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Course, academic year 2023/2024
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Social Inequalities: Ethnicity, Gender and Age - JSM189
Title: Social Inequalities: Ethnicity, Gender and Age
Czech title: Sociální nerovnosti: etnicita, gender a stáří
Guaranteed by: Department of Sociology (23-KS)
Faculty: Faculty of Social Sciences
Actual: from 2023
Semester: winter
E-Credits: 9
Examination process: winter s.:combined
Hours per week, examination: winter s.:1/1, Ex [HT]
Capacity: unknown / unknown (unknown)
Min. number of students: unlimited
4EU+: no
Virtual mobility / capacity: no
State of the course: taught
Language: English
Teaching methods: full-time
Teaching methods: full-time
Note: course can be enrolled in outside the study plan
enabled for web enrollment
Guarantor: PhDr. Mgr. Jaroslava Hasmanová Marhánková, Ph.D.
Class: Courses for incoming students
This course focuses on the critical discussion of various approaches to analysing social inequalities and key concepts addressed in the research on social stratification. It specifically examines ethnicity, gender and age as significant bases of social inequality in contemporary societies. The course explores processes and mechanisms that cause unequal distribution of valued resources and opportunities and examines the means through which inequality develops and is legitimized. The course focuses on the intersectional analysis of (mainly but not only) categories of gender, ethnicity, and age to explore how structural inequality continues to organize human life.
Last update: Vojanová Jana (28.03.2023)
Aim of the course - Czech
By the end of the course students will be able to:1) define and compare different sociological perspectives and theories of social inequality 2) apply theoretical knowledge to understand different dimensions of social inequality 3) critically analyse the various manifestations of social inequality 
Last update: Vojanová Jana (28.03.2023)
Course completion requirements

organization of the course 2022

the seminars will be organized on-site (with the possiblity to attend online for students in a situation of quarantine or those facing health difficulties). 

Assessment methods:

1)      Active participation at the seminars

All of our class meetings are organized around group discussion. Students should come to class prepared to discuss the compulsory literature. The success of our course largely dependents upon our collective engagement with the readings. Participation in seminars is compulsory. One absence is tolerated. For more absences, please contact seminar leader.


2)      Oral presentation at seminar (20 minutes long): 15 points

Student will select one of papers/topic assigned as reading/topic for presentation to present at seminar. Two forms of presentations are available:

• Topic for presentation. This form of presentation is intended as group presentation (in group of 2-3 students) of topic relevant for our course. Topics for presentation are listed in the syllabus. A suitable reading for the presentation is available in the syllabus, however students are encouraged to find other resources. The presentation of topic is not intended as a summary of the recommended reading but a presentation of the topic itself (e.g., data that are available regarding this particular form of inequality, social context of the topic, controversies regarding the topic…)   

 •Presentation of assigned paper. This form of presentation is intended as individual presentation of the selected paper. During the presentation students should focus on: 1) introduction of the main argument/findings presented in the paper 2) presentation their own reflection of the paper/ topic (what they consider as the most interesting, challenging or controversial part of the paper and its argument. What kind of inspiration this particular paper or topic can bring to our understanding of social inequalities…) and 3) stating three questions related to the topic of their presentation that will stimulate discussion in the class. The thoughtfulness of these question will be part of the assessment of presentation.

Using power point presentation is recommended but nor required.


3)      Written assignment addressing the topic of the presentation: 25 points

Students are required to write a short essay, approx. 4-6 pages long (excluding references) on a topic of their presentation at seminars. The paper that was assigned as reading for the presentation/topic should serve as a starting point for the essay. However, students are expected to include other relevant resources (at least 3) to build their argument.


4)       Final test - based on lectures and compulsory literature: 60 points

To successfuly pass the couse all assignments have to be submitted and accepted.

The organization of seminars will be specified depending on the number of students enrolled in the course.

General course policies

-all information regarding the course as well as reading materials are available in Moodle. All assignment will be submitted via Moodle.

-inform me as soon as possible in case you have any difficulties reading the content of the course or participation at seminars. I understand that emergency situations or unexpected circumstances may happen. If some of these occur or you face any other difficulties regarding the course, let me know as soon as possible. If I’m not informed, I’m not able to look for possible solutions.

-all assignment deadlines are firm. You are allowed to submit your written assignment later. However, for each day that a paper is late, the final grade will be lowered for 3 points. In case your paper does not meet the minimum standard expected for academic paper, you may be asked for revision. In that case the final grade of the paper will be automatically lowered for 10 points.

-all students are responsible to follow the principles of academic integrity. Any form of plagiarism is unacceptable.

Grading System 

91 - 100 points: A

81 -  90 points: B

71 - 80 points: C

61 - 70 points: D

51 - 60 points: E

less than 51 points: F


Last update: Vojanová Jana (28.03.2023)


Bottero, Wendy. 2004. Stratification: Social division and inequality. London: Routledge.

Grusky, David. 2018 Inequality in the 21st century: A Reader. London: Routledge.

Lareau, Annette. 2002. "Invisible Inequality: Social Class and Childrearing in Black Families and White Families." American Sociological Review 67 (5): 747-776.

Savage, M. 2021. The Return of Inequality. Harvard: Harvard University Press.



Bourdieu, Pierre. 1984 Distinction. A social Critique of the Judgement of Taste. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Calasanti, Toni M. & Kathleen F. Slevin. eds. 2016. Age Matters. Realigning Feminist Thinking. New York: Routledge.

Cann, Paul & Malcolm Dean eds. 2009. Unequal ageing: The untold story of exclusion in old age. Bristol: Policy Press.

Collins, Patricia Hill & Sirma Bilge. 2016. Intersectionality. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.

Lorber, Judith. 1995. Paradoxes of Gender. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Ryle, Robin. 2015. Questioning Gender. A Sociological Exploration. London: SAGE.

Last update: Vojanová Jana (28.03.2023)
Teaching methods

lecture, seminar discussion

Last update: Vojanová Jana (28.03.2023)
Requirements to the exam
Students will be evaluated based on their participation in discussion section, writing assignments and presentation. The final test will cover topic adressed during seminar discussions and compulsory study materials. 
Last update: Vojanová Jana (28.03.2023)

1. Course introduction. Defining inequality. Changing approaches to the study of inequality 

2. "Human nature" and the imaginary of social inequalities

3. Is social stratification functional?

4. How to address inequalities? Between redistribution and recognition claims.

5. The end of the „grand“ narratives of class? The role of class in a globalizing world

6. Social class, symbolic boudaries and the concept of identity

7. Gendered and power relationships.     

8. Parenting styles. How is inequality (re)produced in the families?  

9. Social inequalities across the life course – cumulative disadvantage and life-course perspectives   

10. Family structure and the reproduction of inequalities

11. Spatial dimensions of inequality 

12. Axes of inequalities: care

Last update: Vojanová Jana (28.03.2023)
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