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Module SXS-2011:
Identity & Diversity

Module Facts

Run by School of History, Philosophy and Social Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Corinna Patterson

Overall aims and purpose

Identity and Diversity is a core level two module for single and joint honours students in sociology.

It builds upon the work covered SXU 1003 ‘Understanding Society’ by examining the contribution of different sociological perspectives to understanding of the nature of social differentiation and scope of social inequalities. The module focus on processes of social change and diversity in society, and then moves to a sharper focus on key social inequalities, such as race and ethnicity, class, gender and nationality as well as their political and economic implications. The approaches of key sociological figures, such as Baumann, Becker, Berger, Foucault, Giddens, Goffman, Mead and Weber are considered in detail with specific reference to a range of identity categories and markers of social differentiation, including age, class, race and ethnicity, gender, nationality, lifestyle, consumption, culture and subculture, crime and deviance, and language use and discourse.

Course content

The structure of the module covers following topics:

  1. The nature of social diversity and identies.
  2. The scope of social inequalities in the global, national and local contexts;
  3. Social class and economic inequalities;
  4. Gender inequalities and sexualities;
  5. Race and ethnicities;
  6. Nationality;
  7. New types of inequalities in global age.

Assessment Criteria


Shows basic awareness of theoretical concepts and methods of analysis; able to collect relevant materials and to analyse with guidance, using the principles of the approach; produces relevant, if rudimentary, analyses of materials; meets set tasks and obligations.


Shows a detailed knowledge of the field and approach and its distinctiveness from other sociological approaches; can collect relevant materials and analyse them with limited guidance; can communicate effectively about their research and analytic work; demonstrates limited originality in findings from analysis.


Shows comprehensive knowledge of the field and its background; can collect data and analyse it independently; can critically review evidence; shows reflective awareness of methodological problems and solutions; communicates effectively through variety of media; shows substantial originality in findings from analysis.

Learning outcomes

  1. Be able to demonstrate an awareness of the historical and cultural context implications and range of different theoretical approached to diversity and inequality.

  2. Be able to demonstrate an understanding of the influence of social change on the structure of soical division and diversity.

  3. Be able to demonstrate a familiarity with the contribution of sociological approaches to the nature of social divisions and inequalities in relation to class, race and ethnicity, gender, nationalism, lifestyle and consumption, etc.

  4. Have acquired a strong platform for the more advanced study of sociological issues and social differentiation at Honours Two.

  5. Have acquired a strong platform for the more advanced study of issues of identity and social differentiation at Honours Two.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
ESSAY 3,000 Word Essay - Semester 2

End of Terrm, 3,000 word essay

COURSEWORK Mid-Term Assessment

Students will be asked to complete one out of a choice of three different assessments (Conversation Task, a Visual Sociology Photo Task or a Critically Analyse a Lyric or Poem Task)


Teaching and Learning Strategy


Two weekly on-line lectures (weeks 5-16)


Fortnightly 1-hour on-line seminars

Private study

Focused mostly on reading and writing.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • Critically evaluate the mixed economy of welfare and the interrelationships between health and social care and between the agencies, practitioners and individuals involved in their provision;
  • Explain the origins and nature of the social organisation of healthcare and associated services in advanced industrialised and majority world societies globally;
  • Capacity to identify and describe the causes and consequences of social order and change in specific contexts.
  • Ability to formulate and investigate sociologically informed questions.
  • Appreciate a range of research designs and strategies and how they may be applied to sociological investigations.
  • Competence to carry out a piece of sociological research using either primary or secondary data, or both.
  • Be able to recognize how social data and sociological knowledge apply to questions of public policy.
  • Use the theories and concepts of social policy and other social sciences to analyse policy problems and issues
  • the capacity to analyse, assess and communicate empirical sociological information
  • the ability to recognise the relevance of sociological knowledge to social, public and civic policy.

Courses including this module

Optional in courses: