SOC-30032 - Home: belonging, locality and material culture
Coordinator: Rebecca Leach Room: CBA0.017 Tel: +44 1782 7 33359
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 6
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 critically explores the idea of home as a socio-cultural concept. Using an interdisciplinary approach, broadly located in sociology, it asks a number of questions about the meaning of home.
Students will explore ideas of home as 'nation' and critically assess ideas of belonging. The module also focuses on 'belongings' and how objects/places/cultural narratives of home help to shape notions of identity and belonging, particularly examining migration/change but also looking more broadly at the links between possessions and social identity.
We examine also 'pathologies' of home - in other words, what happens when the ideal of home 'fails' or cannot be met? Examples include home as a place of danger, horror, threat, isolation and work, as well as comfort - both sociological and criminological perspectives will be used to explore what 'home' means.
The idea of comfort in 'things' will be examined exploring sociological, cultural, anthropological and psycho-social ideas such as order, cleanliness, taste, culture, and various dimensions of the management of 'stuff': collecting, disposing, hoarding, messing, dirtying, and loss.

To provide a sociological and cultural approach to the understanding of concepts of home
To teach a comparative and interdisciplinary approach in order to better interrogate the salience of the everyday notion of home
To enable students to apply conceptual knowledge of home to real world exemplars
To allow engagement with a distinctive interdisciplinary and emergent research literature

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

Intended Learning Outcomes

assess sociological perspectives upon the notion of `homeż: 1
explore interdisciplinary approaches to ideas of home, including but not limited to anthropology, cultural geography, social psychology, philosophy, political theory, cultural studies: 1
unpack the notion of home, reflecting on concepts such as household, taste/status, nation/locality, belonging, dwelling, comfort/discomfort, 'stuff', representations/narratives and security: 1
describe some of the strengths and weaknesses of interdisciplinary research on ideas of home in accessible language intended for a public, specialist and/or policy audience: 1
apply some of the central concepts in the academic literature to one of the following, focusing on a key topic: different cultural narratives/texts; 'real world' and public/specialist/professional/policy contexts; and/or significant concerns/examples of belonging/home.: 1
present a policy-type briefing using professional standards to include: appropriate and consistent formatting/style/layout; reporting structure to include executive summary/recommendations as well as review of academic literature and focused case study.: 1

Study hours

22 hours contact - 11 lectures / 11 tutorials
4 hours supervised study/guidance sessions
12 hours structured online activity
6 hours collaborative online discussion
48 hours reading for seminar discussion
18 hours background reading
40 hours assessment preparation

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Assignment weighted 100%
Policy briefing (max 3000 words or equivalent)
Students will write a policy-type briefing (broadly interpreted) in response to a module-relevant topic. Full details will be specified in student guidance, to be based on applied independent research/reflection drawing upon module sources but presenting this as if for an informed public/policy etc audience; 3000 word maximum; and also should be minimum of 1000 words of written text plus relevant/necessary images eg. 200 words per image/graph. Professional presentation will be expected as part of the assessment.