Accessibility statement

Performance & Society - SOC00026H

« Back to module search

  • Department: Sociology
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Darren Reed
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2020-21
    • See module specification for other years: 2019-20

Module summary

The module is about what it might mean to talk about a ‘performative social science’ in terms of theory, concepts, and methods.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
B Spring Term 2020-21

Module aims

The module is about what it might mean to talk about a ‘performative social science’ in terms of theory, concepts, and methods.


Its primary emphasis is the empirical investigation of moments in the ‘interaction order’ and in performance and art practice, as creative, constructive, and critical. It is informed by concepts and theories from a range of disciplines including sociology, social psychology, and performance studies.


The sessions will combine film, lectures, and seminar discussions. The focus will be on performative social science, art practice, and performance practice. These areas will be built on studies of technology in contemporary society.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module students will have engaged with empirical investigation of moments in the ‘interaction order’ and in performance and art practice.


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 75
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
Performance Presentation
N/A 25

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

The objective of the presentation is to present an idea, or set of ideas, from the module through a ‘performative’ presentation. A performative presentation might be a traditional power point presentation (but presented, or performed, in a professional way, with a concern for conveying the ideas to an audience in a clear and concise way); but it could also be composed of a number of other things, such as:

  • A performed poem

  • A rap

  • An edited video

  • A remixed audio track or song

  • An image show (with accompanying audio)

  • Etc.

In each case the presentation will be assessed in relation to how it clearly it conveys an argument or perspective. This could be how logically it states an argument, but it could also be how powerfully it presents an idea. The mark given for the exercise will count as 25% of your outcome mark. For each presentation you will receive a mark in the following categories, alongside a feedback sheet.

  • Clarity of idea (10%) 

  • Relevance of idea to the course (10%) 

  • Manner of presentation and performance (5%) 


Task Length % of module mark
Essay: 4000 words
N/A 100

Module feedback

Summative assessment - written feedback

Indicative reading

Gergen, M. M. & Gergen, K. J. (2012). Playing with purpose: Contributions of a performative social science. In Playing with purpose: Adventures in performative social science. Left Coast Press.

Leavy, P. (2009). Method meets art: Arts-based research practice. Guilford Press. Chapter 1 'Social Research and the Creative Arts’

Brissett, D. & Edgley, C., (1990) Life as Theatre. New York: Aldine De Gruyter.¿Schechner, R., (2006) Performance Studies: An Introduction. Routledge.¿

Law, J. & Urry, J. (2004). Enacting the social. Economy & Society, 33(3), p. 390 - 410.

Collins, E. C. (1992). Qualitative research as art: Toward a holistic process. Theory Into Practice, 31(2), 181-186.

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.