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Modern British Society since 1945

Course outline

This course provides a detailed study of the social structure of modern Britain. In making use of perspectives from both sociology and social theory, explanations are sought on the context and content of social relations and institutional arrangements specific to British society. The course will focus on the themes of the traditional representations of British society and its distinguishable characteristics. The dynamics of social class, gender, race and ethnicity are explored, as are their interactions within the operations of the British economy and welfare state. Detailed and critical appraisal of these themes will be considered.

Students will be introduced to the major social controversies, which have affected British society since 1945. The content of the structures, which represent change and continuity, will be explored.

Outcomes

On completion of this course you will be able to:

  • evaluate contrasting perspectives of sociological interpretation and analysis
  • engage with social research as part of successful learning
  • use sociological concepts and debates in developing and communicating their social awareness of Modern Britain

Coursework and assessment

Assessed component Basic requirements Weighting Deadline
Essay 1 2000-2500 words 25% Week 5
Essay 2 2000-2500 words 25% Week 10
Examination Two-hour written examination 50% Week 14

Students are required to present an agenda for at least one seminar talk. This requirement is not assessed.

Essays are based on themes, discussed during the course. Essay titles, from which you can choose your two essays, are given at the introduction topic for this course.

Teaching and learning methods

As part presentation for some semester topics, video showings will be offered.  These will involve taking note of some of the content based on prepared questions, and make for focussed discussion. Students are also encouraged to use the Internet as a source of relevant information. Classes shall meet once a week in a 3-hour session.  The meeting will consist of lecture presentation, including video or graphical presentation, where required.  A break of 20 minutes maximum follows.  The seminar is opened with one or two students presenting a short agenda talk of 10 to 15 minutes.  This will be followed by a general discussion of the agenda, and matters relevant to the lecture.

Course texts

Most recent edition where applicable

  • Abercrombie et. al., Contemporary British Society
  • A. Marwick, British Society Since 1945
  • A. Giddens, Sociology

In addition to appropriate handouts, specific chapters from the course texts will be identified as minimum reading for the semester topics. Attention to other texts will also occur as developments progress.

As part presentation for some semester topics, video showings will be offered. These will involve taking note of some of the content based on prepared questions, and make for focussed discussion. Students are also encouraged to use the Internet as a source of relevant information. Classes shall meet once a week in a 3-hour session. The meeting will consist of lecture presentation, including video or graphical presentation, where required. A break of 20 minutes maximum follows. The seminar is opened with one or two students presenting a short agenda talk of 10 to 15 minutes. This will be followed by a general discussion of the agenda, and matters relevant to the lecture.