Surrey University Stag


Module code: SOCM075

Module Overview

This module will explore the formation of racial and ethnic identities within the context of cultures of racism in the West. The module will examine the historical construction of 'race' in the 18th and 19th centuries before considering theoretical approaches to the study of 'race' and gender, 'race' and class, multiculturalism, community cohesion and beyond.

It will also consider key debates in relation to space and segregation, decolonization, activism, mixed-race studies and critical whiteness studies. The module will also consider the possibility for post-racial identities.

Module provider


Module Leader

HARMAN Vicki (Sociology)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code:

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Historical perspectives on 'race', ethnicity, the enlightenment and empire

The politics of 'race' and immigration 1940s - present

'Race' and the meaning of 'whiteness'

Intersectionality Multiculturalism, community cohesion and beyond

Decolonisation, education and racial justice

Connecting race, space and place

Theorising 'mixed-race' 

Activism and social change

'Post-race' and neo-liberalism

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework 2000 word essay 50
Coursework 2000 word case study 50

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate:

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of: Formative assessment:

  • A 2000 word essay

  • A 2000 word case study

Feedback: Students can provide the module leader with 1 page plan for formative feedback on their coursework. Class activities will support student preparation for both assignments and lecturer drop-in sessions will be provided.

Module aims

  • To provide an understanding of theorisations of ¿race¿, racism and ethnicity
  • To explore media responses, policy debates and popular discourse around 'race', racism and ethnicity
  • To encourage students to consider the ways in which racism and ethnicity interact and intersect with other forms of social difference such as 'gender' and 'class'
  • Encourage students to critically evaluate the role of racism in the structure of British society and beyond.
  • To explore current theoretical debates around multiculturalism and citizenship, segregation, mixed-race, 'post-race', decolonization and critical whiteness studies.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Have knowledge of a range of theoretical tools to understand contemporary debates about ¿race', ethnicity and difference K
002 Be able to critically engage with these key texts and theoretical ideas and apply them to contemporary media, policy and popular discourse C
003 Demonstrate a detailed understanding of the relationship between ¿race', ethnicity and other forms of social difference CK
004 Demonstrate a nuanced and detailed awareness of the role of racism in the structure of contemporary British society CK
005 Demonstrate a critical understanding of contemporary developments in the sociology of ¿race' and racism CK
006 To be able to make suggestions for further research, theoretical advancements or policy changes in relation to race and racism. CK

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to provide students with an introduction to key topics in ethnic and racial studies. The lectures will expose students to key theorists and key debates and these will be supported by required reading each week. The seminars provide the opportunity to discuss these ideas in more depth and work in groups on particular tasks which encourage them to think critically and independently, and will help them in the writing of their essay and case study.

The learning and teaching methods include: 1 hour lecture per week x 11 weeks 1 hour seminar (class discussion/group work) per week x 11 weeks Weekly readings and seminar preparation

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: SOCM075

Other information

Pattern of assessment

Unit 1 of 2 > 2000 word essay @ Coursework 50%

Unit 2 of 2 > 2000 word case study @ Coursework 50%

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Sex, Gender and Sexualities MSc 2 Optional A weighted aggregate of 50% overall and a pass on the pass/fail unit of assessment is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2024/5 academic year.