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Unit information: Introducing Culture in 2021/22

Unit name Introducing Culture
Unit code SOCI10010
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Jo Haynes
Open unit status Not open




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


Culture is a crucial aspect of contemporary life and has become an increasingly important area of sociological study. This unit will critically explore some of the key ways that culture has been understood and its significance for contemporary social and political life. The unit draws on debates in sociology and cultural studies, considering a number of theoretical approaches to the meaning and construction of culture, representation, popular and mass culture, consumer society and postmodernism. By exploring substantive topics such as digitisation, social media, cultural authenticity and racial stereotyping, this unit will introduce the key aspects and dynamics of culture and the relationship between culture and other forms of social power.

Aims of the Unit:

  • To explore the importance of culture in modern society
  • To compare different theoretical approaches to the study of culture
  • To discuss how power relations affect cultural representation
  • To provide students with knowledge of a range of contemporary cultural issues
  • To encourage critical engagement with media

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of the unit, students should be able to:

  • Show an understanding of the socially constructed nature of culture
  • Evaluate different sociological approaches to culture
  • Critically discuss the relationship between cultural production and consumption
  • Apply sociological insights to contemporary issues in culture

Teaching details

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

Assessment Details

Formative assessment: 1200 word essay.

Summative assessment: 2000 word essay (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. SOCI10010).