Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Throughout the 2021-22 academic year, we will be prioritising face to face teaching as part of a blended learning approach that builds on the lessons learned over the course of the Coronavirus pandemic. Teaching will vary between online and on-campus delivery through the year, and you should read guidance from the academic department for details of how this will work for a particular module. You can find out more about the University’s overall response to Coronavirus at: https://warwick.ac.uk/coronavirus.

SO126-15 Class and Capitalism in the Neoliberal World

Department
Sociology
Level
Undergraduate Level 1
Module leader
Teodora Todorova
Credit value
15
Module duration
10 weeks
Assessment
100% coursework
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description

N/A

Module aims

The principle aims of this core module are to enable students to:

  • Understand how to analyse the social world through the lens of class relations, economic structure and political economy developing familiarity with key perspectives in sociology and sociological theory;
  • Think critically about class, capitalism, economic inequality and power in the contemporary world;
  • Become familiar with the recent history of economic restructuring and develop a firm grasp of the concept of neoliberalism;
  • Understand and think critically about the links between neoliberalism, class, race, gender, power, culture, emotions, identity, work and consumption;
  • Become familiar with the impact of neoliberalism in the global south as well as in the global north;
  • Develop understanding of global sociology, particularly in terms of the links between transnational economic change and diverse social and political issues;
  • Develop skills in critical thinking, sociological analysis and writing.
Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

  1. Introduction: Class and Capitalism in a Neoliberal World
  2. Neoliberalism, Privatisation and the Fall of the Social State in the Global South
  3. Neoliberalism, Privatisation and the Fall of the Socialist State in South East Europe
  4. Neoliberalism, Privatisation and the Fall of the Social State in the UK and USA
  5. Deindustrialisation and the Transformation of Work
  6. Reading Week
  7. Theories of class
  8. Bourdieu: class distinction
  9. The superwealthy
  10. Inequality and Global Unrest
Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • Understand how to analyse the social world through the lens of class relations, economic structure and political economy.
  • Think critically about class, capitalism, economic inequality and power in the contemporary world.
  • Be familiar with the recent history of economic restructuring and have a firm grasp of the concept and history of neoliberalism in the global south as well as the global north.
  • Have a greater understanding and ability to think critically about the links between neoliberalism, class, race, gender, power, policing, culture, emotions, identity, work and consumption.
  • Have a greater understanding of global sociology, particularly in terms of the links between transnational economic change and diverse social and political issues.
Indicative reading list

Bauman, Z. (2005) Work, Consumerism and the New Poor .2nd ed. Milton Keynes, Open University Press.
Barnes, C. & Mercer, G. (2005) ‘Disability, work, and welfare: challenging the social exclusion of disabled people’. Work, Employment and Society. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0950017005055669.
Brown, W. (2015) Undoing the demos: Neoliberalism's stealth revolution. MIT Press.
Foster, J. B. (2008) The financialisation of capital and the crisis. Monthly review, 59(11), 1-19. https://monthlyreview.org/2008/04/01/the-financialization-of-capital-and-the-crisis/.
Federici, S. (2014) From Commoning to Debt: Financialization, Microcredit, and the Changing Architecture of Capital Accumulation. The South Atlantic Quarterly 113(2), 231-244.
Harvey, David (2007) A Brief History of Neoliberalism, Oxford: OUP
Hall, S. & O'Shea, A. (2013) Common-sense neoliberalism. Soundings: A journal of politics and culture, 55(1), 8-24.
Mendoza, K (2015) Austerity: the demolition of the welfare state and the rise of the zombie economy. Oxford: New Internationalist Publications

Subject specific skills

knowledge of the underlying concepts and principles associated with the sociological study of class and capitalism, and an ability to evaluate and interpret these within the context of neoliberalism.

evaluate the appropriateness of different approaches to solving problems related to the study of class and capitalism.

communicate the results of their study accurately and reliably, and with structured and coherent arguments

Transferable skills

Typically, holders of the qualification will be able to:

undertake further training and develop new skills within a structured and managed environment.

the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of some personal responsibility

Study time

Type Required
Lectures 9 sessions of 1 hour (6%)
Seminars 9 sessions of 1 hour (6%)
Private study 132 hours (88%)
Total 150 hours
Private study description

Reading set course materials and note taking in preparation for class discussion.

Costs

No further costs have been identified for this module.

You must pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Students can register for this module without taking any assessment.

Assessment group A1
Weighting Study time
Assessed Essay 100%

Pick one question from the list provided in the handbook.

Feedback on assessment

Written and verbal feedback on class essay.

Courses

This module is Core for:

  • Year 1 of USOA-L301 BA in Sociology
  • Year 1 of UFRA-R1L3 Undergraduate French with Sociology
  • Year 1 of UGEA-RL23 Undergraduate German and Sociology
  • Year 1 of UIPA-L3L8 Undergraduate Sociology and Global Sustainable Development
  • Year 1 of USOA-L311 Undergraduate Sociology and Quantitative Methods

This module is Core optional for:

  • UPDA-LM49 Undergraduate Health and Social Policy
    • Year 1 of LM49 Health and Social Policy
    • Year 5 of LM49 Health and Social Policy
    • Year 6 of LM49 Health and Social Policy
    • Year 7 of LM49 Health and Social Policy
    • Year 8 of LM49 Health and Social Policy
    • Year 9 of LM49 Health and Social Policy
  • Year 1 of UHIA-VL13 Undergraduate History and Sociology

This module is Optional for:

  • Year 1 of ULPA-P301 Undergraduate Media and Creative Industries
  • Year 1 of USOA-L314 Undergraduate Sociology and Criminology

This module is Core option list A for:

  • Year 1 of ULAA-ML34 BA in Law and Sociology (Qualifying Degree)
  • Year 1 of UPOA-ML13 Undergraduate Politics and Sociology

This module is Option list G for:

  • Year 1 of UPHA-V7ML Undergraduate Philosophy, Politics and Economics