SOC-20043 - Globalisation and its Discontents
Coordinator: Mark Featherstone Room: CBC0.014 Tel: +44 1782 7 34179
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 5
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office:

Programme/Approved Electives for 2024/25


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2024/25

For many, globalization was supposed to be an unqualified success: greater technological and financial interconnectedness would bring prosperity to all; targeted military interventions could help to deliver human rights and liberal democracy; the emergence of new forms of global citizenship and cross-cultural understanding could bring enduring peace and greater security. But in the last few years, it has become clear that this vision of `global society┐ is not being fulfilled. Many continue to experience the insecurity of poverty, war, and environmental destruction; these problems incite new waves of migration as displaced people move to escape all kinds of unbearable situation.
Perhaps now, more than ever before, it is crucial for sociologists to study globalization. Following this rationale, this module will explore the historical emergence of globalization, beginning from the interconnected development of colonialism and industrialism through to the post-industrial age of American hegemony and the rise of the new global economy. It will examine how ordinary people┐s working lives in the established economies of the `Global North┐ and the emerging economies of the `Global South┐ are being shaped by contemporary globalizing processes. Finally, the module will consider the discontents associated with increasing global interconnectedness (e.g. anti-capitalism, nationalism, transnationalism and social polarization), and the emerging economic, social and political struggles over our global future.

To encourage students to think about private problems through the lens of global events and understand the social world in terms of worldwide networks
To enhance students' ability to link concepts and evidence in social science and within a broadly comparative framework
To study contemporary world events and think about their relationship to issues of globalization
To provide opportunities through seminar discussion and essays in which students may develop their skills of scholarly discussion and exposition of complex ideas
To enable students to understand the idea of uneven development and recognise that globalization is not a flat process

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Explain processes of globalization and how these have developed over the course of history: 1
Explain the relation of the central concerns of sociology, such as social inequality, to processes of globalisation: 1
Review the different approaches to understanding processes of globalization: 1
Employ concepts and theories to analyse events and situations beyond their original context: 1
Discuss the ways in which processes of globalisation impact upon the world and critically analyze these in written work: 1

Study hours

20 contact hours (10 x 1 hour lectures, 10 x 1 hour weekly seminars)
60 hours seminar preparation
70 hours assessment preparation

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Project weighted 100%
2000 word project
The project requires students to choose a topic from a list set out by the module leader and produce a 2000 word project report on this area. Students will have the opportunity to submit a proposal relating to their chosen topic as formative assessment and receive feedback before commencing the summative assessment (the project).