module specification

SS5014 - Global Inequalities in the 21st Century (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Global Inequalities in the 21st Century
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 300
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
100 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
119 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 40%   Essay (2000 words)
Seminar 10%   Seminar presentation and written submission reviewing a key reading plus continuous assessment of seminar contribution
Coursework 50%   Essay (3000 words)
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Monday Afternoon

Module summary

 We live in an increasingly unequal world. This module examines the growth in inequalities globally. It also examines some of the key economic and political causes of growing world inequality. In particular, the module critically examines neo-liberal globalisation.


 • Global trends in poverty and inequality (LO2)
• Neo-liberalism and neo-liberal globalisation (LO1)
• Different theoretical perspectives on globalisation and inequality (LO1)
• Global economic change and the changing global economic map: the growth of China and East Asian economies (LO3)
• Multi-national companies as key drivers of globalisation (LO3, LO4)
• Inequalities between and within countries of the global north and the global south (LO2)
• Women and gender in the world economy (LO4)
• The new global elite (LO2)
• The impact of IMF and World Bank policies on low income nations (LO3)
• Cultural globalisation and Americanisation (LO4)
• Global Migration (LO4)
• Global Land Grabs (LO4)
• The impact of global food production on the environment (LO4)
• Global environment (LO4)
• Global tourism (LO4)
• Global urbanisation – rural-urban migration and the growth of cities and of urban poverty and slums in the global south (LO2)
• Neo-liberal global urban policy (LO3)

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Teaching will comprise weekly lectures followed by exercises and discussion based on pre-set reading in weekly seminars
Learning will be supported by the weblearn site for the modules which will include all the teaching materials and a wide range of learning resources

Learning outcomes

 1. Discuss the concept of globalisation and demonstrate an understanding of contrasting viewpoints on neo-liberal globalisation
2. Document the growing inequalities in the contemporary world
3. Show an understanding of the key causes of growing inequalities in the contemporary world
4. Use case studies to highlight the processes and key drivers of inequality in the world

Assessment strategy

 1. Essay of 2000 words in week 12 (40%) – which will assess student’s ability to examine the key concepts and debates concerning globalisation
2. A seminar presentation of a literature review and assessment of contribution to seminar discussions (10%)
3. Essay of 3000 words in week 30 (50%) – which will assess student’s ability to examine and explain the impact of globalisation on inequality violations.


 Core reading:

Dicken. P (2015) Global Shift. 7th edition. Sage
Martell. L (2010) The Sociology of Globalization. Polity Press
Ritzer. G (2010) Globalization. A Basic Text. Blackwell
Sassen. S (2014) Expulsions. Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy. Belknap. Harvard

Additional reading:

Held. D and McGrew A (2007) Globalization/Anti-Globalization. Polity Press
Jones. A (2010) Globalization: Key Thinkers
Oxfam (2017) An economy for the 99% Oxfam Briefing Paper Summary
Oxfam (2016) Feeding Climate Change
Sassen S (2012) Cities in the Global Economy. 4th edition. Sage
Wacquant. L (2008) Urban Outcasts. A Comparative Sociology of Advanced Marginality. Polity
Walby. S (2010) Globalization and Inequalities. Sage