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Inequality and Development in a Sociological Perspective


This course is taught in Dutch in the academic year 2018-2019

Admission requirements

  • This course is part of the Bachelor’s CA-OS, Minor CA-OS and the Pre-Master’s CA-OS; students enrolled for the Bachelor, minor or Pre-Master CA-OS may follow this course. Please see below for how to register.

  • Those wishing to take this course as contract students must register in accordance with the procedure set out on the faculty website.


This course offers a short introduction to the discipline of sociology with attention to basic theories and concepts, and the historical context from which they originate. The central terms here are "development" and "inequality" as ideas that might be historically and geographically different; as well as aspects of societies that can be measured in various ways. In addition, we pay attention to the various actors who play a role in the development field, and to core themes in development questions such as gender, health, conflicts about resources, and sustainability.

Course Objectives

Successful completion of this course will mean that students will be able to:

  • define and explain basic concepts of sociology and development sociology and apply them to new contexts

  • explain and recognize the theoretical insights of the founders of sociology and development sociology using actual examples of development policy

  • distinguish, name and recognize contrasting visions of development problems in new concrete examples


See our website

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures (15x2 = 30 hours / 45 sbu)

  • Working groups (4x2 = 8 hours / 16 sbu) starting in the third week

  • Literature (438 p. = 73 sbu)

  • Essay (450 words = 6 sbu)

Total: 140 sbu (5 ECTS)

Assessment method

  • Interim test: 20% of final mark

  • Essay: 20% of final mark (this grade must be at least 5.5 to complete the course)

  • Final examination: 60% of final mark (this grades must be at least 5.5 to complete the course).

Only the final mark is registered in Usis. Only if the final mark is inadequate it may be re-taken during the re-take test.

Four compulsory working groups form an integral part of the course. Failure to attend more than 1 workgroup without the prior written agreement of the examination committee automatically leads to exclusion from the examination and therefore from the course. Failure to attend a workgroup in cases of illness or other emergency situations must be compensated for by submission of a replacement assignment. Please note: failure to provide written preparation of a work group assignment leads to exclusion from the relevant working group.

NB: A total of 6 contact hours are devoted to classroom-based testing: a test, an examination, and two viewing moments. The essay will be written during self study time.

Registering exams

You are required to register in uSis for every exam. This can be done up to 11 calendar days prior to the examination. Read more

Registering in uSis

  • First-year students CA-OS: registration for lectures and work groups is NOT necessary, but students MUST enrol for all examinations and any required re-sits (see above).

  • Second-year students CA-OS, Minor students, Contract students and Pre-Master’s students must register for all lectures and examinations (see above), but are not required to do so for working groups.

Classification in working groups for all students will be done by the education coordinator and announced via Blackboard in the second week of lectures (working groups start in the third week).

Registration periods and further information about procedure are given on the website about course registration.


Blackboard is used in this course to make programme and other information available, and to advise of test results.
Participants may register on Blackboard from 2 weeks before the start of the course.

Study materials

  • Willis, K. (2011). Theories And Practices Of Development. London and New York: Routledge

  • Goldstein, D. M. (2013). Laughter out of place: Race, class, violence, and sexuality in a Rio shantytown. University of California Press.

Both books can be ordered from study association Itiwana.


Dr. Kate Kirk