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The University of Southampton

LANG1008 Introduction to British Identity and Nationhood

Module Overview

This module will consider and explore the complexities of ‘Britishness’ and identity in modern Britain by engaging with relevant theories and cultural productions.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • the different implications of Britishness for English, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland populations, as well as recent migrant groups to Britain.
  • underlying social tendencies to separate one’s own group from other groups
  • the interrelationships of different parts of Britain
  • the way British culture shapes other aspects of personal identity, such as class, race and gender
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;
  • organise and present information in an academic way.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • demonstrate understanding of elements of social theory which can be applied to the study of other societies.
  • work effectively in different modes: carrying out individual research, collaborating with partners, exchanging ideas, presenting findings, and engaging in self- evaluation;
  • present ideas in a structured, coherent manner.
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • access a range of critical materials;
  • show greater appreciation of prevailing attitudes to National Identity by benefiting from an informed opinion;
  • awareness of the differences assumed by British people when interacting with people from different groups.


This module deals with: • The constituent parts of the United Kingdom, showing how each relates to the concept of ‘Britishness’, including historical background and recent conflicts. • Geographical and social differences between parts of each country and area in Britain. • Society in Britain, as consisting of various facets of personal identity which might be experienced differently in Britain compared with other countries. • The theoretical analysis of these differences in concepts and experiences.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include • 1 lecture and 1 seminar per week. Learning activities include • small group work • individual presentations • independent learning Lectures will provide guidance on each topic, which you will then prepare through your own reading. In the seminars you will be expected to engage actively and to participate in discussions based on your own preparation of the material each week. Knowledge and understanding will be developed through your attendance at lectures, your independent study and your participation in seminars.

Wider reading or practice38
Preparation for scheduled sessions50
Completion of assessment task40
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Barry, Peter (1995). Beginning Theory: An Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory. 

Anderson, Benedict (1991). Imagined Communities. 

Nairn, T. (1997). Faces of Nationalism. 

Hall, Stuart (ed.) (1997). Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices. 

Fox, K (2004). Watching the English. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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