This blog is the final instalment of a series of blogs I have posted over the last few months which outline the modules I have completed during my time studying for a Sociology Degree at the University of Leicester. I am only outlining two modules here because the third one for this semester is the Research Project which was spread across the first and second semester. I already discussed what the Research Project entails in my previous blog and you can also find numerous blogs on my blog page which outline my progress with the dissertation across the year. Both of the modules in the second semester of third year are options.
- Space, Place and Contemporary Culture: As soon as I read the description for this module I knew I wanted to do it. The assessment basically involves applying everything you have ever learnt in Sociology in a 5,000 word case study, the purpose of which is to discuss the nature of a space and explain its importance in contemporary society. I chose Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen as my space and I discussed the work of Foucault, Lefebvre, Harvey, Baudrillard, Bourdieu, Castells, Cooley, Beck and Goffman. I talked about power relations, control and surveillance, theming, mechanisms through which the space is produced, why the space was produced, how our behaviour changes when we enter a theme park and the impact that theme parks have on local communities. Doing this has really shown me that in society we tend to take spaces and places for granted and that actually there is a lot more to them than what appears on the surface. I love the fact that there is a lot of freedom in the module. You get to choose your own space to discuss and you are in charge of applying the theories. It is what Sociology is all about!
- Global Poverty and Development: I had a bit more difficulty choosing the second module because there were a couple that I liked the sound of. I opted for this one because I really enjoyed the previous module I had completed on Japan because it gave me insight into the culture and history a country I knew little about and I thought that this would do the same. And it certainly has. I have learnt a lot about the culture and history of numerous countries but I have also learnt a lot about Western countries too. The first part of the assessment involved a 2,500 word essay on the conceptualisation of development. The most used conceptualisation of development involves speaking of development in terms of money, that is, a developed country is one which has experienced economic growth. But, in this essay I discussed why economic growth is not necessarily a good indicator of development and that instead we should look towards educational achievement and good health as indicators of a developed nation. I then used these indicators to discuss whether Malawi or Ivory Coast is more developed. I really liked the fact that this essay did not just involve discussing theories but rather involved conducting your own research. The next part of assessment is a 2 hour exam. For this we have learnt about various theories of development and have looked at questions surrounding the role of governments in development, the role of international institutions, such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, for poor countries, the development implications of emerging regional free trade regimes and globalization and how the development community balance contradictions of economic growth and environmental protection.
I hope these blogs have provided insight into the range of exciting and interesting Sociology modules on offer at the University of Leicester and has persuaded current A-Level students to come and study here in the future. I cannot stress enough just how much I have enjoyed my degree here. Not only is the content interesting but the lecturers are clearly very enthusiastic and passionate about the topics they teach which really inspires you to do well. I will be very sad to leave this June!