Cultural Identities: Social Practices (865P4A)

30 credits, Level 7 (Masters)

Autumn teaching

How do our beliefs create material realities? This module examines discourses: fields of meaning within culture that produce and reinforce identity, subculture, community, and everyday social practises. Using a range of critical approaches from Michel Foucault, Judith Butler, Pierre Bourdieu, Beverley Skeggs and Sara Ahmed, you will study key social paradigms such as space, gender and sexuality, habitus, emotion, politics and protest, religion and spirituality.

You look at contemporary subjectivities and everyday life, thinking about the social effects of cultural narratives embodied within (for example) emotions such as shame, new spiritualities and paranormal culture/occultures, global/local political resistances, contemporary relations of power and their social embodiments, and queer activisms and utopias. You will consider how such discourses carve out meanings and behaviours in individuals, and how they are contested, resisted, and redefined.

Using material drawn from cultural politics and social change, you will explore how people perform, and/or are performed by, cultural narratives, and how the politics of representation can be challenged by cultural activisms.


100%: Coursework (Essay, Presentation)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 20 hours of contact time and about 280 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

This module is running in the academic year 2020/21. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. It may become unavailable due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of such changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: