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Unit information: Sociology in a Global Context in 2021/22

Unit name Sociology in a Global Context
Unit code SOCI10008
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Fox
Open unit status Not open




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


The contemporary world is characterised by both interconnectedness and disconnectedness. Some people, ideas and capital move between different parts of the world with ease, speed and frequency: companies exist in multiple countries simultaneously; new technologies enable us to connect with people all around the world; environmental change creates new challenges to be faced by all. Other people, ideas, and cultures are entrenched in their own isolation, shut off from these global flows: people find comfort in local attachments, political space is increasingly fragmented, and cultural boundaries reinforced. How do academics understand these experiences, and how might they challenge some of the core assumptions of sociology? This unit examines some of the key ways in which the contemporary world is evolving. By investigating specific social spheres such as migration, religion, culture and risk, the unit considers the both the potential and limits of globalisation.


  • To understand globalisation and its sometimes contradictory effects;
  • To gain an awareness of global trends outside of the UK and how they impact the UK;
  • To explore and critically assess the way people, ideas, and capital are connected, or not connected, with respect to specific social phenomena;
  • To appreciate the empirical specificity and historical contingency of globalisation.

Intended learning outcomes

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

  • Critically engage with both the theory and empirical reality of globalisation, appreciating its strengths and weaknesses in different contexts;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of global trends and international sociology outside, but often impacting upon, Britain;
  • Connect theories of globalisation (and its opposite) to concrete things happening in the world.

Teaching details

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

Assessment Details

1500 word essay (25%) 2000 word essay (75%)


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. SOCI10008).