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SOCI205 Social Inequality

This course provides a critical examination of various form of inequalities within New Zealand and globally. Classical and contemporary theories that attempt to explain inequality will be explored. Analysis of the relationship between privileged and underprivileged groups will be examined with particular attention on how the privileged groups benefit from the labours and oppression of the underprivileged. Examples may include consumerism (how the availability of cheap consumer goods in the West is facilitated by global inequities in wealth); the Treaty of Waitangi and contemporary Māori and Pakeha relations; heterosexism and homophobia.

Co-ordinator - Dr Melanie Beres

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A critical examination of various forms of inequalities within New Zealand and globally.

This paper is concerned with making social inequalities visible. We begin with two assumptions:

  1. That social inequalities are problematic
  2. That we all benefit from at least some forms of inequality (while also being disadvantaged by others)
Throughout the paper, we will begin to uncover how these inequalities operate in our own lives. We will explore various forms of social inequality, from the local to global inequalities, and explore issues related to ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, gender identity, ability and age.

Paper title Social Inequality
Paper code SOCI205
Subject Sociology
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $913.95
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,073.40

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(SOCI 101 or SOCI 102 or SOCI 103) or 54 points
Schedule C
Arts and Music

Suitable for undergraduates interested in inequality and required for entry into Social Work.

Teaching staff

Co-ordinator and Lecturer: Dr Yuki Watanabe

Paper Structure
The paper is structured around theories used to investigate social inequality. Some theories help explain why inequalities exist, while others explain how they benefit some people at the expense of others. At the end of the paper we explore theories that provide a pathway for change.
Teaching Arrangements
Lectures: Two hours per week.
Tutorials: One hour per week, starting from the second week.

Readings will be available on e-Reserve on Blackboard.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Critical thinking, Information literacy.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Students who successfully complete the paper will be able to
  • Identify and understand various forms of inequality that persist in New Zealand
  • Understand theories on how inequalities came to be and how they are perpetuated
  • Apply particular theories of inequality to the social world

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Semester 2

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Monday 14:00-15:50 28-34, 36-41


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
T1 Tuesday 12:00-12:50 29-34, 36-40
T2 Tuesday 13:00-13:50 29-34, 36-40
T3 Wednesday 12:00-12:50 29-34, 36-40
T4 Thursday 15:00-15:50 29-34, 36-40