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2008/09 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

HIST3381 Modern Social Criticism

40 creditsClass Size: 14

Module manager: Dr RC Whiting
Email: R.C.Whiting@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2008/09

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

A good deal of the time in this course will be spent dealing with individual texts and their particularities. They all deal with the simple but absorbing question: how should we best live together in modern societies? It is useful to have in mind some of the topics that they have in common, as well as the more general theme which provides a spine to the course.

Objectives

To introduce students to the full repertoire of contemporary argument about the nature, development and possible reform (or conservation) of British society in the twentieth century; to encourage students to understand and analyse these arguments within the historical context of their generation, reception and subsequent reputation, and to develop their own powers of analysis in the interpretation and evaluation of social and political texts.

Skills outcomes
Further enhances Common Skills listed below:

High-level skills in oral and written communication of complex ideas.
Independence of mind and self-discipline and self-direction to work effectively under own initiative.
Ability to locate, handle and synthesize large amounts of information.
Capacity to employ analytical and problem-solving abilities.
Ability to engage constructively with the ideas of their peers, tutors and published sources.
Empathy and active engagement with alternative cultural contexts.
Plus:
Skills in interpretation and analysis of complex documentary-based material.


Syllabus

The course examines arguments about the nature of the twentieth-century society and the direction it was, or ought to have been, taking. It does so through the reading of four major works: L.T. Hobhouse's Liberalism (1911); T.S. Eliot's Notes Towards the Definition of Culture (1948); F.A. Hayek's The Road to Serfdom (1944); J.A. Schumpeter's Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy (1943). Other contemporary material will also be consulted. These books will sustain discussion of some of the most important questions bearing upon the health of modern societies: the nature and limitations of democracy; the functions of private property; the essential nature of freedom and the conditions required for its enjoyment; the implications of our knowledge or ignorance for the way societies might be organised; the virtues or defects of egalitarianism, and the importance of culture, broadly defined, for the way we live together. A knowledge of these classic texts gives the course an irreducible value for students.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Seminar222.0044.00
Private study hours356.00
Total Contact hours44.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)400.00

Private study

Exam preparation; researching, preparing, and writing assignments; undertaking set reading; and self-directed reading around the topic:

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Contributions to class discussions, two assessed exercises, an exercise or exercises worth 10% of module marks.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Written Work3 x 500 word assessed seminar papers10.00
Essay3,000 word written exercise or equivalent to be submitted by 12noon on Friday of the second week of the January examination period.20.00
Essay3,000 word written exercise or equivalent to be submitted by 12noon on Monday of the May revision week.20.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

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


Exams
Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)3 hr 50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)50.00

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: 03/04/2009

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