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Contemporary Political Sociology - SOC00005I

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  • Department: Sociology
  • Module co-ordinator: Mr. Brian Loader
  • Credit value: 30 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2017-18

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2017-18 to Summer Term 2017-18

Module aims

This module provides an introduction to contemporary theories and debates about changing social relations of power and their influence upon citizenship, globalization, nation states, and democracy.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module students will have acquired:

  • An understanding of the main theoretical approaches to contemporary political sociological inquiry examining the works of such social theorists as Michel Foucault, Zygmunt Bauman, Ulrich Beck, Pierre Bourdieu, Judith Butler, Manuel Castells, Noam Chomsky, Mike Davis, Anthony Giddens, David Harvey, Jurgen Habermass, David Held, Mary Kaldor, Saskia Sasssen, John Urry.
  • Knowledge of and an ability to undertake conceptual clarification of the principle theories under investigation such as power, state, civil society, development, migration, globalisation, citizenship, participation, identity, security, nationalism, ethnonationalism, gender, multiculturalism, social welfare, social exclusion.
  • A conceptual understanding of the social formation of the state and civil society;
  • A critical engagement with contemporary debates about globalisation, social movements, new media and democratic governance;
  • A critical understanding of postmodernization theories of a new cultural politics.
  • An appreciation of the role of media (new & old) communication as an increasing source of social power.


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 20
N/A 40
University - closed examination
Contemporary Political Sociology
2 hours 40

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
N/A 20
N/A 40
University - closed examination
Contemporary Political Sociology
2 hours 40

Module feedback

As in the First Year, you will continue to receive feedback on your formative assessments via the meetings with your supervisor at the beginning of term. It remains important to attend these meetings with the relevant documentation. However, you will ALSO receive extended feedback on the summative assessment work submitted in this second stage of your degree.

Because all of your summative work is examined by at least two members of the Department, and much of it will also be considered by the external examiners, there is an obvious conflict between the time that this takes and our desire to get feedback to you in useful format as swiftly as possible. For this reason, we will release the marks and the feedback forms to you as soon as they have been agreed internally that is, within the Department and before the external examiners have approved them. This means that we can get the feedback to you at least a fortnight earlier than would otherwise be the case but it also means that the marks for each module may change depending on the decisions of the external examiners, although this is rare.

You should note that, due to the fact that all submissions are second-marked and examined by multiple members of the academic staff, there is no appeal against the marks given.

Essays and other coursework: Detailed feedback for your essays will be found on the feedback forms you receive and through comments written on the work itself. These forms rate your performance according to essay content, organisation and style, using the benchmarks provided by the Departments published marking criteria. They will comment further and in detail about any specific strengths and weaknesses, and will provide suggestions as to how you might improve your work in future. You should make an appointment to see your supervisor to discuss these forms and it may be helpful to take with you a copy of the written work that you submitted. If further clarification is required, this may in consultation with your supervisor be sought from one of the examiners.

Examinations: Feedback for examinations will normally take the form of the mark received for the examination. The Department will, however, also make your scripts available to you for inspection.

Indicative reading

  • Parekh, Bhikhu (2008) A New Politics of Identity, Basingstoke:Palgrave
  • Burgess, Jean & Green, Joshua (2009) YouTube: online video and participatory culture,Cambrideg:Polity Press.
  • Castells, Manual (2012) Networks of Outrage and Hope, Cambridge: Polity
  • Della Porta, Donatella (ed) (2009) Social Movements in a Globalizing World, Basingstoke: Palgrave
  • Fraser, Nancy, (2008) Scales of Justice: reimagining political space in a globalizing world. Cambridge: Polity
  • Hirst, Paul., Thompson, Graeme & Bromley, Simon (3rd Edn) (2009) Globalization in Question, Cambridge: Polity
  • Hoffman, Beyond the State: an introductory critique, Cambridge: Polity Press.
  • Lukes, S. (2005) Power: a radical view (2nd edn) Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Lievrouw, Leah (2009) Alternative and Activist New Media, Cambridge: Polity
  • Lyon, David (2009) Identifying Citizens: ID cards as surveillance, Cambridge: Polity
  • Mann, Michael. The Sources of Social Power Volume 1.
  • Mattelart, Armanf (2009) The Globalization of Surveillance, Cambridge: Polity
  • Nash, Kate (2010) Contemporary Political Sociology: Globalization, Politics and Power, Wiley-Blackwell
  • Negrine, Ralph (2008) The Transformation of Political Communication, Basingstoke: Palgrave
  • Outhwaite, William (2008) European Society, Cambridge: Polity
  • Taylor, Graham (2010) The New Political Sociology, Basingstoke: Palgrave.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.