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The Self, Society and the State


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 5
  • Convenor and tutor: Dr Ian Sanjay Patel
  • Assessment: a 2500-word essay (100%)

Module description

In this module we introduce you to debates about the self and its relationship to wider social forces. We will explore the role of the state in the lives of individuals and groups, and approach the state, the society and the self as a set of relationships.

Indicative syllabus

  • Identity and recognition
  • Desire and affect
  • Gender and sexuality
  • Individual versus group identities
  • The normative structures of the social world and the state
  • The regulation of selves, groups and particular constituencies by society and the state
  • Trauma and violence
  • Multiculturalism and minorities
  • Religion and the state
  • Counterterrorism and the state

Learning objectives

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

  • knowledge of key theoretical debates about the self and its formation by social forces
  • knowledge of the debates on identity and recognition in national contexts and individual/group identities
  • knowledge of the role and structures of the state and its impact on society and the social world
  • the analytical skills necessary to place social questions in wider political contexts, and place sociology in conversation with debates in political theory.