Second year module options

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Module no.



Gender, Sexuality & Inequality


Social Research Methods


Popular Culture, Media & Society


Contemporary Political Sociology


Social Interaction & Conversation Analysis


Sociology of Health & Illness


Division & Inequalities: Race & Ethnicity, Class & Religion


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Module Code: SOC00001I

Module Organisers: Prof. Celia Kitzinger & Dr Clare Jackson

Level 2 | 30 Credits
Prerequisite: None

Compulsory for Degree: None

Many contemporary societies tend to divide people into discrete categories on the basis of sexual difference. We often hear how men and women are more naturally suited to different tasks, behaviours and roles and this has, historically, placed certain limits on what people are allowed or feel able to do. However when we look historically and cross culturally, different societies have had different ways of categorising people on the basis of their genitals, sexual practices or the way they present themselves. This module explores theory and research on gender and sexualities and other social inequalities as fundamental to social order. We will problematize the concepts of ‘sex’ and ‘gender’, which are often taken as a natural hierarchically structured binary division between people. We will explore the social construction of gender and sexuality through the lens of key social institutions (e.g. sport, the media, health, law and employment).


By the end of the module students will be able to:

•Distinguish between different ways of understanding sex and gender

•Demonstrate how expectations around gender are dependent on social, cultural and historical factors

•Challenge the idea of inequalities as determined by biologically ‘hardwired’ differences

•Indicate how gender, sex and sexuality are intersected by other forms of social inequalities

•Question issues of structure and agency in relation to people’s decisions about their bodies

The module will be taught through lectures and seminars. There will be one weekly 1 hour lecture and a weekly 1 hour seminar.


Students will be assessed by a 3000 word essay and a 3-hour exam.


This module will explore gender and sexuality as integral to society and culture, elaborating the processes whereby they are socially constituted and regulated and the consequences of this for contemporary culture, social institutions and everyday life. Indicative topics for this module include: Gender and Sport; Gender and Sexuality in Law; The Body as a Site of Gendered and Sexual Performance; Becoming Gendered and Sexual; Gender and Language; Gender and Health; Gender in the Workplace; Sexual Consent and Sexual Violence; LGBT Lives and Identities; and Intersectionality.


Bhattacharyya, G. (2002) Sexuality and Society. London: Routledge

Connell, R. (2009) Gender. 2nd ed. London: Polity

Connell, R. (2000) Masculinities 2nd ed. London: Polity

Fausto- Sterling, A. (2012) Sex/Gender. Biology in a Social World. Routledge

Fine, C. (2011) Delusions of Gender. London: Icon

Fuller, L.K. (2006) Sport, Rhetoric & Gender: Historical Perspectives and Media Representations. New York: Palgrave McMillan

Holmes, M. (2007) What is Gender? London: Sage

Johnson. P. (2012) Homosexuality and the European Court of Human Rights. London: Routledge

Rahman, M. and Jackson, S. (2010) Gender and Sexuality: Sociological Approaches. Cambridge: Polity Press

Richardson, D. (2007) Introducing Gender and Women's Studies. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan


Module Organiser: Dr David Beer

Module Code: SOC00004I

Level 2 | 30 Credits

Prerequisite: None

Compulsory for Degree: None
This module helps students to develop an understanding of the sociological significance of popular culture and its dissemination through contemporary media. The module aims to foster critical approaches in understanding the social implications of media and popular culture (with reference to sociological issues such as power, class, networks, community, production and consumption). The sessions will draw upon examples and sociological literature to explore the relations between popular culture, media and society. As a result students will be introduced throughout the nodule to theoretical and empirical work that has been conducted into these relations and will develop strategies for thinking sociologically about popular culture and the media.

By the end of the module:

  • Students will develop understandings of sociological work on popular culture and the media.

  • Students will develop an understanding of the relations between popular culture, media and society.

  • Students will develop a sound understanding of a range of theoretical and empirical approaches for understanding popular culture, media and society

  • Students will be familiar with, and will be able to apply, some key theoretical concepts for the study of popular culture, media and society.

The module will be taught through weekly 1-hour lectures supported by weekly 1-hour small group seminars. Attendance at both is compulsory.
Mode: A 3000-word essay and a 3 hour exam.
Indicative topics for this module are: Fashion; Celebrity Culture; the Culture Industry; Popular Music scenes; Music and web cultures; Reality TV; Working in the culture industry; Cultural production; Mobile music and collecting and archiving. Each topic will be addressed through the use of specific examples from popular culture which will be used to raise theoretical questions about the changing basis of society and culture.

Hesmondhalgh, D. (2007). The Cultural Industries (2nd Edition).

Strinati, D. (2004) An Introduction to Theories of Popular Culture (2nd ed.)

Storey, J. (2000). Cultural Theory, Popular Culture: An Introduction.

Storey, J. (1994). Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: A Reader.


Module Organisers: Dr Sarah Nettleton,& Dr Nik Brown

Module Code: SOC00007I

Level 2 | 30 Credits

Prerequisite: None

Compulsory for Degree: None

  • To introduce theoretical perspectives within the sociology of health and illness and to apply them to selected health related issues.

  • To appreciate the socially constructed nature of medical knowledge and medical practice

  • To be aware of the relationship between and explanations for the social differences and inequalities in health, illness and disease


By the end of the module students will have acquired:

  • A critical understanding of concepts central to the sociology of health and illness, namely: the biomedical and social models, medicalisation, professionalisation, surveillance and risk

  • An in-depth appreciation of some contemporary issues such as: new reproductive technologies, illness narratives, and clinical work


The module will be taught through lectures and seminars. There will be one weekly 1 hour lecture and a weekly 1 hour seminar.


A 3000-word essay and a 3 hour exam.

Students also have the option of writing a 500 word formative assessment at the end of the autumn term which will be marked and feedback given.

Issues associated with health, illness and health care are invariably topical. Health matters are forever in the news or being played out in the media. This may in part be because they touch on sensitive issues in people's lives such as: illness, treatment, birth, suffering and death. The medical profession and too, in recent years, has come under greater scrutiny by the media and the public in general. Pharmaceutical industries and commercial companies who work to produce health related technologies are extremely powerful are able to influence what counts as 'illness' and ‘disease’, which in turn has social consequences. As a sub-field of sociology, the sociology of health and illness has forged a number of concepts which help us make sense of these sorts of issues. Such concepts are the biomedical and social models of health, risk and surveillance, and medicalisation. Within the module we will make use of these theories and concepts to address questions such as: What counts as disease? How have diseases changed over time? Do reproductive technologies give women more or less control over their fertility? Why have we become so preoccupied with health, fitness and body weight? Who is responsible for health and illness? What can we make of fictional representations of illness and medicine?

Indicative Reading

Annandale, E. (1998) The Sociology of Health and Medicine Cambridge, Polity Press

Blaxter, M. (2004) Health, Cambridge, Polity Press

Brown, N. and Webster, A. J. (2004) New Medical Technologies and Society: Reordering Life Cambridge, Polity Press

Cockerham, W. (2009) The New Blackwell Companion to Medical Sociology London, Wiley-Blackwell

Gabe, J. and Monaghan, L.. (2013) Key Concepts in Medical Sociology London, Sage. Second edition.

Kelleher, D., Gabe J. & Williams, G. (eds) (2006) Challenging Medicine.London: Routledge. Second edition.

Nettleton, S. (2013) The Sociology of Health and Illness (d ed.) Cambridge, Polity Press. Third edition.

Lupton, D. (2012) Medicine as culture illness, disease and the body in western societies. London, Sage. Third edition


Module Organiser: Mr. Brian Loader & Dr. Nathan Manning

Code: SOC00005I

Level 2 | 30 Credits

Prerequisite: None


This module provides an introduction to contemporary theories and debates about changing social relations of power and their influence upon citizenship, globalization, nation states, and democracy.


By the end of the module students will have acquired:

  • An understanding of the main theoretical approaches to contemporary political sociological inquiry examining the works of such social theorists as Michel Foucault, Zygmunt Bauman, Ulrich Beck, Pierre Bourdieu, Judith Butler, Manuel Castells, Noam Chomsky, Mike Davis, Anthony Giddens, David Harvey, Jurgen Habermass, David Held, Mary Kaldor, Saskia Sasssen, John Urry.

  • Knowledge of and an ability to undertake conceptual clarification of the principle theories under investigation such as power, state, civil society, development, migration, globalisation, citizenship, participation, identity, security, nationalism, ethnonationalism, gender, multiculturalism, social welfare, social exclusion.

  • A conceptual understanding of the social formation of the state and civil society;

  • A critical engagement with contemporary debates about globalisation, social movements, new media and democratic governance;

  • A critical understanding of postmodernization theories of a new cultural politics.

  • An appreciation of the role of media (new & old) communication as an increasing source of social power.


The module will be taught through lectures and seminars. There will be one weekly 1 hour lecture and a weekly 1 hour seminar.


A 3000-word essay and a 3 hour exam.


What does it mean to be a democratic citizen in a dramatically changing social context? How does the nation state represent our interests in the face of global corporate pressures? Who has the capacity to decide how resources should be distributed? Is it possible to be a citizen of the world? Why and how should we participate in democratic politics? Should we trust our politicians? These are some of the many questions we will be addressing in this module which considers how power and the powerful act to shape, and in turn are shaped by, social and cultural factors such as class, ethnicity, gender, nationality, and by social processes such as globalisation, poverty, or environmentalism. We will begin by considering the so called ‘crisis of liberal democracy’ and the factors challenging national democratic governance. Contemporary debates about participation, new social movements, citizenship, global protest will be explored throughout. Finally we will access the importance of new social theories of global governance and citizenship.


Parekh, Bhikhu (2008) A New Politics of Identity, Basingstoke:Palgrave

Burgess, Jean & Green, Joshua (2009) YouTube: online video and participatory culture,Cambrideg:Polity Press.

Castells, Manual (2012) Networks of Outrage and Hope, Cambridge: Polity

Della Porta, Donatella (ed) (2009) Social Movements in a Globalizing World, Basingstoke: Palgrave

Fraser, Nancy, (2008) Scales of Justice: reimagining political space in a globalizing world. Cambridge: Polity

Hirst, Paul., Thompson, Graeme & Bromley, Simon (3rd Edn) (2009) Globalization in Question, Cambridge: Polity

Hoffman, Beyond the State: an introductory critique, Cambridge: Polity Press.

Lukes, S. (2005) Power: a radical view (2nd edn) Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan

Lievrouw, Leah (2009) Alternative and Activist New Media, Cambridge: Polity

Lyon, David (2009) Identifying Citizens: ID cards as surveillance, Cambridge: Polity

Mann, Michael. The Sources of Social Power Volume 1.

Mattelart, Armanf (2009) The Globalization of Surveillance, Cambridge: Polity

Nash, Kate (2010) Contemporary Political Sociology: Globalization, Politics and Power, Wiley-Blackwell

Negrine, Ralph (2008) The Transformation of Political Communication, Basingstoke: Palgrave

Outhwaite, William (2008) European Society, Cambridge: Polity

Taylor, Graham (2010) The New Political Sociology, Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Module Organisers: Dr Merran Toerien, Dr Clare Jackson

Module Code: SOC00006I

Level 2 | 30 Credits

Prerequisite: None. This module may be of particular interest to those following the Social Psychology route.

Compulsory for Degree: None


The aims of this module are to introduce you to the ways in which we interact with one another in ordinary social settings and to enable you to undertake your own research into talk-in-interaction (principally conversation and ordinary social interactions).


  • An understanding of some of the key approaches, and principles, in studying human social interaction

  • A mastery of the perspective and methods of CA in investigating ordinary interaction, and an understanding of the principal findings of CA research

  • Skills in applying CA techniques to original data, so that you can conduct your own research in this area

  • An understanding of language in use as a form social action rather than the conduit for information to flow from one person's brain to another's.


This module is taught through one 1-hour lecture per week, and a 2-hour practical workshop session each fortnight. The ‘lecture’ sessions will sometimes include some more practical activities as well. The module is supported by extensive materials on the Yorkshare VLE.


You’ll complete written (formative) assignments during each of the first two terms, one of which is revised (after feedback) and submitted for (summative) assessment at the end of the Autumn Term, and another at the end of the Spring Term; together these are 50% of your mark for the module. The other 50% is a short research project completed in the 3rd term.


As human beings we are profoundly social animals; most of our lives are spent interacting, in all kinds of ways, with other human beings. Our daily engagement in social interaction with one another underpins almost everything we do, in all forms of social life. Moreover language, the uniquely human ability that partly defines our species, is central to our social interactions. The most significant, pervasive and fundamental form of talk-in-interaction is conversation; and the main approach to studying ordinary interaction is Conversation Analysis. This module focuses on the patterns and practices to be found in our ordinary social interactions, and that underpin our ‘social competence’ – our ability to interact with one another meaningfully, and to handle our social relationships with one another coherently. We will consider and investigate the patterns, norms and practices through which we perform a wide range of social actions, such as agreeing and disagreeing with one another, correcting one another, taking turns in conversation, making apologies, and offering or requesting assistance. Although some consideration will be given to theoretical approaches to interaction, our work will primarily involve a practical, hands-on approach to studying the patterns of interaction.


Heritage, J. (1984). Garfinkel and Ethnomethodology. Cambridge: Polity Press, chapter 8.

Drew, P. (2005) Conversation analysis. In K. L. Fitch and R. E. Sanders (eds) Handbook of Language and Social Interaction. Mawah, NJ, Lawrence Erlbaum: pp. 71-102.

Sidnell, J. (2010) Conversation Analysis: An Introduction. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. Please note: it is preferable for students to buy their own copy of this book as it’s used extensively throughout the course.

Toerien, M. (2013) Conversations and conversation analysis. In U. Flick (ed.) SAGE Handbook of Analyzing Qualitative Data. London: Sage.

Module Organiser: Dr Amanda Rees (Prof Robin Wooffitt Autumn term)

Module Code: SOC00003I

Level 2 | 30 Credits

Prerequisite: None

Compulsory for Degree: Sociology Single Subject; Sociology with Criminology; Sociology with Social Psychology; Sociology with Education., Social & Political Sciences and Social & Political Sciences with Philosophy


To provide a critical introduction to a broad range of sociological research methods.


The objectives of this module are to enable students:

 to understand the principles of sociological research

 to appreciate the ethical issues involved in undertaking social research

 to acquire skills in the use of both quantitative and qualitative techniques of research

 to judge what methods and techniques are appropriate to particular research problems; and

 to develop their critical abilities to appraise published research findings in their own substantive areas of study


The module will be taught through twice-weekly lectures and a combination of seminars and Pc-based lab classes.


In the Autumn and Spring Terms, you will be asked to complete up to four short exercises. In the Summer Term, you will produce an extended project.


The module will cover the following material: philosophy of the social sciences; conceptualisation, operationalization and measurement; survey design; qualitative interviewing; quantitative analysis and SPSS; ethics in social research; archives; focus groups; participant observation; ethnography; thematic/discourse analysis; content analysis; media analysis; digital and visual analysis. This is an indicative and not a definitive list: topics may change depending on staffing.


Bryman, A. (2009) Social Research Methods. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Gilbert, N. (ed.) (2001) Researching Social Life (2nd ed.). London: Sage.

Seale, C. (ed.)(2004) Researching Society and Culture (2nd ed.) London: Sage


Module Organiser: Dr Laurie Hanquinet

Module Code: SOC00020I

Level 2 | 30 Credits

Prerequisite: None


The module aims to further develop an understanding of sociological concepts, theories and debates of social divisions and inequalities concerning race and ethnicity, class and religion. It seeks to unravel the relationships between division and inequality. It will build on knowledge of appropriate social theory and extend and develop the students’ sociological imagination. It will help them develop critical thinking via the connections between theoretical and empirical work and show how social theory and sociology can inform and address the existence of inequalities.


By the end of this module student will have:

• developed an understanding of social divisions and inequalities relating to race and ethnicity, class and religion

• developed an understanding of relationships between division and inequality

• attained a knowledge of relevant social theory and an expanded sociological imagination

• developed critical thinking regarding theoretical and empirical work

• formed an awareness of how social theory and sociology informs and addresses inequalities

Academic and graduate skills: students will

• have a greater knowledge and experience of critical thinking and analysis

• have an experience of applying their knowledge in the judgement and evaluation of evidence

• have greater experience of and confidence in their written and oral communication skills

• have experience of and be able to recognise the value of group working


The module will be taught through a mix of lectures, seminars and practical activities. The format will then be varied throughout the year and adapted to the learning outcomes of each session. The module will be taught 2 hours a week.


A 3000-word portfolio and a 3-hour exam.


The module will focus on three mains topics which will receive equal attention. The module will start by discussing the sociological importance of social classes. It will move on to the sociology of religion and finally examine the question of race and ethnicity. These themes will be investigated through the general prism of social inequalities.

Back, L, and Solomos, J. (eds.) (2000) Theories of Race and Racism: A reader. Psychology Press.

Bourdieu, P. (1984) Distinction, Harvard University Press.

Bruce, S. (2002) God is Dead: secularization in the West, Blackwell, Oxford.

Dorling, D. (2011) Injustice: Why social inequality persists. Policy Press.

Garner, S (2010) Racisms, Open University Press.

Lawler, S. (2014) Identity (2nd Edition) Cambridge: Polity Press.

Payne G (2006) Social Divisions, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Skeggs, B (2003) Class, Self, Culture, Routledge.

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