Clearing 2022

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BA Sociology and Portuguese

Year of entry: 2022

Course unit details:
Political Sociology

Course unit fact file
Unit code SOCY20311
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


Precise content of the course will be reviewed regularly, but you’ll get a good sense of topic coverage from a recent list of lecture titles:


1. Introduction: Transformation and the Sociological Imagination

2. Theorising Power: Domination, Discipline and Subjectivation

3. Making Sense of the State

4. Global Politics and Transnationalism

5. Corporations, Consumption and Technology

6. Civil Society and Citizenship

7. Everyday Resistance

8. Social Movements and Conflict

9. Regimes and Revolutions

10. Building Alternatives: Grassroots Initiatives and Real Utopia


This course examines political processes, practices and structures sociologically. It

aims to equip students with an understanding of core concepts and themes around power, the state, citizenship, identity politics, social movements, revolution and transnational politics. It aims to introduce a set of live and controversial debates in the area, including critiques of mainstream political sociology from postcolonial perspectives; evaluations of ‘everyday’ and ‘lifestyle’ politics and their consequences; and the contemporary significance of the state in a context of new nationalisms, migration ‘crises’ and global environmental change. Throughout, the course aims to develop students' capacities for critical thinking and synthesis, particularly through the application of theoretical insights about the nature of political institutions with experiences and interactions in everyday life.

Teaching and learning methods

Weekly 2 hour lecture and weekly 1 hour tutorial.

Knowledge and understanding

On completion of the course students will be expected to

· Identify and critically evaluate changing forms of political and civic participation

· Make sense of the changing roles of contemporary political structures, e.g. the state, and describe the social relations in these areas

· Contextualise these areas in a range of theoretical approaches

· Understand and contrast different perspectives on power

Intellectual skills

· Evaluate competing analytical perspectives

· Assess the strengths and weaknesses of empirical evidence

· Develop a critical approach to academic texts.

Practical skills

· Use library and electronic sources and resources

· Undertake and present independent research

Transferable skills and personal qualities

· Present ideas and ask questions in group discussion

· Work with others to develop ideas and present them

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 50%
Written assignment (inc essay) 50%

Feedback methods

All sociology courses include both formative feedback - which lets you know how

you’re getting on and what you could do to improve - and summative feedback - which gives you a mark for your assessed work. In this course you will receive feedback on a non-assessed assignment and your coursework essay, as well as general verbal feedback throughout the course in tutorials and lectures.

Recommended reading

Clemens, E. (2016) What is Political Sociology? Cambridge: Polity

Drake, M. (2010) Political Sociology for a Globalizing World. Cambridge: Polity

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 2
Lectures 20
Seminars 10
Independent study hours
Independent study 168

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Luke Yates Unit coordinator

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