Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: 400815-M-6
The Social Structure of Western Societies
Course info
Course module400815-M-6
Credits (ECTS)6
CategoryMA (Master)
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byTilburg University; Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences; TSB: Sociology; Sociology;
Is part of
M Sociology
M Sociology: Health, Well-being and Society
prof. dr. A.J.A. Bijsterveld
Other course modules lecturer
dr. K.O. Ivanova
Other course modules lecturer
dr. A.R.C.M. Luijkx
Other course modules lecturer
dr. I.J.P. Sieben
Other course modules lecturer
dr. C. Van Mol
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2020
Starting block
Course mode
RemarksCaution: this information is subject to change
Registration openfrom 18/01/2021 up to and including 20/08/2021

On successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • outline the main sociological concepts, theories, research and debates of the social structure of western societies in general and with respect to three important elements (social class, family and ethnicity) in particular;
  • describe and explain the impact of national institutions, history and traditions, and overarching trends such as modernization and globalization on the three elements of social structure using a micro-macro perspective;
  • present a concise overview of important theories, concepts and research on a self-selected social issue related to social clas (stratification), family and/or ethnicity (migration) which is currently important in public debate;
  • combine these insights in a policy brief focusing on one or two countries and deducting societal implications and recommendations for policy and/or future research.


The first part ends with a mid-term exam (40% of final grade). The second part of the course involves group and individual work by students on a topic of choice. Students prepare a briefing (presentation) on a social structure issue (20% of final grade) and write a policy brief (40% of final grade).


The course consists of two parts. In the first part, seven seminars are given to present and discuss a state-of-the-art overview of the relevant literature (theories, concepts, research and debates) on the social structure of western societies in general and on three important elements: social class (stratification), family, and ethnicity (migration)

Type of instructions

seminars and consults

Type of exams

mid-term exam, presentation and paper

Compulsory Reading
  1. A readinglist will be given at the start of the course.
Course available for exchange students
Master level
Contact person
dr. I.J.P. Sieben
Timetable information
The Social Structure of Western Societies
Written test opportunities
Written test opportunities (HIST)
Midterm exam / Midterm examMIDTERM_01BLOK 3105-03-2021
Midterm exam / Midterm examMIDTERM_01BLOK 3208-04-2021
Required materials
Recommended materials
List of literature
Literature list with journal articles and book chapters will be made available on CANVAS
Midterm exam

Policiy Brief


Kies de Nederlandse taal