociological perspective is applied to address the widespread concerns about differential patterns of educational outcomes of students coming from different ethnic, gender and social class backgrounds. The module aims to examine patterns of stratification in students’ access to and preparedness for higher education, the choice of institutions and degree courses, the student experience through higher education, as well as the postgraduate/school-to-work transition. Throughout the module, inequalities are addressed at the level of individuals, schools, educational systems and its interactions, while particular attention is being paid to the role that (higher) education plays in promoting social mobility and/or social reproduction in the age of globalisation.

The module aims:
- To demonstrate an understanding of key concepts, theoretical approaches and contemporary debates in the sociology of education/higher education field
- To address how social inequalities with regards to race/ethnicity, class and gender affect access to, and the experience of, different levels of education
- To explain the relationship between educational and social structures and individual decision-making at key educational junctures
- To demonstrate a clear understanding of how schooling and higher education is implicated in the wider process of social and cultural reproduction and transformation

Outline Of Syllabus

- Sociology of education: a critical history and prospects for the future (Lauder, Brown & Halsey; 2009)
- Educational expansion, credential inflation and the internationalisation of HE (Brown, 2011; Bathmaker, 2003; Collins, 1979)

- Class inequality and meritocracy: The social mobility myth (e.g. Shavit and Blossfeld, 1993; Breen and Goldthorpe, 1999)
- The debate on inequality: Maximally Maintained Inequality (Raftery and Hout, 1993) vs. Effectively Maintained Inequality (Lucas, 2001)
- Cultural explanations of educational inequality (e.g. Bourdieu, 1986; Bernstein, 2003; Coleman, 1988; Lareau, 2002; Ogbu, 2004)
- Rational action theory (Boudon, 1974; Mare, 1979; Breen, 1999)
- The role of schools (Turner, 1960)
- The A-to-C economy (Gillborn & Youdell, 2001).
- Tracking and ability groupings in schools (Hallinnan, 1994)
- Private schooling and inequality (Coleman et al. 1982; Sullivan and Heath, 2002; Swift, 2004)
- Gap years and elitism (Heath, 2007)

- HE and social justice: Class, gender & ethnic inequalities (Archer, Hutchings and Ross, 2003; Furlong & Cartmel, 2009)
- The widening participation agenda (Sutton Trust, 2010; Arum, Gamoran, and Shavit, 2011;)
- Admissions (Karabel, 2005; Stevens, 2007; Boliver, 2011; 2013)
- The HE choice (Ball and Vincent, 1998; Reay et al. 2002; Ball et al. 2002; Mullen, 2009)
- The higher education experience: social and academic integration (Reay et al. 2009; Lehmann, 2014; Granfield, 1991; Bathmaker at al. 2013; Bradley and Ingram, 2012)
- Non-traditional students in higher education (Connor et al. 2001, 2003 and 2004)
- International students in higher education (Brown, 2000; King, 2011; Waters, 2009; Brooks and Waters, 2009)

- Transition to work/further study (Tomlinson, 2008; Abrahams, 2016)
- Graduate Employability. Returns at the labour market (Sutton Trust, 2014)
- Inequalities in access to postgraduate education (Pasztor and Wakeling, 2017)

- Academic life in the neoliberal university (Gumport, 2007; Jacobs, 2004; Levin, 2006)
- The Mcdonaldization of Higher Education (Hayes & Wynyard, 2006; Garland, 2008)
- The student as consumer (Mollesworth, Scullion and Nixon, 2010)

Teaching Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Assessment Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Reading Lists