SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 30.00
ECTS Credit Points 15.00
Module Code MML321170
Module Leader Angela O'Hagan
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Sociology
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)
  • C (May start)

Summary of Content

The overall aim of this module will be to develop an understanding of the kinds of leadership that will promote and enhance participative democracy, within the context of supporting an equality and social justice agenda. A whole host of institutional structures and processes, associated with advanced welfare states, act in sustaining and/or generating new socio-economic based inequalities. Furthermore the globalisation agenda limits the scope of national governments to respond to those inequalities within the traditional framework of state welfare provision. Economic uncertainty is a salient feature of modern society, leaving many individuals vulnerable and insecure with consequences in terms of greater incidences of poverty and social exclusion. The reasons for such are complex, as are the possible policy responses. The module will introduce and explore the dynamics of modern welfare states, from the perspective of equality and social justice objectives, and will examine the development of new forms of social organisation that provide a framework for new ways of thinking about leadership for equality.


The material for the course will be delivered in 3 standalone but inter-related and complementary blocks. 20 hours of facilitated learning (including podcasts, videocasts, video-conferencing, moderated online discussions) will be included per each block. Block 1 Following a basic introduction to the course and the main thematic areas, students will cover: The institutions and processes involved in delivering welfare in modern capitalist society The nature, causes and consequences of inequality in modern capitalist economies The concepts of poverty and social exclusion/inclusion Current developments in equality legislation Block 2 This section builds on the material delivered in Block 1 to introduce students to the dynamics of modern welfare states and to move beyond the public /private dichotomy in considering sources of social welfare. The section will introduce notions of the 'social economy', the 'third sector' and 'civil society' within a construct of identifying new forms of social organisation more that serve to challenge the mainstream approach to the production, delivery and consumption of public services. In particular the focus will be on highlighting the relevance of mainstream economic theorising in the allocation and distribution of public resources Block 3 The material delivered in this final substantive block will focus on challenges for the range of relevant stakeholders, including policy makers, voluntary organisations and community activists in responding to new demands/needs associated with the changing socio-economic environment. The emphasis will be on identifying the nature and substance of various forms of civil society activism that encapsulates the concept of 'leadership for equality'. Conclusion: Module Summary and Review The module will conclude with a theoretical and conceptual overview of the material presented throughout the course highlighting thematic areas and key strands to consolidate learning outcomes and support summative assessment.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module students should be able to:- Demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of the political, socio-economic and cultural contexts of welfare regimes in neoliberal capitalist societies - Critically analyse, evaluate and implement policies and practices for the effective production, delivery and consumption of public services.- Demonstrate critical understanding of nature, causes and consequences of inequality in modern capitalist economies and corresponding developments in legislation and forms of civil society activism- Critically evaluate and analyse the contribution of leadership to the planning and delivery of public services in a manner sensitive to the values of human rights, social justice and equality

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Learning, teaching and assessment will be underpinned by a work based blended learning strategy that emphasises the ability to apply learning incrementally in a real time context. Student engagement will be facilitated by an online lecture programme delivered via GCU Learn using video, podcast and text based sources. As this area of study has developed substantively in recent years, lecture material will be supplemented by additional audio-visual and text-based material from relevant organisations such as the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the Poverty Alliance and Oxfam. The lecture programme will be supplemented by directed reading that will be used to inform on-line seminar discussions, contextualised formative individual and group learning and final assessment. Virtual student engagement will be encouraged by an incremental approach to negotiated assessment; while group cohesion and encouraging the formation of communities of learning and practice, will be consolidated via activities such as role play, workshops and both student-led and staff-led exercises during face-to-face module sessions. Both virtual and face-to-face sessions will also be designed to facilitate effective peer support for learning and practice. Summative assessment, based upon a portfolio of continuous assessment will encourage consolidation of introductory research skills the ability to apply knowledge of basic concepts and theories in practice.

Indicative Reading

*Where possible, e-books will be supplied. If not possible, relevant chapters will be digitised using GCU scanning service and made available for downloading via GCU Learn. Bagilhole, B. (2009) Understanding Equal Opportunities and Diversity Bristol: Policy Press Becker G (2008) 'Human Capital', web page, Concise Encyclopedia of Economics , available at: <http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/HumanCapital.html> Bridge, S., Murtagh, B., O'Neill, K (2009) Understanding the Social Economy and the Third Sector London: Palgrave Macmillan Clapham, A. (2007) Human Rights: A Very Short Introduction. OUP Oxford Connell, R. (2011) Confronting equality: Gender, Knowledge and Global Change. Polity Craig, G. Burchardt, T and Gordon, D. (eds) (2008) Social Justice and Public Policy Bristol: Policy Press Desai M (2000) Well being or Wel Fare?" in Fraser, N & J Hills (eds) Public Policy for the 21st Century: Social and Economic Essays in Memory of Henry Neuberger , Policy Press; London Hills, J and Stewart, K. (eds) (2005) A More Equal Society , Bristol: PolicyPress. Hills, J., Le Grand, J. and Pichaud, D. (eds) (2002) Understanding Social Exclusion . Oxford: OUP Lister, R. (1998), From equality to social inclusion: New Labour and the welfare state Critical Social Policy 1998 18: 215 Mooney, Gerry and Scott, Gill (2011) Social Justice, Social Welfare and Devolution: Nationalism and Social Policy Making in Scotland, Poverty & Public Policy: Vol. 3: Iss.4:5 Perrons D. (2004) Globalisation and Social Change; People and Places in a Divided World London: Routledge Schirato, T. and Webb, J. (2003) Understanding Globalisation , London: Sage Squires, J. (2007) The New Politics of Gender Equality . Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan Wilkinson R and Picket, K (2009) The Spirit Level: Why more equal societies almost always do better London: Penguin (Allen and Lane) On-line resources Centre for Social Justice and Community Action, University of Durham, resources for community passed participatory research: <https://www.dur.ac.uk/beacon/socialjustice/toolkits/> Council of Europe (2013) Safeguarding human rights in times of economic crisis . Available at: <https://wcd.coe.int/com.instranet.InstraServlet?command=com.instranet.CmdBlobGet&InstranetImage=2407768&SecMode=1&DocId=2088892&Usage=2> Equality and Human Rights Commission, www.equalityhumanrights.com <http://www.equalityhumanrights.com> Equality and Human Rights Commission (2010), How fair is Britain? Equality, Human Rights and Good Relations in 2010. The First Triennial Review. Available at: <http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/uploaded_files/triennial_review/how_fair_is_Britain_-_complete_report.pdf> Equality Trust, <http://www.equalitytrust.org.uk/> Inclusion and Child Poverty Action Group (2012) The Child Poverty Toolkit Website, available at: <http://www.childpovertytoolkit.org.uk/At-Greatest-Risk-of-Child-Poverty> Joseph Rowntree Foundaton poverty data: http://data.jrf.org.uk/ National Equality Panel (2010) An Anatomy of Economic Inequality in the UK , London: Government Equalities Office. Available at: <http://www.equalities.gov.uk/national_equality_panel/publications.aspx> Poinasamy, Krisnah (2011), When work doesn't pay, Oxfam GB <http://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/publications/when-work-doesnt-pay-in-work-poverty-in-the-uk-197010> Scottish Government National Performance Framework. Available at Scotland Performs, <http://www.scotland.gov.uk/About/Performance/scotPerforms> University of Warwick, Reports on the Impact of Public Spending Cuts on Different Disadvantaged Groups within the UK . Available at: <http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/law/chrp/projects/spendingcuts/resources/database/reportsgroups/> Wilkinson , R., and Pickett, K., (2010), The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone . See also, <http://www.equalitytrust.org.uk/resource/the-spirit-level>

Transferrable Skills

Ability to work independently and in groups Time management IT literacy Information retrieval and bibliographical skills Equality and diversity awareness Ability to apply learning in practice Ability to critically challenge mainstream approaches to welfare delivery from a more equality aware perspective Confidence to lead discussion and propose new ideas with a focus on promoting greater equality

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Tutorials (PT) 12.00
Lectures (PT) 24.00
Tutorials (FT) 12.00
Practicals (PT) 20.00
Seminars (FT) 24.00
Practicals (FT) 20.00
Independent Learning (PT) 180.00
Independent Learning (FT) 180.00
Lectures (FT) 24.00
Assessment (PT) 40.00
Assessment (FT) 40.00
Seminars (PT) 24.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 n/a 60.00 45% Portfolio of Evidence: Negotiated Report (3,800 words).
Coursework 2 n/a 40.00 45% Portfolio of Evidence: assessed formative activities.