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SOC2087 : Identity and Difference in Multicultural Britain

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Jan Dobbernack
  • 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 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


The aim of this module is to explore the re-making of majority and minority identities that accompanies Britain’s multicultural drift. It investigates the sociological and political circumstances of ethno-religious and “racial” diversity in the United Kingdom. It familiarizes students with empirical and theoretical models that account for the British experience of pluralism. A particular focus is on the contestations, mobilizations and counter-movements that constitute the politics of identity and difference in contemporary Britain.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module is split into four main parts. The first part explores pluralism in British society, moving on in the second part to examine different dimensions of diversity into view. The third part of the module considers a number of key concepts that play a role in the governance of diversity. Finally the module examines the dynamics that underpin today’s anti-pluralist backlash.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture112:0022:00Weekly Lecture-Seminar meetings (whole group, PiP)
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion1100:00100:00Assessment preparation and reading for lectures
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading167:0067:00Seminar Preparation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching51:005:00Small-group seminars (PiP)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops61:006:00Research, assessment and skill workshops (whole group, PiP)
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures familiarize students with ideas and concepts that are relevant for understanding ethno-religious diversity in Britain and the social and political transformations that are part of Britain’s “multicultural drift”. Seminars consolidate knowledge and provide students with structured tasks and readings. They also provide a forum for discussion and the application of theories to empirical case material. Seminar questions and tasks in preparation for the seminars will be listed for each seminar topic in advance. Private study includes preparation for lectures and seminars and preparation for completing the assignments.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report1M50Report of 2,000 words
Essay1M50Essay of 2,000 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
Report1MOptional outline plan of max. one page for the case study report
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessed report (50%) asks students to explore specific contestations around ethno-religious diversity, based on close engagement with relevant texts and sources. This assessment is accompanied by guidance and research training as part of the module workshops. Students also have the opportunity to submit a formative piece of work in the form of research plan to obtain feedback prior to the production of the assessed report.

The assessed essay (50%) encourages students to read widely around a topic and critically engage with the literature. It gives students the opportunity to evaluate and compare different theoretical perspectives by applying them to empirical case material. It evaluates students’ ability to think creatively and draw connections between sociological and political circumstances of ethno-religious pluralism.

Reading Lists