SOC-20067 - The Magic of Modernity
Coordinator: Jane Parish Room: CBC0.011 Tel: +44 1782 7 34232
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

This module gives a criticial investigation of illusion, fakery and make-believe during modern times. It asks what do we mean by magic in a global setting at discourses, for example, about witchcraft, spiritualism, zombies and conspiracies. It extends students understanding of key sociological concepts - modernity, scapegoating, materiality, gender, ethnicity and alienated capitalism, through an analysis of for example, vampires, zombies and witchcraft in different socio economic, political and cultural contexts. In this process of critical investigation, it allows students to explore changing epistemological ideas about reality, science, progress and reason in modern times.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Articulate knowledge of different ideas about magic and how different discourses about the unknown have developed in a historical and cross-cultural context: 1
Demonstrate the ability to relate key concerns of sociology to an understanding of make-believe in different parts of the world: 1
Critically explore the relationship of magic to enlightenment ideas about rationality, science, reason and progress: 1
Critically recognise the different social, economic and cultural factors shaping illusion and the unknown: 1

Study hours

20 contact hours - 10 lectures x 10 tutorials
40 hours tutorial preparation
30 hours assessment preparation
60 hours independent study

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Essay weighted 100%
2500 word essay
2500 word essay chosen from a list of 4 questions which relate to the wider themes of the module.