module specification

SS4000 - Cultures, Identity and Difference (2021/22)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2021/22
Module title Cultures, Identity and Difference
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Professions
Total study hours 300
90 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
40 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
170 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Workbook 2000 words
Coursework 50%   Essay 2000 words
Running in 2021/22
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year (Spring and Summer) North Tuesday Afternoon
Year North Thursday Morning

Module summary

This module examines the changing pattern of households and family life, work and employment, with a particular emphasis on differences in cultures and identities and how these interlink with social divisions. It addresses causes and patterns of inequality, and the opportunities and challenges of living in a super diverse society.
The module includes significant elements of study skills development, orientation to the university and the expectations of the university and course.  The study skills element is embedded in the provision of the module.
The module is taught over 30 weeks and is assessed by a workbooks and an essay.

Aims of the module
This module aims to:
1. Introduce students to university life and to the expectations of the course and academic life.
2. Identify changing patterns of households, family life, work and employment.
3. Explain differing patterns on inequality and the socio-political perspectives to issues of community, culture, multiculturalism, social exclusion and social cohesion.
5. Develop student skills in retrieving information, academic writing and presenting information to a range of audiences.


1. Orientation to the course, the schools and the university; 
2. Definitions of community; differing communities & community cohesion; LO1
3. Sociological approach to culture, difference and social divisions; living in a multi-cultural society. LO1
4. Ideologies and social structures LO2
5. Social patterns and social changes – family, education, work; ‘race’ & ethnicity, religion, social class, media & crime and control LO2
6. Skills development (reading, essay writing, report writing, presentation skills, IT skills) LO4, LO3

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Total learning hours are 300 for the module. The module will be taught by a weekly lecture of one hour duration with one hour seminar and one hour workshop sessions. A student centred approach will be adopted in teaching and learning on the module, relying on class  discussions / activities, reflections and  expert inputs from external practitioners wherever possible as well as visits, if possible, to places, institutions and centres within public and Third Sector.

A lecture introducing the topic will be followed by a seminar where the emphasis will be on student empowerment through active participation and group work.  
Weekly reading is expected in order to get the most out of the module.
Most sessions will be a combination of:

• lectures or direct teaching
• group work
• visits
• study skills such as paragraph writing, guided reading or referencing tips
• online activity / Interactive learning experiences
• preparation for assignments

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
1. Evaluate differing viewpoints on concepts of community, culture and change. (LO1)
2. Identify the key causes of inequality and evaluate policies and debates on social cohesion, inequality and ‘problem’ communities. (LO2)
3. Write academically and present information in academic conventions. (LO3)
4. Use IT skills to research, study, communicate and work (LO4)

Assessment strategy

The assessment for Cultures, Identity and Difference is varied, reflecting the range of subject areas covered. Students will be expected to demonstrate knowledge of the subject area, and skills in information technology and reflective learning.

The students are required to complete a workbook (2000 words) reflecting on their experiences of living in a multicultural society, their observations and research.

In addition, students will be required to submit an essay of 2000 words. The essay will test student understanding of social change and social inequality covered during the semester.

There will be formative feedback in the semester, including on line tests and group presentations. Students will receive feedback, but this will not contribute to the summative mark.


Key Texts:
Braham, P. & James, L. eds. (2012) Social Differences and Divisions, Blackwell/OUP
Giddens, A. (2013) Sociology, 7th edition, Cambridge Polity.
Parekh, B., (2001) Rethinking multiculturalism: Cultural diversity and political theory. Ethnicities, 1(1), pp.109-115.
Platt, L. (2011) Understanding Inequalities, Polity
Payne, G. (2006) Social Divisions, Palgrave
Warwick-Booth, L. (2013) Social Inequality, Sage
Wilkinson, R & Pickett, K (2010) The Sprit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone, Penguin

Each week students will be directed to specific readings.

Additional texts
Bell, D. (2001): An introduction to cybercultures. London: Routledge
Brown, I. and Brown, R. (2003) Quality of life and disability: an approach for community practitioners. London: Jessica Kingsley
Cohen, P (ed) (1999) New Ethnicities, Old Racisms? Zed Books
Cottrell, S. 2008. Study Skills Handbook. Basingstoke,  MacMillan
Craig, G. Atkin, K., Chattoo, S., Flynn,R. (eds) (2012) Understanding ‘Race’ and Ethnicity, Policy Press
Crompton, R. (2008) Class and Stratification: an introduction to current debates, Polity
Fawcett, L (2000) Religion, Ethnicity and Social Change, Macmillan
Gelder, K., Thornton, S., (eds) (2005) The Subcultures Reader, Routledge
Gere, Charlie, (2002): Digital culture. London: Reaktion Books
Heywood, A. (2017) Political Ideologies: An Introduction, Palgrave
Hoggett, P (ed). 1997. Contested Communities: Experiences, Struggles, and Policies. Bristol Policy Press.
Hesmondhalgh, D, (2007) The Culture Industries
Khan, Z., (2000) Muslim presence in Europe: The British dimension-identity, integration and community activism. Current Sociology, 48(4), pp.29-43.
May, M., Page, R., Brundsdon, E., (eds) (2001) Understanding Social Problems, Blackwell
Meer, N., Modood, T., & Zapata-Barrero, R. (2016) Multiculturalism and Interculturalism: Debating the Dividing Lines,  Edinburgh University Press
Pantazis, C., Levitas, R.,  (eds) (2012) Poverty and Social Exclusion in Britain, Policy Press
Woodward, K (ed) (2012) Identity and Difference, Sage

Useful websites: (New Policy Institute’s initiative, supported by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation) (Joseph Rowntree Foundation) (The Child Poverty Action Group – campaigns against poverty, contains relevant articles) (leading publication in social care, useful for policy information) The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)
Government’s websites (for government statistics)         (Dept. of Health & Social Care)        (Dept. for Work and Pensions) (Local Government Association)