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The University of Southampton

SOCI1002 Transformations of The Modern World

Module Overview

The module will look at key social transformations in the modern world and the way in which these have been analysed by social scientists.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Identify the key sociological concepts of social change
  • Synthesise the major transformations of ‘modernity’
  • Review everyday social processes using a range of theoretical accounts
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Essay writing skills
  • Reflect on your own experiences as well as media reports of social, political and economic change, travel and migration, globalisation, risk and travel in an theoretically and empirically informed way.


The modern world is marked by constant and rapid social change. For some, these transformations indicate a runaway world spinning beyond our control. But how did this state of affairs come about? And how can we understand it? This unit looks at the emergence of ‘modern’ society and provides key concepts to understand the continuing social transformations of modernity. Looking at topics such as the tyranny of ‘experts’, the modern city, fashion, and global tourism, the unit examines the key processes of modernisation and how these have shaped the everyday lives of individuals. By examining the rise (and fall) of mass urban, industrial society, the unit shows how consumption and culture, space and nature, and individual self-identity have all been transformed by modernity. Attention is given to class, gender, race and ethnicity.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

two hour lecture on a weekly basis; one hour seminar every other week

Independent Study127
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Stuart Hall & Bram Gieben (1992). Formations of Modernity. 

Robin Cohen & Paul Kennedy (2007). Global Sociology. 


Assessment Strategy

You will be assessed by means of tutorial attendance, a 45 minutes multiple choice test and a 1500-word essay. The multiple-choice test assesses the understanding of the key sociological concepts of social change and the major transformations of ‘modernity’. The essay assesses the ability to apply theoretical concepts of social change - for example ‘modernity’ or ‘globalization’. The tutorial attendance mark will encourage the students to attend tutorials where a series of transferable skills will be learned.


MethodPercentage contribution
Attendance 10%
Essay  (1500 words) 60%
Multiple choice Test  (45 minutes) 30%


MethodPercentage contribution
Exam 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Books and Stationery equipment

Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase reading texts as appropriate.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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