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Unit information: Nations and Nationalism in 2021/22

Unit name Nations and Nationalism
Unit code SOCI30082
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
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 content of the unit will focus on different scholarly perspectives on ethnicity, nationality, ethnic groups, and nations. The unit will be divided into three parts. We will begin by establishing an analytical framework for the study of ethnicity and nationalism that stresses the historic specificity and social construction of ethnic groups and nations. In the middle part of the unit, we will examine a range of ways in which ethnicity and nationality are experienced, legitimated, and reproduced in the modern world. The final part of the unit will be devoted to contemporary applications of these concepts: how ethnicity and nationalism manifest themselves in politics, culture, and everyday life. Combined, these three parts will establish different ways in which ethnicity and nationality are modern social constructs.

The unit aims to:

1. critically assess the social, political, economic, and cultural underpinnings of ethnicity and nationalism;

2. understand and appreciate ethnicity and nationalism as politically significant features of the modern era;

3. consider both the macro-structural and micro-interactional dynamics contributing to the construction and reproduction of ethnicity and nationality; and,

4. gauge the changing social significance of ethnicity and nationalism in historical perspective and in the contemporary world.

Intended learning outcomes

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

A. demonstrate a sociologically critical appreciation of ethnicity and nationalism as specifically modern social constructs;

B. appreciate the macro- and micro-dimensions of ethnicity and nationalism as well as the interplay between them; and,

C. apply the analytical concepts used in the unit across different historical and geographical cases.

Teaching details

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

Assessment Details

3000 word essay (100%)


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