1. Handbook
  2. Subjects
  3. Changing Labour Markets and Inequalities

Changing Labour Markets and Inequalities (SOCI90019)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5Not available in 2019

You’re viewing the 2019 Handbook:
Or view archived Handbooks


Year of offerNot available in 2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeSOCI90019
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

Labour markets have undergone substantial changes over the past decades. Trends of globalization, de-industrialization, increasing (youth) unemployment, changing gender roles and demographic ageing have transformed substantially the nature of employment relationships and work in advanced economies. Labour force has become more diverse in the composition of workers – with more women, older workers and immigrants – while more divided by people’s education, race and gender. In this subject we will investigate how changes in the labour market institutions, as well as changes in the organization and composition of workers have produced disparities in careers, wages and labour market dynamics within and across generations over the past decades. To address these issues, the subject combines insights from sociological and economic labour market theory, ranging from classic human capital and job search models to more sociological approaches that emphasize the structure of organizations and institutions within a comparative perspective. We will use this theoretical background to discuss more recent empirical work about e.g., changing work and employment relationships; transformation of job histories and careers; the rising wage and gender inequality; the role of welfare states and institutions; discrimination in the labour market; and the intergenerational transmission of (dis)advantage. Through active in-class discussions, quizzes and exercises students will learn how to interpret labour market theories and critically assess empirical work.

Intended learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this subject should:

  • Name, define and interpret basic concepts and components of labour market theories;
  • Have a critical understanding of the sources and consequences of changing labour markets for individuals working lives, their employment opportunities and the fortunes of their families;
  • Reflect upon and critically discuss recent empirical work;
  • Provide a thorough and critical analysis of literature on this topic.

Generic skills

  • Oral communication; written communication;
  • Collaborative learning; problem solving; team work;
  • Statistical reasoning; application of theory to practice;
  • Interpretation and analysis; critical thinking;
  • Accessing data and other information from a range of sources.

Last updated: 9 May 2019