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The University of Southampton

LANG1005 Introduction to British Life and Institutions

Module Overview

The overarching theme of this module will be to analyse the question - "What does it mean to be British?". To do this we will consider certain topics related to Britishness, framing each in academic theory so as to be able to explore modern day Britain.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • awareness of the ways of doing, thinking and being in contemporary Britain.
  • an understanding of the multifaceted nature of Britain and the shifting identity loyalties of British people relating to ‘Britain’ and to their separate nations of origin, in Britain or (for immigrants) abroad, and also to their regions
  • an understanding of the way racial, class and gender identities are played out in Britain
  • analysis of the range of British attitudes, practices and values
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • engage with theory in analysing the interaction of social groups
  • appreciate critically key notions of identity and relationships
  • reflect on the influence of social stereotypes in forming ideas of identity
  • access a range of critical materials;
  • awareness of a variety of theoretical concepts related to the study of culture and society
  • awareness of the a variety of methods of academic analysis
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • demonstrate understanding of elements of cultural theory which can be applied to the study of other societies
  • team work in working on group presentations and other projects, collaborating with partners, exchanging ideas, presenting findings, and engaging in self-evaluation;
  • present ideas in a structured, coherent manner.


This module deals with: analysing and discussing concepts of Britishness using academic theories in relation to culture and society. Concepts and examples include introductions to: Devolution, regionalism, nationhood and nationalism Language and citizenship Race and ethnicity Identity, identification and social diversity Systems of class British political system Representations of British popular culture

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include - 1 lecture and 1 seminar per week. Learning activities include - Reading printed materials, engaging with other cultural productions including music, photography, film and other materials provided - Research for seminars and assessments - Non-assessed group presentation

Independent Study128
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Shukla, N. (2017 ). The Good Immigrant edited . 

Wodak, R (2012).  Language, power and identity. Language Teaching. .

Bernstein, B (1971). Class, Codes and Control: Theoretical Studies Towards a Sociology of Language. 

Smith, A. D (1991). National Identity. 

Hall, Stuart, and du Gay, Paul, eds (1996). Questions of Cultural Identity . 

Jones, O. (2011).  Chavs: the demonization of the working class. 

Storey, J  (2009). Cultural Theory and Popular Theory: A Reader. . 



Draft essay


MethodPercentage contribution
Critical review  (1000 words) 30%
Essay  ( words) 60%
Group mini-presentation  (20 minutes) 10%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework  ( words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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