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Unit information: Global Society in 2015/16

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Unit name Global Society
Unit code SOCI20037
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
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


This unit will introduce students to critical perspectives on globalisation in the (post-)modern world. The notion of globalisation seeks to draw attention to the increasing economic, social, political, and cultural interdependence of the world today. Processes of globalisation are seen as breaking the bonds of the modern world and replacing them with new networks and flows of information that respond to emergent global logics. This unit will examine these trends across a variety of economic, cultural and political domains. Indicative topics include fourth world poverty, 21st century imperialism, the European Union, and the internet. These and other topics will be engaged from a critical perspective, inviting students to consider the ways in which and degrees to which the world is becoming increasingly globalised.


  1. To introduce students to the cultural, economic, and political dimensions of globalisation
  2. To encourage students to reassess the modern foundations of sociological theory in light of new global realites
  3. To adopt a critical perspective on the scope and depth of globalisation in the world today.

Intended learning outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the links between the cultural, economic and political dimensions of globalisation;
  2. Assess the relevance of modern sociological theory for the study of global trends and processes;
  3. Appreciate differences in the reach and strength of globalisation.

Teaching details

2 hours of lectures and 1 hour seminar

Assessment Details


Relates to learning outcomes 1, 2, and 3.

Reading and References

  • Arjun Appadurai, Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996.
  • Manuel Castells, The Information Age, 3 vols., Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1996.
  • Ulf Hannerz, chapter 7, “The withering away of the nation?,” in Transnational Connections: Culture, People, Places, London: Routledge, 1996.
  • David Held and Anthony McGrew, eds., The Global Transformations Reader: An Introduction to the Globalization Debate, Cambridge: Polity, 2000.
  • Jonathan Xavier Inda and Renato Rosaldo, eds., The Anthropology of Globalization: a Reader, Malden: Blackwell Publishers, 2002.
  • Malcolm Waters, Globalization, London: Routledge, 2001.