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Political Sociology (SO241)

Programme content

Political sociology addresses the intersection between politics (power, contestation and change) and social life (historical and material structures and interests, subjectivity and ideas). Political sociology asks how social factors shape, enable and change power structures and political processes, and the way in which they are shaped by them. It also explores the role of politics in social life generally.

Political sociology is a core area of sociology, addressing some of its fundamental questions. Through this module you will not only learn to think sociologically and critically about current political questions and modern power relations, you will also develop an advanced understanding of social and political theory both classic and contemporary. Political sociology is a crucial area of interdisciplinary social science, significant for disciplines such as politics and international studies, law (or socio-legal studies), philosophy, history and human geography. As such this is an ideal module for joint-honours students looking for an oportunity to bring insights and questions from different disciplines together. This module will cover key theoretical perspectives and advanced topics in political sociology.

Topics covered

The following is an indicative list of topics for this module; precise seminar content may change from year to year.

  • Introduction to Political Sociology
  • Politics and Power
  • Capitalism, Class and the State
  • Citizenship
  • Democracy Week 6 Podcast
  • Political Parties
  • Social Movements Week 8 Lecture Notes
  • Urban Politics and the Right to the City Right to the City campaign
  • Alternative Politics

Module Director

Charles Turner

Timing and CATS

This module will run in the Spring Term and is worth 15 CATS.