Inequality and Conflict in Societal Participation

Dit vak wordt in het Engels aangeboden. Omschrijvingen kunnen daardoor mogelijk alleen in het Engels worden weergegeven.

Doel vak

The course introduces students to theories of inequality and political
participation, teaches students how to test claims from these theories
and assess the evidence provided by their own analyses and previous

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding. The student has acquired knowledge and
understanding of:
(1) theories on how inequality relates to political participation;
(2) theories on value shifts and how these relate to political
(3) different forms of political participation and their determinants;
(4) the implications of the relationship between inequality and
political participation.

Application. The student has acquired the competences to:
(5) apply theories on political participation to current societal
(6) critically assess sampling and measurement choices made in research
and the effects of these choices on research findings
(7) conduct a theoretically informed quantitative analysis in SPSS and
report the outcomes

Inhoud vak

At a time of growing attention for social inequality, social-democratic
parties should do well at elections. However in many recent elections
across Europe they have lost to parties that traditionally support the
rich and parties whose main agenda is anti-immigration. This trend
occurs at a time that turn-out at elections and membership of political
parties is in decline in many Western democracies. A substantial share
of the electorate does not feel represented by politicians who they
consider to be an elite that has lost touch with what ‘common people’
think and experience. This anti-elitist discourse has been successfully
adopted by both radical left and radical right parties across Europe.
These developments suggest cultural values and education have replaced
socio-economic class as major determinant of political participation.

This course examines the role of class, education and values in various
forms of political participation. Point of departure is Inglehart’s
(1971, 1976) famous theory of “The Silent Revolution”, which sought to
explain the rising importance of a ‘post-materialist’ value system, new
social movements and political parties that amended the traditional
class conflict dimension about economic or ‘materialist’ issues with a
new dimension about ‘post-materialist’ issues that gave rise to the new
civil-rights and environmental movements. In his 1997 book
“Modernization and Post-modernization” Inglehart seeks to broaden his
theory to a more general culturalist model of diverging value systems
and political involvements, and test his theses using large-scale social
attitude data from the 1990 World Values Survey.

In the course we will critically examine and reconstruct Inglehart’s
arguments, as well as the empirical evidence he provides. We will also
examine several more recent studies on political participation that
complement or challenge Inglehart’s conclusions. Furthermore, we will
empirically test some of the arguments ourselves using the 2014 World
Values Survey. This cross-national data set will be analyzed in SPSS
labs. Students tests Inglehart's theory and alternative theories of
political participation discussed in the course. The labs and related
assignments are designed to help students developed their quantitative
analysis skills.


Seminars and computer labs


The course contains three assessed elements:
1) 10% - participation in class
2) 30% - 2 written SPSS assignments (15% each)
3) 60% - written exam
The course is completed successfully if the mark on each of the three
elements is 5.5 or higher


Inglehart, Ronald (1997). Modernization and Post-Modernization.
Cultural, Economic and Political Change in 43 Societies. Princeton
University Press (selected chapters).
Additional readings will be announced in the course manual (see CANVAS).


Students in the Master Sociology
Also open as an elective course for students in the Master Educatie in
de Mens- en Maatschappijwetenschappen, the Educatieve Masteropleiding
Leraar Voorbereidend Hoger Onderwijs in de Zaakvakken and Exchange

Aanbevolen voorkennis

During the SPSS labs students will analyse data from the World Values
Survey 2014.
The expected level of statistics is equivalent to that taught in most
introductory classes. Students should have a working knowledge of
significance testing and p-values, OLS regression, correlation and dummy
As not all students will come to the course with the same level of SPSS
skills the first SPSS lab will be a ‘refresher’ session. Before the
start of the course students will be given a test to assess their
statistical and SPSS skills. Depending on the outcome of this test,
students will be obliged to attend an SPSS refresher lab during the
first week. Students who show sufficient skill can skip this session,
but are of course allowed to attend if they wish to do so.

Students who have little prior knowledge of statistics and/or SPSS are
strongly recommended to read up in preparation for the course.
Suggested resources for learning statistics (up to multivariate ordinary
least squares (OLS) regression)
Agresti, A., & Franklin, C. (2007). The art and science of learning from
data. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Urdan, Timothy C. Statistics in plain English. Routledge, 2010.

Suggested resources for learning SPSS syntax
Landau, S., & Everitt, B. (2004) A handbook of statistical analyses
using SPSS . Boca Raton, FL: Chapman & Hall/CRC.
Pallant, J. (2013) SPSS Survival Manual. A step to step guide to data
analysis using SPSS. Open University Press, 4th edition.
UCLA website

Algemene informatie

Vakcode S_ICSP
Studiepunten 6 EC
Periode P2
Vakniveau 500
Onderwijstaal Engels
Faculteit Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen
Vakcoördinator prof. dr. R.H.F.P. Bekkers
Examinator prof. dr. R.H.F.P. Bekkers
Docenten prof. dr. R.H.F.P. Bekkers

Praktische informatie

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