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Urban Multicultures


  • Credit value: 15 credits at Level 5
  • Convenor: Ben Gidley
  • Assessment: a 1000-word descriptive writing piece (20%) and 2500-word essay (80%)

Module description

This course explores ways of living with difference in the city from a psychosocial perspective. It will introduce you to literatures from a range of disciplines, including psychosocial studies, anthropology, geography and sociology, as well as feminist and queer theory.

Key topics of consideration will include:

  • how urban space and place shape our identities and subjectivities and create different possibilities for conflict or conviviality
  • how different affects are produced in city spaces
  • what emotional strategies city dwellers develop for living with difference.

Classed, gendered, sexual and racialised experiences of urban space will all be highlighted, and how we can understand these together. You will be encouraged to bring your own experiences of navigating urban space and cultural diversity to a critical reading of set texts, and to reflect on their experiences by drawing on the academic literature.

After an introduction to key concepts around multiculturalism and diversity and how a psychosocial perspective might approach them, the course will focus on the following topics:

  • Space (including our affective geographies of urban space)
  • Bodies (including sensory and embodied experiences of the urban)
  • Different ways of living with difference, including forms of conviviality and affinity and forms of hate, resentment and fear
  • Urban memories and belonging

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • demonstrate an understanding of the key literatures around urban multiculture, especially from a psychosocial perspective
  • demonstrate a basic understanding of the value of different methodological perspectives, including ethnographic observation and visual methods, for researching cities as sites of multiculture.
  • relate the theoretical literatures on urban multiculture both to personal experiences of living with difference in the city and to political and social debates about cohesion, integration and diversity.