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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

SLSP2953 Urban Disorders, Social Divisions and Social Control

20 creditsClass Size: 90

Module manager: Dr Andrew Wallace

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

Pre-requisite qualifications

At least 20 credits at Level 1 from a social science related discipline or the appropriate discovery theme.

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

In this module we use different issues and events to think through ideas about how to help vulnerable people. We explore historical and contemporary responses to: - urban riots,- homelessness,- anti-social behaviour,- urban regeneration and renewal, - the discrimination and oppression of marginal groups.Throughout the module we think about the different interventions that aim to help people who are experiencing these issues and events: - What do they look like? - How do they play out in policy and practice? - What are the impacts for marginal and vulnerable groups? - How is it possible that interventions that aim to help people, instead create further problems?Exploring events and issues, and thinking about these questions, helps us to reflect on concepts about power and social policy. We think about 'helping' responses as political encounters and regulatory spaces, and reflect on how interventions lead on to the social reproduction of social identities and inequalities.


We will seek to understand some of the problems and complexities of contemporary social life, and to learn about the responses to issues of problem behaviour amongst service users, practitioners and welfare institutions. This involves a focus on social 'disorders' and ideas about how to remedy these via ideas about 'integration' and 'normalisation'.

A key message throughout this module is that although there may be aims to address social 'disorders', some practices of regulation and intervention might also contribute to social problems and exacerbate inequalities.

The module requires that you:

- use a series of contemporary debates to connect themes around social regulation.
- reflect on the continuity of social regulation in policy and practice over time.
- explore responses to 'social problems' through analysis of perceived disorders (by Government, institutions and practitioners) and their remedies.
- think about the relationship between 'big' policy and grassroots practice.

Learning outcomes
On completion of the module you should:

- understand the significance of Government and ideas of welfare governance (organisations, individual practitioners) for analysing policy and practice.
- be familiar with the range of actors, institutions and discourses which make-up UK policy and practice.
- understand the flexibility and complexity of key concepts in relation to social, political and cultural contexts.
- be able to recognise the distinctive roles of regulatory and therapeutic responses in different governance structures (e.g. policy, organisation missions, practitioner approaches, informal practices).
- be able to relate this knowledge to contemporary debates and issues of social disorder.
- identify the contribution of empirical research, academic debate and normative opinion for critical discussion.

Skills outcomes
This section shows you the sorts of skills that you will achieve through your full and committed participation and the substantive topics covered.

On completion of the module you will have:

- an enhanced a range of general analytic, communication and oral skills.
- improved presentation skills and confidence in exploring academic research.
- improved skills when identifying findings and critical ideas within and across scholarly sources and online materials.
- substantive knowledge of UK policy and practice processes (with reference to contemporary debates).
- working with others and team-work skills.


Each week we explore the work of academics and researchers whose work connects to the topics and themes outlined above. This ensures weekly feedback and supports your ongoing intellectual development.

The module is inter-disciplinary in scope, using insights from a range of theoretical perspectives, empirical studies and research fields to think through the themes detailed above.

Insights can be found from: policy studies; sociology; social and human geography; cultural studies; gender studies, critical race studies; critical management and organisational studies; criminology; and urban studies.

We draw examples primarily from the UK, but the principles and conceptual issues referred to have international relevance.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours178.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

- Reading for tutorials and consultations: 19 hours
- Initial essay planning and design: 19 hours
- Surveying literature and sources: 40 hours
- Assessed essay preparation: 100 hours

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

By debate, discussion and feedback in seminars, feedback opportunities in lectures, and individual consultations with tutor.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay3,500 word essay100.00
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: 20/02/2020


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