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The University of Southampton

SOCI2037 Globalisation, Inequalities and Power

Module Overview

In this course unit you will gain an understanding of three key concepts in the social sciences: globalisation, inequality and power. The course will discuss in what way globalisation enforces and ameliorates inequalities: between individuals, men and women, social classes, countries and regions of the world. Focussing on quantitative data, it will look at agents that have the power to shape these processes: states, businesses, third-sector organisations, international organisations, organised political actors. Studying the literature and quantitative data on these topics students will also develop their analytical skills and knowledge of quantitative methods and methodology.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Have knowledge and understanding of the concepts of globalisation, inequality and power in the social science literature.
  • Have knowledge and understanding of the main types of social inequalities.
  • Have knowledge and understanding of how these inequalities influence the distribution of life chances and wealth in societies.
  • Have knowledge and understanding of the main agents with the power to affect inequalities: states, businesses, non-governmental organisations, the third sector, non-state organised political actors (trade unions, social movements).
  • Have further developed your analytic skills through critical engagement with different theoretical and empirical approaches.
  • Be better able to evaluate the appropriateness of different methods in social research.
  • Have broadened your understanding of comparative methods as a tool for knowledge creation.
  • Have improved your ability to critically probe concepts and arguments.


In the first part of the unit we will explore the meaning of globalisation, inequality and power in the social science literature. We will then study the impact of globalisation on inequality, using quantitative datasets, case studies and examples from around the world. In the final part of the module we will establish why states, businesses, third sector organisations, international organisations and non-state organised political actors are important actors that can increase or ameliorate inequalities, again using quantitative data and case studies. Illustrative examples of case studies: • Global inequalities: child labour and the corporate social responsibility of global businesses • States and in/equalities: welfare states around the world • The development of anti-poverty policies around the world • Globalisation and welfare retrenchment in highly developed nations This module will be co-taught with SOCI2036.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

This module is taught by means of a twice-weekly lecture, a fortnightly seminar, and statistical workshops (2 hours). Learning activities include: Discussions, data and text analysis, reading and writing. Innovative or special features of this module: There will be interactive features in most lectures.

Completion of assessment task50
Preparation for scheduled sessions20
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Yeates, N; Holden, C (eds) (2009). The Global Social Policy Reader. 

Deacon, B (2013). Global Social Policy in the Making. 

Holton, R (2014). Global Inequalities. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (3000 words) 80%
Plan  (500 words) 20%


MethodPercentage contribution
Exam  (3 hours) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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