Joint-honours information for 2016 entry

Postcolonial Europe?

Module L3118A

Module details for 2016/17.

30 credits

FHEQ Level 6

Module Outline

This module will engage with the relevance of postcolonial perspectives for social thought and sociology. It will explore controversies about the impact of European imperial expansion on the global order, as well as the role of the social sciences in this context: How has sociology contributed to establishing ideas of less advanced or backward regions, via, for example, a however imagined ‘Orient’? The module will review critiques of sociology as Eurocentric and reflect on their implications for our understanding of modernity, temporality, spatiality, and positionality. We will then explore the significance of a postcolonial lens for empirical sociology. Which questions have been asked too often, and which ones have not been asked often enough? What does it mean to connect histories, narratives and epistemologies of the ‘Global North’ and the ‘Global South’? These considerations will be examined via a set of case studies that trace how coloniality shapes public institutions within and beyond Britain and Europe. We will explore how colonial legacies materialize in our understanding and practice of education, race, religion, citizenship, human rights, as well as how they resonate with emotions or materialize in our homes and everyday activities. We also discuss how a postcolonial lens enables us to make sense of power asymmetries between Europe’s ‘East’ and ‘West’, the humanitarian crisis at the European border, the rise of far-right populist movements across Europe, of which the disintegration of the European Union (‘Brexit’) is a symptom.

Module learning outcomes

Demonstrate detailed knowledge and understanding of different sociological perspectives on global social inequalities and consider their relative merits

Critically evaluate the narration of European history, law and public institutions, as well as the making of collective self-representations in a global context

Apply the contributions of different strands of postcolonial thought to a variety of country case studies across and beyond Europe

Analyse and structure material from recent academic research, public debates, and, where relevant, personal experience, to illustrate the conceptual approaches covered in the module

Conduct independent research and critically appraise diverse sources of knowledge

Make appropriate use of empirical data and theoretical work to produce coherent and detailed written work for academic and non-academic audiences

Coursework components. Weighted as shown below.
EssayT1 Week 8 20.00%
EssayA1 Week 1 80.00%

Submission deadlines may vary for different types of assignment/groups of students.


Coursework components (if listed) total 100% of the overall coursework weighting value.

TermMethodDurationWeek pattern
Autumn SemesterLecture1 hour11111011111
Autumn SemesterSeminar2 hours11111011111

How to read the week pattern

The numbers indicate the weeks of the term and how many events take place each week.

Dr Aleksandra Lewicki

Assess convenor, Convenor

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