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The University of Southampton

SOCI1015 Human Rights, Wellbeing and Politics

Module Overview

The overall aim of the module is to develop using citizenship theory an understanding of social rights from both a national and international perspective. Students will learn about citizenship theory, how and why it has developed since the work of TH Marshall and its role in analysing recent social policy developments in a range of policy areas: health; education; family and new social risks. The main questions that will be addressed are as follows: Theoretical/ conceptual: What is citizenship theory? What does it say about the relationships between individuals, social groups and the state? What does it say about individuals’ membership of a community? How has citizenship theory developed since T H Marshall’s seminal contributions? What are the main criticisms of Marshall’s approach? How have socio-structural changes since Marshall’s time been addressed in citizenship theory? What are the different types of rights associated with citizenship status? How strong is the argument for social, as well as civil and political rights, as central to the development of citizenship? Citizenship status, social rights and social policy: What is the relationship between social rights and social policy? How encompassing has the development of social rights been in different national settings? Are the rights of some social groups (eg women, migrants) generally less well developed than others? What is the relationship between the rights and responsibilities of citizenship and how has this changed over time? How, if at all, has social policy changed to ensure the maintenance of social rights in altered socio-structural circumstances (eg globalization, demographic change)?

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Produce succinct summary overviews of academic texts.
  • Articulate views and arguments in seminar discussions.
  • Analyse and evaluate competing perspectives on a topic.
  • Produce a clear argument using diverse range of readings.
Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Discuss the core concepts associated with the analysis of welfare, citizenship and social rights.
  • Assess the main arguments for and against different models of social rights and welfare provision.
  • Identify the main institutions and actors involved in the delivery of social rights and mitigating social risks.
  • Explain how citizenship theory and the delivery of social rights has developed in the face of socio-structural change.
  • Analyse social problems using a key theoretical framework/core concept covered in the course.


1/ Introduction – 2/ Social citizenship 3/ Gender and citizenship 4/ Citizenships and social policy: welfare regimes 5/ Global citizenship – Health (NB the policy areas covered many change) 6/ A right to health? 7/ Equality and healthcare Education 8/ An educational meritocracy and equality of opportunity 9/ An opportunity society? Social mobility in the UK and elsewhere 10/ What would a fair education system look like? 11/ Essay Workshop New Social Risks 12/ ‘New’ versus ‘old’ social risks: Introducing the debate 13/ From ‘passive’ to ‘active’ labour market policies 14/ Assessing activation from a gender perspective - 15/ Revision

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The course will consist of 15 lectures and 3 x 2 hours participate tutorials. In addition, there will be three peer-led tutorial sessions

Completion of assessment task65
Wider reading or practice64
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Spicker, P. (2014). Social Policy: Theory and Practice. 

Evers, Adalbert/ Guillemard, Anne-Marie (ed.) (2012). Social Policy and Citizenship – The Changing Landscape. 

Dean, H. (2012). Social Policy. 

Marshall, T. H. (1992). Citizenship and Social Class. 

Hoxsey, D. (2011). Debating the Ghost of Marshall: A Critique of Citizenship. Citizenship Studies. ,15 , pp. 915– 932.

Ben Revi (2014). T.H. Marshall and his critics: reappraising ‘social citizenship’ in the twenty-first century. Citizenship Studies. ,18 , pp. 3-4, 452-464.

Marshall, T. H. (1981). The Right to Welfare. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Attendance 9%
Essay  (2500 words) 70%
Test 21%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (3 hours) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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