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Unit information: The Sociology of Popular Music in 2021/22

Unit name The Sociology of Popular Music
Unit code SOCI30048
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Marshall
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

This unit considers popular music within a social context. This does not just mean how and where popular music is used (though this is important) but, rather, to consider how popular music is socially constructed: how do social conditions give rise to particular forms of popular music, and how do they affect the creation of popular music, and its reception? Using both historical and contemporary examples, the unit introduces students to some of the key ideas needed to understand popular music sociologically.

The unit aims to:

• Provide students with an introduction to sociological theories regarding popular music
• Enable students to recognise the social contexts of different forms of popular music
• Highlight the relationships between popular music production and consumption
• Help students develop the ability to sociologically analyse cultural artefacts

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the unit, students will be able to:

• Demonstrate sophisticated understanding of the social context of popular music and sociological theories designed to understand it
• Assess the impact of social, political and economic forces on the production and consumption of popular music.
• Synthesise different topics and areas of literature covered on the unit in order to sociologically understand a specific popular music phenomenon.

Teaching Information

The unit will be taught through blended learning methods, including a mix of synchronous and asynchronous teaching activities

Assessment Information

Formative: 500 word essay plan (0%)  Summative: 3000 word essay (100%, assesses all learning outcomes


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. SOCI30048).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.