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Card-index course

Social networks and access to jobs: a statistical analysis of surveys

Concepts et mesures de la hiérarchie sociale

Responsible Faculty: Faculty of Social and Political Sciences (SSP)

Teacher(s): Daniel Oesch

Validity: 2020 ->

Course Timetable (Weekly)

Date Location Notice Topics Lecturer(s)
2020/2021 : Monday 08:30-10:00 (Weekly) Synathlon/2420     Daniel Oesch, Nathalie Vigna
2020/2021 : Monday 10:15-12:00 (Weekly) Synathlon/2420     Daniel Oesch, Nathalie Vigna


Autumn semester
4 hours per week
56 hours per semester
Teaching language(s): French
Public: Yes
Credits: 6.00


This methods seminar will take place on-site and aims to translate the main concepts of social stratification into practice. A first objective of this seminar is methodological and aims to enable students to measure these concepts with the help of a representative Swiss survey. A second objective is to familiarize students with research on social stratification by providing them with an overview of the contemporary sociological literature in the field.


Each week, a different concept is discussed and defined: from class to social status and from prestige to income. Each of these concepts will be measured using a new representative survey of the population in Switzerland, MOSAiCH 2019. This will allow us to apply these concepts in practice and to make an X-ray of the contemporary social hierarchy in Switzerland.


Students will earn credits by completing, among others, the following assignments:

(1) Personal Analysis: This seminar includes the reading of seven key articles. For each article, students will be asked to explore a specific question in more depth, consisting of a one-page essay.

(2) Presentations: Each student will be required to make, alone or in pairs (depending on the size of the seminar), an oral presentation of up to 10 minutes of one of seven articles. The purpose of this presentation is not to summarize the text, but to raise the three most interesting teachings of the article.

(3) Practical exercises: There will be one practical exercise to be solved with Stata and the quantitative survey MOSAiCH in seven sessions of this seminar. These exercises can be found on Moodle. Ideally, they will be conducted during the seminar hours.

(4) A 6-page written assignment: The objective of the written work is to conduct an empirical study in the field of social stratification using the MOSAiCH survey.


Bouchet-Valat, M. & Jayet, C. (2019). La mesure des classes sociales par les nomenclatures: enjeux, problèmes et débats. Année sociologique, 69(2), 311-331. Bottero, W. & Prandy, K. (2003). Social interaction distance and stratification. British Journal of Sociology, 54(2), 177-197. Cayouette-Remblière, J. (2015). De l'hétérogénéité des classes populaires (et de ce que l'on peut en faire). Sociologie 4(6), 377-400 Ebner, C. & Helbling, M. (2016). Social distance and wage inequalities for immigrants in Switzerland. Work, Employment and Society, 30(3), 436-454. Gidron, N. & Hall, P. A. (2017) The politics of social status: Economic and cultural roots of the populist right. British Journal of Sociology, 68, 57-84. Holtmann, A. C. & Bernardi, F. (2019). The equalizing effect of schools and its limits. In: Becker, R. (ed.) Research Handbook on the Sociology of Education. Edward Elgar Publishing, pages 253-267. Sosnaud, B., Brady, D., & Frenk, S. M. (2013). Class in name only: Subjective class identity, objective class position, and vote choice in American presidential elections. Social Problems, 60(1), 81-99.

Programme requirements

None - the statistical software Stata will be presented and explained from the very beginning.

Additional information


Use contextFaculty codeStatusCredits
Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Political Science, 2nd part (2015 ->) ›› Submodule Research Seminars, Methodology Module, Bachelor in Political Science, 2nd PartOptional6.00
Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Social Sciences, 2nd part (2019 ->) ›› Research Seminars Submodule, Methodology Module, Bachelor in Social Science, Second PartOptional6.00
Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences, 2nd part (2013 ->) ›› Research Seminar Submodule, Major in Social Sciences, 2nd partOptional6.00
Canton de Vaud
Swiss University
Unicentre  -  CH-1015 Lausanne  -  Suisse  -  Tél. +41 21 692 11 11  -  Fax  +41 21 692 26 15