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Module SXU-2002:
Cont. Social and Political Deb

Module Facts

Run by School of History, Philosophy and Social Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr Corinna Patterson

Overall aims and purpose

There will be no set curriculum - rather this will emerge each time the module is taught depending on staff and student interests. The approach adopted will be to devote the first workshop to identifying themes and issues to be addressed, and to draw up the curriculum for that academic session in collaboration between staff and students. The workshop style of teaching and learning will allow emerging issues and contemporary debates to be addressed.

Course content

There will be no set curriculum - rather this will emerge each time the module is taught depending on staff and student interests. The approach adopted will be to devote the first workshop to identifying themes and issues to be addressed, and to draw up the curriculum for that academic session in collaboration between staff and students. The workshop style of teaching and learning will allow emerging issues and contemporary debates to be addressed.

Possible topics to be covered:

• The refugee crisis • The reasons behind and the consequences of Brexit. • Should drugs be legalised? • Social control and the media • Thinking critically about criminology • Should there be a sociology of the environment? • Exploring disaster capitalism • Girls will be girls and boys will be boys – debunking the myth of gender. • Exploring the relationship between inequality and capitalism • Radicalisation, immigration, identity and racism. • Freedom of speech: universal rights and/or cultures of difference • Media representations of conflict and suffering • Thinking beyond the norm – the rationalization of ‘them’ and ‘us’ • Debating morality • Fake news • Brant Trump • Plastics fantastics and the Blue Planet Effect • Debating body shaming, prostitution and gender • The rise of far right ideology today. • Analysing the power of New Social Movements (#metoo, Black Lives Matter…)

Assessment Criteria


Describe some of the recent conceptual and empirical issues which are of concern to the social sciences, with some reference to one or more key themes; to present written work in a comprehensible way and with some accuracy; to show a basic ability to engage in social debates, both orally and in writing; to be able to summarise some of the arguments for and against a particular proposition.


Explain with accuracy the conceptual and empirical issues that are of concern within the social sciences; evaluate relevant material and present arguments in a coherent way; communicate with fluency in both oral and written communication; to be able to summarise and evaluate some of the arguments for and against a particular proposition.


Examine and critically evaluate key themes within the social sciences, taking account of conflicting ideas; demonstrate insight in presenting relevant materials which draw on a wide range of academic and other sources; present arguments logically and coherently, both orally and in writing; show a good understanding of the social and political parameters of contemporary social debates.

Learning outcomes

  1. Identify and appreciate some recently emerging debates and questions within the social sciences.

  2. Understand the emergent agendas within the social sciences with reference to appropriate case studies

  3. Appraise the types and uses of evidence or research methods used in the fields of study, with some knowledge of their limitations.

  4. Understand the value of comparative enquiry and analysis.

  5. Reflect on the learning process within the module.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Written assignment, including essay Reflective Diary 4,000 words (s2)

4,000 words Critical Reflective Diary, consisting of 11 weekly diary entries


Teaching and Learning Strategy

Private study 176

Weekly workshops of 2-hours duration

Teaching and Learning and Assessment: a. Students should have access to a range of resources, including texts, monographs and journals, both text and electronic; and computing resources including hardware, software and learning environments such as Blackboard (Benchmark 5.1). b. Students should have a flexible learning environment, both to accommodate students from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines, and to reflect the evolving and often contentious nature of social science disciplines (Benchmark 5.2.2). c. Students will be exposed to a variety of teaching and learning formats, including lectures, seminars and workshops, independent study and flexible learning via Blackboard (Benchmark 5.3.). d. Students will be encouraged to adopt active learning during lectures, and to develop skills in listening, note-taking and reflection (Benchmark 5.3.). e. Seminars and workshops will provide the opportunity for student-centred and interactive learning (Benchmark 5.3.). f. Assessment is designed to motivate learning, monitor student progress and provide feedback to students (Benchmark 5.5.)


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.
  • Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Mentoring - Able to support, help, guide, inspire and/or coach others
  • Caring - Showing concern for others; caring for children, people with disabilities and/or the elderly
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
  • 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
  • Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in

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;
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Undertake either on their own, or in collaboration with others, investigations of social questions, issues and problems, using statistical and other data derived from research publications.
  • The ability to identify criminological problems, formulate questions and investigate them
  • Competence in using criminological theory and concepts to understand crime, victimisation, responses to crime and deviance; and representations of crime, victimisation, and responses to these, as presented in the traditional and new media and official reports
  • The ability to recognise a range of ethical problems associated with research and to take action in accordance with the guidelines of ethical practice developed by the British Society of Criminology and cognate professional bodies
  • the ability to formulate and investigate sociologically informed questions
  • competence in using major theoretical perspectives and concepts in sociology, and their application to social life
  • the capacity to analyse, assess and communicate empirical sociological information
  • the ability to conduct sociological research
  • the ability to undertake and present scholarly work
  • the ability to understand the ethical implications of sociological enquiry
  • the ability to recognise the relevance of sociological knowledge to social, public and civic policy.


Resource implications for students


Reading list

Adnoddau / Rhestr Ddarllen / Resources/Reading List :

Bauman. Zygmunt (1995) Modernity and the Holocaust. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Bauman, Zigmunt (2002) Society Under Siege. Polity Press: Cambridge.

Bennett, W. Lance (2008) When the Press Failed: Political Power and the News Media from Iraq to Katrina. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Bourdieu, Pierre (1984) Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste. Harvard University Press

Chomsky, Noam (1991) Necessary Illusions. Cambridge: Pluto Press.

Chomsky, Noam (1999) Profit Over People: Neoliberalism and Global order. London: Seven Stories Press.

Christie, Nils (1994) Crime Control as Industry. London: Routledge.

Cohen, Stanley (1994) Visions of Social Control. Cambridge: Policy Press

Coleman, Janet (1995) Against the State: studies in sedition and rebellion. Middlesex: Penguine.

Curran, James and Seaton. James (2003) Power without responsibility: the press, broadcasting, and new media in Britain (6th edition). London: Routledge.

Fine Cornelia (2011) Delusions of Gender: The Real Science Behind Sex Differences. London: Icon Books. Giddens, Anthony (2007) Beyond Left and Right. Cambridge: Polity Press

Guidini El (1999) The Veil; Modesty, privacy and Resistance. London: Berg

Hall, Stuart (1978) Policing the Crisis: mugging, the state, and law and order. London : Macmillan

Harrison, Ross (1995) Democracy. London: Routledge,

Harvey, David (2008) ‘The Right to the City’, New Left Review

Heindenson, Frances (1999) Crime and Society. London: Macmillan.

Heins, Colin (2000) Localization: a Global Manifesto. London: Earthscan.

Hurts, Noreena (2004) IOU: A Debt Threat. New York: Harper Collins.

Goldsmith, Edward and Mander, Jerry (Eds) (2001) The case against the global economy: and for a turn towards localization. London: Earthscan.

Jones, Owen (2011) Chavs: the demonization of the working class 2nd edition: (introductory chapter)

Klein, Naomi (2017) No Is Not Enough. London: Allen Lane Penguin Books.

Klein, Naoni (2009) No Logo. London: Flamingo.

Klein, Naomi (2008) The Shock Doctrine. London: Penguin Books.

Klein, Naomi (2002) Faces and Windows: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Globalization Debate .London: Flamingo.

Lloyd, John (2017) The Power and The Story. London: Atlantic Books.

Lee, J. Martyn (2000) The consumer society reader. Oxford: Blackwell.

Marx, Karl and Engels, Fredrick (1848) The Communist Manifesto. Bedford: St Martin’s.

Massey, Doreen (1995). A Place in the World?: Places, Cultures, and Globalization (The Shape of the World: Explorations in Human Geography.) Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Nulifer, Gole (2006) The Forbidden Modern: civilisation and veiling. University of Michigan. University of Michigan Press

Orbach, Susie (2009) Bodies. London: Macmillan.

Peterson. Jordan (2018) 12 rules for life an antidote to chaos. Penguin: Canada

Putnam, Robert D. (2016) Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis. New York, Simon & Schuster

Putnam, Robert, D. (2001) Bowling Alone: New York, Simon & Schuster

Rattansi, Ali (2017) Bauman and Contemporary Sociology: A Critical Analysis. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Richardson, Kay. (2013) Political Culture and the Media Genre: Beyond the News. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Ritzer, George (2019) The McDonaldization of Society: Into the Digital Age. Sage: London.

Ritzer, George (2007) The Globalization of Nothing 2. Pine Forge Press: London.

Schumpeter, Joseph A (2010) Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy. Hoboken: Taylor & Francis.

Seabrook, Jeremy, (1990) The myth of the market: promises & illusions Bideford : Green.

Seabrook, Jeremy (2006) Cities. London: Pluto Press

Stoetzler, Marcel (2017) Beginning Classical Social Theory. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Stokes, Jane C . (2003) How to do media & cultural studies. London: Sage.

Wilkinson, Richard and Pickett, Kate (2009) The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone. London: Penguin.

Yates, Roger (2004) The Social Construction of Human Beings and Other Animals in Human-Nonhuman Relations. Welfarism and Rights: A Contemporary Sociological Analysis. (Accessed 10 Sept 2016):

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: