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SOC1032 : Politics and Society

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Jan Dobbernack
  • Lecturer: Dr Emma Clavering
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


This module is designed to introduce students to the reciprocal influence between political and social life, which is in fact one of the most celebrated sub-fields within the Sociology discipline. How do we conceive of social and political power? To what extent do political institutions and practices shape the nature and boundaries of civil society and social life, and conversely how do social relations (broadly defined to encompass cultural, economic and associational relations) influence political decision making? The module will be explicitly comparative-historical in scope and political in its critical reflection on issues that are at the very centre of political debate and social mobilization in the contemporary era.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module examines the interaction between political and social factors. It is concerned with how politics can affect its social context as well as with how it can be affected by it. The module will focus on four key interrelated areas of social and political development that political sociologists and political scientists have long sought to explain: 1) power and the nation-state; 2) democracy; 3) citizenship and the market; and, 4) social movements. For each of these key areas in the study of politics and society we will discuss seminal arguments and consider comparative, empirical and historical evidence. We will also situate these arguments and evidence in the context of recent developments in the UK and the broader world such as the rise and “fall” of globalization, the revival of nationalism; national and post-national models of citizenship; anti-establishment social movements. By offering an overview of arguments and debates about topical issues in politics and society, the module will expose students to the analytical power of a sociological approach to politics.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion148:0048:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture211:0021:00Lectures (2 per week, PiP)
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading1119:00119:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching91:009:00Timetabled PiP (seminars)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops31:003:00Assessment and skills workshops (PiP)
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The combination of lectures, workshops and seminars is suitable to offering an in-depth understanding of the topics covered in the module. The lecture materials will introduce students to key theoretical approaches, public debates and empirical studies. These will be explored and discussed in more detail in the workshops and student-led seminars. Seminars are designed to provide students with structured tasks and readings. There will be assignment workshops in which students can explore the key features of the assessment requirements and raise questions and concerns as appropriate.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M502000 words
Case study2M50Essay format 2000 words
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Case study2MOne-page essay plan
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The combination of an essay and case study will give students a wide-ranging opportunity to broaden their critical understanding of political sociology, and apply theory in practice.

Reading Lists