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2018/19 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ARAB2170 Culture and Society in the Arab World

15 creditsClass Size: 45

Module manager: Dr Sameh Hanna

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 View Timetable

Year running 2018/19

This module is mutually exclusive with

ARAB2180Culture and Society in the Arab World

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module provides students with in-depth knowledge and understanding of key issues related to modern Arab societies and cultures.


The module aims to familiarise students with a wide range of topics involving the structure and function of Arab societies and the dynamics of cultural production. Topics covered include family life and gender relations, marriage, divorce and their socio-economic implications, the role of religion in Arab societies and the significance of such religious celebrations as Ramadhan, Eid al-fitr, Eid al-Adha, Ashura & karbala and Al-Mawlid al-Nabaw. A number of other key cultural activities and practices will be explored, including Arabic literary culture, Arab theatre and cinema and the role of media in the contemporary Middle East.

Learning outcomes
On Completion of this module, students should have acquired a solid understanding of the societies and cultures of the Arab world. In addition, students should have acquired such transferrable skills as critical thinking, independent research, communication and presentation skills and academic writing.


Topics covered in this module include:
- Introduction: understanding the Arab world and its social/cultural dynamics.
- The Arab family: structure, function and change.
- Gender relations in the Arab family.
- Marriage in the Arab world
- Divorce in the Arab world
- Religion in the Arab World
- Sectarian tension and its political and socio-cultural implications.
- Religious celebrations and their socio-cultural implications.
- Sufism and sufi rituals.
- Shi'a celebrations: 'Asuhra' and 'Karbala'
- Arabic literary culture
- Arab theatre and cinema

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours123.00
Total Contact hours27.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

123 hours of private study include reading of relevant texts and preparation for lectures, seminars, students' presentations and written assignments.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students' progress will be monitored through the following:
- Written assignments;
- Oral presentations;
- Feedback sessions scheduled in both semesters;
- Tutor’s advice and feedback hours;
- Personal tutorial meetings;
- Students' mid-term and end of term surveys.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2000 word essay70.00
Oral PresentationStudent Presentations - Bi Weekly Seminars0.00
Essay1000 word review essay30.00
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: 24/04/2018


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