The University of Southampton

SOCI2008 Race and Ethnicity in Society

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The purpose of this module is to introduce you to the current and historical significance of race and ethnicity, not as abstractions but as “lived” realities that engender social divisions within as well as between societies. To achieve its designed aims, the module will explore a number of key themes, perspectives, and concerns that dominate the theory, research, and public debate on issues of race and ethnicity in Britain and worldwide. The entire module is therefore designed to broaden our acquaintance with race and ethnicity by bringing together our intellectual, visual, and sensual faculties through a variety of textual and audiovisual material and resources, as befits a 21st century curriculum.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Develop an in-depth knowledge and understanding of sociological perspectives on race, ethnicity, and difference - Appreciate and treat race and ethnicity as historically variable and contextually-situated social constructs - Understand and conceptualise race and ethnicity at the intersection of both institutional/social structure(s) and individual agency through social interaction - Reflect on own experiences, as well as public discussion and media reports, to evaluate race, ethnicity, and difference in a theoretically and empirically-informed manner.
  • Think critically, analytically, and comparatively - Logically synthesise information across different perspectives - Challenge conventional/common-sense thinking about social phenomena and social divisions such as race and ethnicity - Understand the possibility and impact of social change in an increasingly global world
  • Present evidence and argument, question, and debate - Conduct research, collect, and analyse data - Use a range of software (e.g. word processing, presentation software, and Virtual Learning Environments such as Blackboard) - Administer projects, plan work, manage time, write and edit, give oral presentations


This module will explore the issues of race, racism, racial conflict, and race relations in contemporary Britain and worldwide. Although we will mainly refer to Britain, global examples from Europe, the US, the Caribbean, Africa, and South America will be frequently used. Beginning with colonial discourses of the “racial other”, and focusing on the start of mass colonial mass immigration to Britain in the aftermath of World War Two, this module will examine the various historical, social, cultural, and political forces and processes through which the concept and reality of race have been constructed, shaped, and changed over time.

Learning and Teaching

Independent Study130
Total study time150



MethodPercentage contribution
Critical essay 30%
Group Debate 3%
Group presentation 30%
Narrative non-fiction assignment 37%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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