SPOL38270 Gender Inequality & Soc Pol

Academic Year 2022/2023

Throughout this module, students will develop their understanding of many dimensions of the relationship between gender and social policy. In the first section of the course, students will become familiar with the fundamental concepts necessary for gender policy analysis, including how gender operates as a social structure and its intersectional relationship to other social structures such as race, class and disability. Students will develop their understanding of the concept of patriarchy in both its familial and non-familial meanings and ideas about post-patriarchal welfare states. Students will learn about prevailing approaches to measuring gender inequalities, including indicators.

Next, we will focus on gendered typologies of welfare states and the importance of varieties of capitalism to gender inequalities in work, organisations and families. We will examine the rise of the social investment approach in the context of both high- and middle-income countries. We will also review care policies for children and adults in high-income countries, paying particular attention to work and family policies in Sweden and the United States. The module offers a comparative overview focusing on the institutional roles of employers, welfare states, state feminism and organised women’s movements in reducing gender inequalities and promoting egalitarian welfare ideologies.

In the final part of the module, we will focus on how the concept of care is becoming increasingly significant for policymakers and private sector employers. We will reflect on how global migration patterns intersect with care and welfare regimes. Finally, we will explore how social policy can evolve to account for women’s expanding responsibilities in the context of public health and environmental crises.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module, students will be able to: Analyse the relationship between gender inequality and social policy in a comparative context-Judge the usefulfullness of the welfare state and gender typologies to social policy analysis -Apply the concepts of gender, patriarchy, commodification, decommodification, familism and reproductive work in this analysis- Critique the relevance of gender perspectives to mainstream comparative analysis of social policy and the welfare state.

Indicative Module Content:

We will cover the following theories and concepts;

Gender Inequality
Family Wage
Male breadwinner
Universal breadwinner model
Social investment approach
Commodification and decommodification,
Reproductive work
Sustainable futures

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
In-class activities
Peer and group work
In-class discussions
Critical readings of the selected texts/reading materials 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Multiple Choice Questionnaire: The hour MCQ on Brighspace will be available during class time. Week 7 n/a Alternative linear conversion grade scale 40% No


Essay: 2000 word essay. You will be able to select from a range of essay questions. Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 32, 33 Mon 11:00 - 11:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Wed 12:00 - 12:50