Identity, the State and Belonging - PO939

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2017-18 2018-19
(version 2)
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7 20 (10) DR AK von Koppenfels







This module will begin by outlining key issues relating to migration in the context of nationalism, national identity and belonging/membership. It will explore the definitions of each of these terms from a variety of theoretical/disciplinary perspectives. The interactions between the three will be examined as well. In so doing, the module will look at diaspora groups, immigrant groups, non-migrant populations and minorities. Developing and developed countries will both be discussed, while minorities such as African-Americans in the United States as well as Hungarians in Romania will be included. Sociological, political science and legal perspectives will be emphasized.


This module appears in:


Spring Term

Method of assessment

Students will be assessed primarily on their performance on a research paper of 5000 words, to be handed in several weeks after the end of term, and worth 90% of the final mark. The research paper will have a theoretical component, should develop a reasoned argument and will discuss a particular research question relevant to the course. The module convenor will be available to discuss selection of topics. The research paper will serve to further develop the understanding and application of facts and theories with relevance to one particular subject. This in-depth research of one subject will also serve to achieve the generic learning outcomes of conducting in-depth independent research, synthesizing material, applying theoretical concepts and developing arguments. SLOs and GLOs will both be assessed by the research paper.

Each student will prepare one brief presentation of one reading. Each student will briefly (ca. 10 minutes) present the key issues raised in the reading. These reviews will highlight the main points of the readings, include critical questions for discussion and will serve as one guide to discussion – along with the module convenor.

Presentations will be assessed upon the presenter's ability to present the main arguments clearly and succinctly, pose critical questions and to create discussion. The presentation will count for 10% of the overall mark. Both SLOs and GLOs are thereby assessed.

Preliminary reading

Anderson, B. 1991.Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso.
Bauböck, R. 1996. "Cultural Minority Rights for Immigrants" In: International Migration Review, Vol 30 (1): 203-250.
Bauböck, R. 2006. "Citizenship And Migration – Concepts And Controversies" In: Migration and Citizenship: Legal Status, Rights and Political Participation, ed. Rainer Bauböck.
Fallon, K. 2003. "Transforming Women's Citizenship Rights within an Emerging Democratic State: The Case of Ghana" In: Gender and Society, Vol. 17 (4): 525-543
Kurthen, H. 1995. "Germany at the Crossroads: National Identity and the Challenges of Immigration" In: International Migration Review, Vol. 29 (4): 914-938.
Martinez, L. 2005. "Yes We Can: Latino Participation in Unconventional Politics" In: Social Forces, Vol 84(1): 135-155.
Mavroudi, E. 2007. "Learning to be Palestinian in Athens: constructing national identities in diaspora" In: Global Networks Vol 7(4): 392–411.
Morris, L. 1997. "Globalization, Migration and the Nation-State: The Path to a Post-National Europe?" In: The British Journal of Sociology, Vol. 48 (2): 192-209.
Noiriel, G. 1995. "Immigration: Amnesia and Memory" In: French Historical Studies, Vol. 19 (2): 367-380.
Soysal, Y. 1994. Limits of Citizenship: Migrants and Postnational Membership in Europe. Chicago: Chicago UP.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes and, as appropriate, their relationship to programme learning outcomes
This module will enable students to:
1. understand the interaction between migration and identity
2. examine the differences – and implications of those differences – between immigrant minorities and autochthonous minorities
3. examine different theoretical approaches to the study of identity
4. examine the situation of diasporas and their role both in the diaspora and in the titular nation from cultural, legal and political perspectives
5. examine the influence of laws upon belonging/membership and the interaction with identity
4. understand the variety of ways in which "belonging" (or membership) can be defined
4. understand the impact a state and its policies can have upon identity and belonging/membership

The intended generic learning outcomes and, as appropriate, their relationship to programme learning outcomes
This module will enable students to:
1. Conduct effective in-depth, independent research into a particular problem
2. Synthesize and analyse disparate material
3. Apply theoretical concepts to case studies
4. Analyse case studies in an interdisciplinary manner, applying appropriate theoretical concepts
5. Think clearly about reading material and discussion and to express reasoned arguments verbally in a seminar setting
6. Develop logical arguments based upon sound reasoning and understanding of the material and express these arguments in a written format

By helping students to progress towards these generic learning outcomes, the module contributes to achieving the general aims of our taught postgraduate programmes, which aim to

• provide students with an advanced training in their disciplines
• develop the students' transferable skills emphasizing research skills, analytical and conceptual skills, independent work and self-organisation

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