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Contemporary Political Sociology - SOC00005I

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  • Department: Sociology
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Tom O'Brien
  • Credit value: 30 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2021-22

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2021-22 to Summer Term 2021-22

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
Contemporary Political Sociology Exam
N/A 40
N/A 40

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
N/A 20
Contemporary Political Sociology Exam
N/A 40
N/A 40

Module feedback

Feedback at University level can be understood as any part of the learning process which is designed to guide your progress through your degree programme by providing commentary on your work to date. So feedback means more than just written comments on written work. We aim to help you to reflect on your own learning and to feel clearer about your progress through clarifying what is expected of you informative and summative assessments. The University guidelines for feedback are available in the Guide to Assessment Standards, Marking and Feedback.

You will receive feedback in a number of forms:

  • On any formative (non-assessed) work, you will receive written or verbal feedback about how to improve your work (though you may not receive a mark)

  • On summative work (work that is assessed) you will receive detailed written feedback from the marker. This is intended to show areas in which you have done well, and areas in which you need to improve.

  • Your supervisor will also give you feedback on your work. S/he will be able to look across a range of your work and discuss ways in which you can build on your strengths and improve in any areas


Feedback on your summative written work is made available to you online via e:vision. You will receive an email telling you when it is ready to look at. You are then advised to take this work (printed out or on your laptop) to your regular meeting with your academic supervisor. Your supervisor will be able to look at your work with you and address any queries you have, as well as advise you on ways to improve your work.


Feedback on Exam Scripts


You can ask for feedback on your exam performance from your supervisor, who will go through your examination script(s) with you and discuss the areas in which you did well, and those in which you need to improve. However, you may not take the script away with you, or photocopy the script. If you would like to discuss your exam performance, please let your supervisor know at least two working days in advance of your meeting, so that they can make sure they have the script with them when you meet.

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.