Module and Programme Catalogue

Search site

Find information on

2024/25 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

MODL3630 Social Movements across Cultures

20 creditsClass Size: 25

Module manager: Gregorio Alonso

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module introduces students to the key concepts and theories on social movements and examines how they emerge, what shape they take, what they seek to achieve and whether they succeed in driving forward societal change. It hones in on local manifestations of social movements as they emerge across cultures in response to global challenges and includes the study of anti-colonial, environmental, student, sex/gender-based, anti-globalisation and religious social movements in Europe, Latin America, East Asia and the Middle East and North Africa. Comparative in focus, the module investigates discernible cross-cultural and cross-regional similarities and differences in social movement organisation and activism.


This module introduces students to the key concepts and theories on social movements and examines how they emerge, what shape they take, what they seek to achieve and whether they succeed in driving forward societal change. Global in perspective, the module explores historical and contemporary social movements from across various geographic regions with a comparative focus on discernible cross-cultural and cross-regional similarities and differences.

Learning outcomes
Learning outcomes:
This specifies the content that it is expected a student will know (or will have learnt) and the skills explicitly developed during the module. The learning outcomes will relate to the level of the module and will link to the key assessment tasks in the module. Learning outcomes should be specific, measurable, and attainable, and use action verbs. On completion of this module, students should be able to:
1. evidence a critical understanding of the key pillars of, and approaches in, social movement theory, including amongst others theories on collective behaviour, opportunity structures, resource mobilisation and framing;
2. critically appraise related cultural theories/concepts, including (but not limited to) cultural relativism, ethnocentrism and critical theory, and their significance for the comparative study of social movements;
3. explore the conditions, emergence and development of social movements through social movement theoretical lenses; and
4. demonstrate a comparative understanding of the diverse sociocultural and historical contexts of social movements globally.


Outline syllabus:
This field summarises the indicative content and areas which will be taught during the module.
Part I: Social Movement Theory
The first part of the module will be dedicated to the study of the conceptual and theoretical pillars of Social Movement Theory, including sessions on:
 Defining and historicising social movements
 Strands of social movement theory and their critics
 New social movements
 Social movement cultures: identity and framing

Part II: Globalised Social Movements
The second part of the module will examine various case studies of social movements from across the globe, ranging from anti-colonial movements to anti-globalisation, environmental and religious movements, amongst others.

Teaching methods

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

Private study

178 hours of private study, including the following the hours spent on:
a) Student preparation for lectures and seminars (~133 hours),
b) Researching & writing of a comparative review essay (~15 hours),
c) Researching and a research essay (~30 hours).

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Formative feedback will be provided in written format and, if requested in one-on-one meetings, on the review and research essay submissions. Feedback on overall progress throughout the semester can be obtained during Advice and Feedback Hours or by email. In exceptional circumstances, appointments outside Advice and Feedback Hours can be arranged for the provision of feedback.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Group Project2,000 Word Report and 10 minute presentation40.00
Literature Review1000 Word Review Essay60.00
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: 29/04/2024 16:18:28


Browse Other Catalogues

Errors, omissions, failed links etc should be notified to the Catalogue Team.PROD

© Copyright Leeds 2019