Theories of Social Inequality
What is social inequality, what are its causes, determinants and consequences? The course gives an overview over classical and modern theories of social stratification and social inequality. The first part of the course is dedicated to classical theories: Marx’s class theory and its re-interpretations by authors like Eric Olin Wright and Pierre Bourdieu; Weber’s class theory and its further developments; theories focusing on gender and race inequalities. The second part of the course deals with current debates regarding drivers and consequences of social inequalities and discusses topics such as the impact of technological change on inequality (does the digital revolution produce more inequality?), the relationship between globalization and inequality (what is the impact of globalization on inequality within our societies and between the Global North and Global South), the role of the welfare state and the impact of neoliberal policies (do we observe a deliberate dualization of our societies?). We will also discuss the particularities of the transformation processes from socialist to capitalist societies regarding social inequality.