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Unit Overview


This unit examines the phenomenon of social inequality within and between a range of societies or nation-states, with reference to such concepts as class, status, gender, race, ethnicity and globalisation. Drawing on varied theoretical perspectives and empirical studies, the unit probes the social and cultural meanings of inequality, as well as the ways in which inequalities are produced, reproduced and experienced. It also explores the discontent, conflict, ideologies and societal change that may arise out of social inequality.

6 points
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 elective

Students are able to (1) become familiar with, and have an understanding of, different types of social inequality and how these have varied historically and across different societies or cultures; (2) know the key concepts, theories and debates in the literature on social inequality; (3) develop an ability to engage critically with this literature; (4) develop an ability to use key concepts and theories from the literature on social inequality in analysing or interpreting new empirical data; (5) formulate empirical questions or lines of inquiry in terms of these concepts and debates; (6) reflect on their own experiences in light of the ideas and evidence presented in this unit; (7) develop a written and oral capacity to present clear, coherent, well-documented arguments, drawing on both theory and empirical or ethnographic material relevant to this unit; (8) contribute thoughtfully and constructively to group discussion; and (9) articulate the key conceptual and methodological innovations in the subfield of social inequality.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) a major essay; (2) a tutorial assignment; (3) tutorial participation; and (4) a final examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Michael Pinches
Unit rules
any Level 1 Anthropology unit
ANTH2216 Social Inequality
Contact hours
lectures: 20 hrs (over 13 weeks)
tutorials: 1 hr per week (over 9 weeks)
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.