Joint-honours information for 2017 entry

Cities and Urban Lives

Module L6076

Module details for 2017/18.

15 credits

FHEQ Level 5

Module Outline

The module introduces students to literature and debates in the fields of urban anthropology and anthropology of the city. It explores historical processes of urbanization, focusing on the spatial, cultural, political and social characteristics of the modern cities, as well as on the experiences of everyday urban life in cities across the world. A comparative analysis of the diversity of urban forms and experiences based on specific case studies is deployed to engage with theories ascribing universal characteristics to modern urban society and culture.

Topics covered in this module include:
Urban Anthropology and Anthropology of the City: methodological and epistemological challenges
From Nomadism to Modern City: the long march of urbanization
Pre-modern cities: spiritual economies and cosmopolitan spaces
The Colonial and the Colonised City: the spatialization of hierarchies
Capitalism, (de)industrialization and the modern city: urban economies
Modern Urban Cultures: from street corner society to urban gangs
Modern Urban Politics: revolutions, revolts and protests
Globalisation, neo-liberalism and the city: the (re)making of class privilege and exclusion
Post-modern cityscapes: skyscrapers, shopping malls and slums
Materialities of urban life-worlds: crowds, traffic, leisure, etc.

Module learning outcomes

To demonstrate knowledge/understanding of anthropological approaches to understanding cities and urban lives.

To analyse/evaluate/assess main theoretical debates in the fields of urban anthropology and anthropology of the city, and have an awareness of the history of these debates and how specific theoretical trends have developed over time.

To relate theory to specific ethnographic contexts in the analysis of the spatial, cultural, political and social characteristics of the modern cities.

To evaluate/compare strengths and weaknesses of anthropological theories developed and deployed to understand urban spaces and urban lives.

Essay (3000 words)Semester 2 Assessment Week 2 Mon 16:00100.00%

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
Spring SemesterLecture1 hour111111111111
Spring SemesterSeminar1 hour111111111111
Spring SemesterFilm1 hour111111111111

How to read the week pattern

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

Miss Emilia Roycroft

Assess convenor

Miss Susan Chater

Assess convenor

Dr Alice Wilson

Assess convenor

Dr James McMurray


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The University reserves the right to make changes to the contents or methods of delivery of, or to discontinue, merge or combine modules, if such action is reasonably considered necessary by the University. If there are not sufficient student numbers to make a module viable, the University reserves the right to cancel such a module. If the University withdraws or discontinues a module, it will use its reasonable endeavours to provide a suitable alternative module.