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Unit information: Social Identities and Divisions in 2020/21

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Unit name Social Identities and Divisions
Unit code SOCI10007
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Charsley
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 will introduce students to general sociological frameworks for thinking about social divisions, covering both modernist and postmodernist approaches to conceptualising social difference. It will exemplify these theoretical issues in relation to various aspects of social division, such as class, 'race' and ethnicity, gender and age. The unit will focus on some key debates in each of these areas, present empirical evidence of inequalities that relate to these divisions, and consider their relevance in the analysis of contemporary societies.

The unit aims to:

  1. Introduce students to basic theoretical frameworks for understanding social divisions and identities
  2. Demonstrate the significance of social divisions as a central feature of contemporary society
  3. Familiarise students with some key contributions to debates on divisions such as class, ethnicity, gender and age
  4. Help students develop a critical approach to the use of empirical data

Intended Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Be familiar with key concepts for understanding social divisions and identities
  2. Have knowledge of key texts and contributions in the substantive study of social divisions
  3. Be developing a critical approach to the interpretation of various forms of empirical data.

Teaching Information

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

Assessment Information

2000 word essay (100%)

Reading and References

  • Geoff Payne (ed), 2000, Social Divisions Basingstoke: Palgrave
  • Harriet Bradley, 1996, Fractured Identities Cambridge: Polity
  • Fiona Devine and Mary Waters (eds), 2004, Social Inequalities in Comparative Perspective Oxford: Blackwell
  • Shaun Best, 2005, Understanding Social Divisions London: Sage
  • Wendy Bottero, 2000, Stratification London: Routledge