Å - CANCELLED - Spatial Demography and Inequality

Course content

Across several sub-disciplines of the social sciences, scholars develop an increased interest in spatial pattern formation of various social phenomena. Examples include the spatial distribution and diffusion of socio-demographic groups (e.g., poor or elderly people), social conflicts (e.g., between ethno-religious groups), fertility, social mobility and inequality, or health.

Recent developments in the analysis of geo-coded data allow for investigations of spatial diffusion or segregation patterns that go way beyond classical neighborhood or context research. This seminar introduces students to classical and novel research on spatial pattern formation and its relevance for contemporary societies.


MA Research Methodology and Practice (MSc Curriculum 2015)

Course package (MSc 2015):

Welfare, inequality and mobility
Knowledge, organisation and politics
Culture, lifestyle and everyday life

Learning outcome


  • Description of spatial patterns: Types of segregation (classic versus spatial), boundaries, islands, halos and their measurement.
  • Context effects: How do spatial patterns drive social phenomena such as ethnic conflicts, trust, educational achievement and so on?
  • What is special about spatial data and how can it be analyzed?


  • Students will be able to read and comprehend advanced spatial analyses.
  • Students will be able to assess research designs and their pitfalls and strengths.


  • Students should be able to formulate own ideas about how spatial patterns may explain various phenomena they are interested in.
  • Students should be able to propose research designs to test their ideas and hypotheses about context effects.
  • Students should be able to write a research proposal.
  • Students should be able to give brief presentations of advanced research results.

Lectures, class discussions, student presentations, a final paper that consists of a research proposal. Students are expected to contribute actively to discussion of core theoretical-analytical tools as well as the more specific analytical examples and studies.

Readings are comprised primality of peer-reviewed journal articles. Students are responsible for roughly 700 pages of reading.

Strong English skills and good comprehension of quantitative research methods, especially multiple regression. All lacks of skills can be compensated by hard work and interest.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
A written take-home essay is defined as an assignment that addresses one or more questions. The exam is based on the course syllabus, i.e. the literature set by the teacher.

The written take-home essay must be no longer than 10 pages. For group assignments, an extra 5 pages is added per additional student. Further details for this exam form can be found in the Curriculum and in the General Guide to Examinations at KUnet.
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

See learning outcome.

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 28
  • Course Preparation
  • 75
  • Preparation
  • 16
  • Exercises
  • 16
  • Exam Preparation
  • 71
  • English
  • 206