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IFCO 2400 - Social inequality in comparative perspective

Type d'enseignement : Lecture alone

Semester : Autumn 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English

Voir les plans de cours et bibliographies



Course Description

This course illustrates current trends of social inequalities in western countries and discusses their political implications. In particular, we assess social, ethnic and gender inequalities concerning educational attainment and achievement, labor market insertion (unemployment & overeducation), the precarisation of employment, poverty risks and social mobility across OECD countries. Moreover, we assess the crucial mediating role of educational, labor market and welfare institutions against structural explanations of social inequalities stressing the role of economic modernisation and globalisation. Finally, we discuss the connections between these results concerning the patterns of changing inequalities and the literature concerning changing political attitudes and preferences, namely the decline of traditional class voting and the rise of extreme right and populist parties.


  • BARONE, Carlo (Professeur des Universités)
  • COMORETTO, Géraldine (sociologue)

Course validation

Three evaluations: mid-term written test (during lecture 6, approximately 45 min, 30% of the final grade), final written test (during lecture 12, approximately 45 min, 30% of the final grade), group paper (40% of the final grade).

Required reading

D. Grusky, 2014, Social Stratification: Class, Race, and Gender in Sociological Perspective (selected chapters depending on the specific interests of each student)

Plans de cours et bibliographies

  • Section 1 : Presentation of the course: conceptualising and measuring social inequalities
  • Section 2 : Social inequalities in educational achievement in OECD countries
  • Section 3 : Social inequalities in educational attainment in OECD countries
  • Section 4 : Returns to education and overeducation in comparative perspective
  • Section 5 : The social patterning of unemployment risks in OECD countries 
  • Section 6 : Atypical employment: causes and social consequences
  • Section 7 : Income inequalities in global perspective
  • Section 8 : Poverty risks in Europe: the role of the welfare state
  • Section 9 : Social mobility in Europe
  • Section 10 : Class voting in Europe: the death of social classes?
  • Section 11 : Social inequalities, emerging cleavages and political attitudes
  • Section 12 : Social inequalities and the rise of populism