A Sociology of 21st Century Britain

Module code: L4070
Level 4
15 credits in autumn semester
Teaching method: Lecture, Seminar
Assessment modes: Observation

This module will use contemporary Britain as an empirical base for exploring wider sociological perspectives. As an introductory degree level sociology module the emphasis is on developing a sociological sensibility to the social world. The questions that will be posed throughout the module are how are sociological explanations derived? how do different people come to different conclusions about similar social phenomena? what is distinct about sociological explanations - as opposed to those from other disciplines?

The relationship between empiricism and theory will be explored using examples from recent sociological research. The topics chosen broadly reflect established key themes in sociology however the exemplar material will be drawn from studies no older than five years. We shall be looking at how sociologists have interrogated a range of issues in 21st century Britain including work and employment, family, sport, intimacy, life online, nationalism, death and wealth. 

The first engagement with degree level sociology should be exciting and the module is designed to demonstrate the capacity of sociology to explore the social world in interesting, challenging and critical ways.

Module learning outcomes

  • Understand the role of theory in contemporary sociology
  • Reflect on their experience of one society
  • Access and evaluate a range of online source materials and research outputs
  • Demonstrate basic skills for essay writing, including appropriate planning and organisation.