SHE Level 2
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M2L324403
Module Leader Umut Korkut
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Sociology
  • B (January start)

Summary of Content

This interdisciplinary module has an explicit focus on The Common Good and draws on economics, politics, law, criminology, history, sociology and social policy in the consideration of social justice and economic inequality. This focus on the Common Good is achieved by: -360b7 Active and Global Citizenship - by recognising and actively seeking to address global social challenges such as poverty, gender inequality, political participation, human rights and climate justice in the community at a local, national and global level -360b7 Entrepreneurial mind-set - using these challenges to identify opportunities for change by critically engaging with campaigns for social justice. -360b7 Responsible Leadership - a critical engagement with a range of campaigns for social justice enables students to identify solutions that are ethical, visionary, realistic and sustainable. Doing so in a collaborative environment will contribute towards the development of empathy, resilience and professionalism -360b7 Confidence - will be developed by challenging 'common sense' assumptions and continually learning from real world experience that it is possible to make a positive difference. Overall, the module aims to enable students to understand how the concept of social justice, encountered from various disciplinary perspectives, underpins action to address social inequalities such as gender inequalities, poverty, human rights, political participation and climate justice. The module begins by introducing students to the theory and practice of 'egalitarianism' as a framework for analysing economic and social justice issue and moves through equality and social justice issues from the disciplinary perspectives. Economic Justice Students will be introduced to the political economy approach which is one that emphasises institutional arrangements and social and cultural context as influencing economic behaviour. Economic phenomena such as income inequality are explained, at least in part, by the institutional set up of economies including legal and governance systems and social hierarchies such as class and gender. The political economy approach stands in contrast to mainstream/neoclassical economics which emphasise explanations based on rational choice models which underplay the influence of institutional and social structures. Similarly, a political economy approach, as the name suggests, draws on insights from many social science disciplines including economics, politics and sociology, as reflected in this module's learning and teaching strategy. Gender and Justice Gender inequalities are visible in many different social settings including access to education and the labour market, and reflected in social issues such as poverty and crime. Students will be introduced to gender analysis and feminist perspectives as frameworks of analysis seeking to draw attention to how gender as a social construct underpins the nature of inequalities between men and women. Democracy, Participation and Citizenship This section of the module will critically explore the problematic relationship between rights, citizenship and participation. There will be a focus upon the notion that 'citizens' have a right to participate in the public sphere and that citizenship should be based upon some notion of equality of status. The Criminal Justice Environment and Human Rights This section of the module gives students the opportunity to use their critical thinking to full effect by focusing on the relationship between criminal justice and human rights. This will involve a critical consideration of the policies and principles underpinning the processes and institutions within the criminal justice environment. It will also encourage students to think critically about the relationship between social and criminal justice . Climate Justice This section will provide an overview of climate justice and develop understanding and critical thinking on the key issues that underpin the definition of climate justice. There will be a specific focus on the way in which climate change undermines the capacity to exercise human rights and a consideration of the way in which adaptation and mitigation strategies can be integrated into policies that aim to reduce material deprivation.


Week 1 Introduction to the Module and Egalitarian Theory and Practice Weeks 2 & 3 Economic Justice Weeks 4 & 5 Gender and Justice Weeks 6 & 7 Democracy, Participation and Citizenship. Weeks 8 & 9 Climate Justice Weeks 10 &11 The Criminal Justice Environment and Human Rights Week 12 Recap and Revision

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:1. Demonstrate an understanding of the analytical framework of egalitarianism and a political economy approach, as they relate to issues of social justice.2. Demonstrate understanding of the gendered nature of social inequalities and in particular women's economic inequality with men.3. Appreciate the role of governance and law in explaining social justice issues facilitating change, particularly in the context of Scotland, with an emphasis on taking a human rights based approach.4. Understand the role of the concept social justice in explaining inequalities with respect to climate change.5. Apply critical evaluation and synthesis to issues in selected social justice campaigning from any of the perspectives encountered on the module.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The teaching and learning strategy for this module will be focused upon 24 hours of formal thematic lectures (delivered in 1 or 2 hour blocks) and 12 hours of student-centred seminars (delivered in 1 hour blocks). In the seminars, students will be expected to perform a number of different tasks including group discussion s and reporting on policy/campaigning issues. The teaching and learning strategy is driven by a student - centred approach whereby the module lecturer/tutor facilitates student learning and personal development via a 'blended' use of thematic lectures, student-centred seminars and on-line resources delivered via GCULearn VLE. The programme will be research-led and delivered by a team which includes leading scholars in their respective fields. Guest lectures will be delivered where appropriate from key members of the Scottish social justice campaigning community. Assessment will be in the form of a student poster presentation worth 40% of the overall mark for the module and a 2000 - word essay worth the remaining 60% of the module. The poster presentation will invite students to apply critical analysis skills to a selected contemporary (or recent) social justice campaign.

Indicative Reading

Adger, W.N. et al. (2003) 'Adaptation to Climate Change in the Developing World.' -567 Progress in Development Studies. 3 (3): 179-195 Alston and Goodman, International Human Rights (Oxford University Press, 2013) Baker et al (2004) Equality from Theory to Action Palgrave Macmillan Banks, N. et al. (2014) 'Climate Change and Social Justice: An Evidence Review'. JRF Joseph Rowntree Foundation. <http://www.jrf.org.uk/publications/climate-change> -and-social-justice-evidence-review Clapham, A. (2007) Human Rights: A Very Short Introduction. OUP Oxford Cohen, R. and Kennedy, P. (2007) Global Sociology (2nd edition), NY: Palgrave Harris, O'Boyle, Bates and Buckley. (2014) Law of the European Convention on Human Rights (3rd edn, Oxford University Press, 2014 Jaggar, A.M. (2013) Gender and Global Justice. Polity Press Janis, Kay and Bradley, European Human Rights Law: Texts and Materials (2008) 3rd edn, Oxford University Press. Lister, R. (2003) Citizenship: Feminist Perspective (2nd edition), Palgrave Macmillan Squires, J. (2007) The New Politics of Gender Equality Basingstoke: Palgrave -567 Macmillan Mowbray, (2012) Cases and Materials on the European Convention on Human Rights 3 rd edn, Oxford University Press, Moeckli, Shah, Sivakumaran and Harris. (2013) International Human Rights Law. 2nd edn, Oxford University Press. Rainey, Wicks and Ovey, (2014) The European Convention on Human Rights 6th edn, Oxford University Press. Reed & Murdoch, Human Rights Law in Scotland (2011) 3rd edn, Bloomsbury. -567 Smith, Textbook on International Human Rights (2015) 7th edn, Oxford University Press, Wacquant, L. (2009) Prisons of Poverty, US: University of Minnesota Press. Wacquant, L. (2009) Punishing the Poor: The Neoliberal Government of Social Insecurity, US: Duke University Press. Wilkinson R and Picket, K (2009) The Spirit Level: Why more equal societies almost always do better. London: Penguin (Allen and Lane)

Transferrable Skills

By the end of this module students will have gained competence in the following key areas: -360b7 Analytical and critical thinking skills b7 Communication skills (oral and written) b7 Discussion skills b7 Essay writing b7 Problem solving skills b7 Interpersonal skills Time management skills

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 140.00
Seminars (FT) 12.00
Lectures (FT) 24.00
Assessment (FT) 24.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 2 n/a 60.00 35% 2000 essay
Coursework 1 n/a 40.00 35% Student poster presentation: real world campaign 15-20 minutes