Class, Community, Nation

Module code: 009GS
Level 6
30 credits in spring semester
Teaching method: Seminar, Fieldwork, Class
Assessment modes: Coursework, Essay

Why did the UK vote for Brexit? What lay behind the election of Donald Trump as US president? How much do these events chime with the rise in nationalist movements and regimes elsewhere (eg in India, continental Europe, the Philippines, Russia and Turkey)? This module will create a collective learning environment for the examination of such questions, drawing on resources from across human geography and other social science disciplines. In particular, we will be concerned with the following pair of questions raised by Doreen Massey: what does this place stand for? To whom does this place belong? The scale of inquiry will range from the rural, through neighbourhoods and cities to whole countries. We will explore the effects of neoliberal economics and class-based inequality on communities, and ways in which racisms have emerged and shifted historically, including through the language and practices of colonialism, and their effects on the present. ‘Community’ itself will be unpacked to be understood as something always containing tensions and contradictions, for example around unequal land ownership and gender inequality. As well as building up skills of critical analysis, the module will engage with examples of geographies of hope and resistance, including through a one day field class in the east of England.

Module learning outcomes

  • 1. Summarise and explain key concepts.
  • 2. Demonstrate a systematic understanding of key geographical and interdisciplinary debates on class, community and nation.
  • 3. Recognise and critically evaluate knowledge and understandings of the diversity of scales at which class, community and nation become meaningful to people.
  • 4. Identify, explore, and discuss appropriate empirical evidence in relation to the key concepts of class, community and nation.