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SOC3099 : Sociology of Race and Ethnicity

  • Offered for Year: 2019/20
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Bethan Harries
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


This course will further develop students’ knowledge of the sociology of race and ethnicity. It will explore the origins and development of racism within Britain, examining how it has shaped, and continues to shape the nature of British society. We will further examine how ‘race thinking’ has played in the production of inequalities and exclusions, as well as how it informs notions of national identity. The course engages with contemporary debates and theoretical advances, particularly in relation to Islamophobia, critical whiteness studies, and ‘post-race’.

The module aims to:
•       Advance students’ understanding of theorisations of race, racism and ethnicity.
•       Develop students understanding of the ways in which race and ethnicity interact with other forms of social difference such as nation, gender, class, and religion.
•       Encourage students to evaluate the role of racism in the structure of contemporary society.
•       Explore current theoretical debates around key issues such as institutional racism, Islamophobia, post-race, Brexit, and critical whiteness studies.

Outline Of Syllabus

The course begins by deepening students understanding of the concepts of race and ethnicity. This will also involve looking at the interrelationship between ‘race’, ethnicity, and racism. The rest of the module will build on these foundations to examine how race has shaped, and continues to shape, the nature of British society in interaction with other forms of social difference such as nation, gender, class and religion. To do this we will examine a series of overlapping issues through topics such as Islamophobia, whiteness, ‘post-racial imaginaries’, cultural representation and Brexit. Many of these issues will be highly topical and students will be encouraged throughout the course to engage in contemporary debates.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion160:0060:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture102:0020:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading1104:00104:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching101:0010:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops23:006:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures will provide students with key concepts and ideas relevant to the topic. The lectures will also discuss these in relation to topical contemporary debates and students will be expected to actively engage in these debates. Seminars will allow the students to explore the matters raised in lectures more depth and introduce them to key readings. The workshops (film, debate and content analysis) will give the opportunity for students to draw on the knowledge they have gained and apply this to specific practical examples. This will be useful for the development of critical thinking skills and a helpful practice to prepare for assessment.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M603000 word essay
Written exercise2M401000 word blog
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The essay will assess the development of sociological knowledge and theoretical concepts of race and ethnicity, critical evaluation and synthesis of relevant literature.

The blog will test the students’ ability to distil key arguments in accessible format that is oriented to a wider public audience. It will allow students to develop their skills across a range of writing styles.

Reading Lists