Social Differences and Inequalities

Subject SOCI30010 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial per week for 10 weeks. The lecture and tutorial programs are staggered and cover the 12 weeks of semester.
Total Time Commitment:

A total of 120 hours





Recommended Background Knowledge:

Sociology or Politics and International Studies at Levels 1 & 2

Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:

Subject Overview:

Contemporary societies are characterized by social differences and inequalities. Many differences are linked to social categories such as social class, gender, ethnicity, age, religion and disability. They indicate not only different life style decisions but fundamental inequalities of life chances and are responsible for systematic inequalities in income, health and life expectancy. Many of these inequalities are seen as unjust even though they continue and sometimes even increase.
This subject will give a comprehensive overview about central social inequalities on a national and international level. It will discuss major sociological approaches to understand the existence and reproduction of these inequalities and how the understanding and theorizing of social inequalities has changed in recent decades.


On completion of this subject students should:

  • have a good understanding of contemporary social inequalities such as class, gender, ethnicity;
  • have a good knowledge of major social sciences approaches to understand the sources of social inequalities and how they are reproduced;
  • have a good understanding of the different dimensions involved in social inequalities;
  • have the ability for critical and reflexive judgements about reasonable strategies to deal with social inequalities and to improve social conditions.

A research essay of 2,000 words (50%) due mid-semester and a research essay of 2,000 words (50%) due during the examination period.

Hurdle Requirement: This subject has a minimum Hurdle Requirement of 75% tutorial attendance. Regular participation in tutorials is required.

Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per working day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

Reading material will be available online via the subject LMS site at the beginning of the semester.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • Have developed analytical skills and the capacity to think logically, creatively and critically;
  • Have developed the capacity to think in theoretical terms and to link theory to empirical findings;
  • Have developed an understanding of the socio-cultural and institutional sources of social inequalities;
  • Have developed skills in written and oral communication, time management and planning.

This subject is available as Breadth to non-Bachelor of Arts students

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Political Science Major
Politics and International Studies
Politics and International Studies
Politics and International Studies
Sociology Major

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