Power, Privilege and Diversity

Module code: SY1021

Engagement with sociology is often rooted in concern about inequality and the deprived circumstances in which many people live.  But inequality extends well beyond people’s economic situations. A related concept that helps us understand inequality is: power. But what does power mean?  What does 'having' power mean?  A common notion is that one who is powerful can force someone else to do what one wants. That’s not unimportant – but it is a simplistic understanding of power.  

So, you'll consider how people with power work to influence what other people think – and even what they want.  Ideology is a core focus; this concept helps us understand why some people end up wanting things that go against their own interests.  

Topics covered 

  • Wealth
  • Privilege
  • Mobility
  • Work
  • Education
  • Happiness
  • Meritocracy
  • Power as concept
  • Micro-structures of power
  • Gender
  • Global inequality
  • Immigration
  • Diversity
  • Democracy
  • The 'establishment'

Learning

  • 20 hours of lectures
  • 9 hours of seminars
  • 121 hours of guided independent study

Assessment

  • Essay, 2,000 words (50%)
  • Exam, 2 hours (50%)