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OCEU 2200 - Comparative sociology of inequality

Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Spring 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

Social inequalities are a central topic of sociological research. Starting from classical concepts and theories, this course adopts a comparative perspective and multi-dimensional approach to the analysis of social inequalities. Lectures draw on empirical works with a comparative perspective, focusing on OECD countries. The course delves into the institutional and social mechanisms by which inequalities are created, reproduced, and buffered. Particular attention is paid to the role of education as both inequality-generating and equalizing mechanism, and to welfare states as instruments by which social inequalities are alleviated but also reproduced politically. In the light of the process of globalization, the issue of the convergence/divergence of inequalities in the Western world is ultimately addressed.


  • BARONE, Carlo (Professeur des Universités)
  • FERRAGINA, Emanuele (Assistant Professor of Sociology at Sciences Po)
  • RECCHI, Ettore (Professor at Sciences Po)

Pedagogical format

The course employs a mixed lecture-seminar format. Classes (except the first one, which is a full lecture) are split in three parts: a) general discussion of the compulsory readings of the day, b) student presentation of additional readings, c) lecture introducing the following topic.

Course validation

Students are required to do the compulsory class readings and shall be involved in a seminar discussion about them. Each student is also asked to do a 10-12 minutes presentation, selecting among the additional ‘seminar readings'. Each presentation will have a student-discussant to introduce the class debate. No more than two absences are admitted.

Students shall be evaluated on the basis of their participation (20% of final grade), presentation and discussion of readings (20% of final grade) and a final exam (60% of final grade). The final exam consists of essay-like questions and multiple choices.

Required reading

  • Therborn, G. (2006) (ed) Inequalities of the World. London: Verso
  • Milanovic, B. (2016). Global inequality. Harvard: Harvard University Press.