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2015/16 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

SLSP5142M Globalization and International Social Change

30 creditsClass Size: 15

Module manager: Rodanthi Tzanelli

Taught: Semester 2 View Timetable

Year running 2015/16

Pre-requisite qualifications

2:1 BA (Hons) in the Social Sciences or related discipline
English Language requirements as directed by School policy

This module is approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module explores contemporary globalization both theoretically and empirically. Taking as axiomatic the fact that there is no one agreed definition of 'globalization' - and that the nature and impact of the 'global' consequently shifts and changes depending on the particular combination of ecomonic, social, cultural, geographical and political factors involved - the module provides the opportunity to understand how various global pressures contribute to wide-ranging changes at local, national, regional, supranational and 'global' levels.The module provides students with the opportunity to focus upon areas of globalization that appeal particularly to them. Employing the (inevitably) interdisciplinary approach that is required to understand the nature of global processes, weekly topics will make use of political economy, political, cultural, and sociological perspectives on globalization to allow students to develop their own understandings and interpretations of contemporary social change.


This module aims to:
- introduce students to the complex idea of 'globalization' through the analysis of the impact of a range of global pressures (economic, social, cultural, political) in the developed and developing worlds;
- assess the ways in which these pressures impact on (in)equalities and either reinforce or ameliorate social divisions in different societies;
- examine 'local' responses to global challenges, particularly in the light of the emergence of new social, political and religious movements;
- pay specific attention to key theorists of globalization, e.g. Barber, Bauman, Ritzer, Giddens;
- explore the possibilities for 'global citizenship' and 'global governance'.

Learning outcomes
By the end of this module students will be able to:
- understand the multiple nature of 'globalization' and the differential impact of global economic, social and cultural processes on diverse populations;
- understand and appreciate how certain (very different) processes - for example, capital flows, information technologies and cultural networks - impact on different societies in different ways;
- understand and critically evaluate key sociological and political theories relating to global analysis - e.g. McDonaldization, Westernization, Cosmopolitanism;
- understand and critically evaluate aspects of political economy relating to the impact of globalization;
- understand concepts such as 'global/cosmopolitan citizenship' and 'global governance' and utilise them to consider possible strategies for enhancing different forms of equality and rights in socially and culturally diverse societies.

Skills outcomes
The module will develop skills of critical thinking through participation in lectures and seminars. It will also foster a breadth of knowledge that will encompass elements of political science and political economy in addition to sociology. In this way, the module utilizes a 'social science' perspective rather than one that is solely rooted in a sociological perspective.

Students will also develop the following skills:
- an ability to undertake self-directed learning;
- an ability to use the internet to gather up-to-date information about key social, political and economic events and changes;
- an ability to use the internet to gather quantitative data about, for example, capital flows, trade flows and other economic data associated with the behaviour of transnational companies;
- written skills and verbal communication skills;
- presentational skills (e.g. powerpoint presentations of seminar papers).


Indicative lecture titles:
1. (Rodanthi Tzanelli): Introduction: Globalization, Imperialism and Postcolonialism
2. (Rodanthi Tzanelli): Globalization and Culture: McDonaldization, Americanization and Hybridization
3. (Rodanthi Tzanelli): Nation and Global Cultural Flows
4. (Rodanthi Tzanelli): Globalization and the City
5. (Rodanthi Tzanelli): Global Media
6. (Rodanthi Tzanelli): Essay discussion and preparation
7. (Rodanthi Tzanelli): Global Migrations
8. (Rodanthi Tzanelli): Global Tourism
9. (Terry Wassall): Social Movements
10. (Terry Wassall): Global Terrorism and Fundamentalisms
11. (Terry Wassall): Global Inequalities and Global Governance

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours278.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

278 hours of private study:
- Reading for lectures: 44 hours
- Reading for seminars: 54 hours
- Reading for formative essay: 60 hours
- Reading for assessed essay: 120 hours.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress will be monitored through seminar attendance, seminar presentations and the quality of the contributions made. Although contributions themselves will not be assessed, students will be required to work intensively on chosen topic areas.

Presentations will be subject to rigorous questioning from both the seminar leader and other seminar members.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 6,000 words100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 15/04/2014


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