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2017/18 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

SLSP3961 Protest and Social Movements

20 creditsClass Size: 90

Module manager: Dr. Paul Bagguley

Taught: Semester 1 View Timetable

Year running 2017/18

Pre-requisite qualifications

At least 20 credits at Level 1 and 2 (40 in total) from a social science related discipline or the appropriate discovery theme.

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

In this module you will have the opportunity to examine protest and social movements in Britain, Europe and the USA. We will be looking at both contemporary and historical movements. The module will enable you to look at whether or not protest is rational, what effect protest might have on the identities of the participants, and the various ways in which protest and social movements have changed over the years, and other theories of social movements. You will be able to study protest and social movements among the working-class, Black civil rights in the USA, feminism, environmentalism, the peace movement, poor peoples' movements, and urban riots in Britain between 1980 and 2001.Contact: Dr Paul Bagguley


On completion of this module, students will:

- have an in depth knowledge and understanding of the main theoretical approaches to the sociology of protest, social movements and riots, and an in depth knowledge and understanding of selected protests and social movements in Britain and the USA;
- be able to use sociological theories to interpret selected empirical materials about protest and social movements in Britain and the USA;
- have the ability to analyse, criticise and evaluate theoretical approaches in comparison with each other and with reference to examples of protest and social movements;
- have achieved the above objectives through the application and further development of their transferable skills of sociological analysis, verbal and written communication skills.

Skills outcomes
Oral and written presentation skills, research skill, IT skills.


- Functionalist theories of social movements
- Symbolic interactionist analyses of social movements
- Mass society theories of social movements
- Rational choice and resource mobilisation theory
- The arguments of Habermas, Touraine and Melucci as they refer to social movements
- The new middle class and new social movements
- Theories of the relationship between poverty and protest
- Sociological accounts of urban riots
- Pre-modern and modern forms of protest and social movements
- Black civil rights in the USA
- Feminism
- Environmentalism
- The peace movement
- Urban riots in Britain.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours171.00
Total Contact hours29.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

- 41 hours preparing for lectures
- 60 hours preparing for tutorials
- 60 hours preparing for assessment
- 12 hours on independent research.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Seminar attendance/participation, presentations in seminars.

In relation to the project essay it is recommended that students complete:
1) A proposal of which theories they shall use and which protest events or movement they intend to examine before Easter.
2) A first draft of some sections of the essay before the end of teaching.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay5,000 words90.00
Assignment10 short assignments (no more than 500 words or one side of A4 for each tutorial)10.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Project essay of 5,000 words (90 per cent of total marks), to be handed in on the first day of the examination period for the semester in which the module is taught (semester 2 in 2009-10). PLUS Nine tutorial assignments: each one being a critical summary of an article or chapter. No more than 500 words or one side of A4 single spaced, for each tutorial. The article or book chapter to be selected from the core readings for each week. For the week 7 tutorial you should also produce a project essay plan of no more then 500 words or one side of A4 single spaced. Each item would weighted 1 if it is a pass. You should submit two hard copies and an electronic copy via turnitin for plagiarism statement and checks. One of the hard copies will be returned to you as feedback. Calculation for module mark: (Project essay mark x 0.9) + total score for tutorial assignments. NB: substantial repetition of material from the critical summaries in the project essay will be severely penalised. For example if half of the project essay repeats the material from the critical summaries, only the new half will be marked.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 26/09/2016


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