Sociology of the Global South - SOCI6270

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2021 to 2022
Spring Term 6 15 (7.5) Joy Y Zhang checkmark-circle


The course aims to develop an empirically grounded and theoretically engaged understanding of how social experience from the Global South informs, corrects and extends contemporary sociological theorisation and norms of sociological investigation. The module consists of three parts: 1) By putting the Global South and its power struggle in historical context, the module starts with critical examination on the blind spots of our presumed 'global' or 'cosmopolitan' social outlook. It problematises the once taken-for-granted universality of Eurocentric norms and discusses what good social research should look like. It also provides in-depth critique on the socio-political limitations of alternative theorisation from the Global South. 2) After establishing a solid historical and conceptual understanding of key debates, this module uses region-specific lectures (e.g. China, India and Africa) to deepen understanding on the Global South’s views on universality and difference, resistance and subversion, national and transnational solidarities. 3) This module concludes with methodological and conceptual reflections on mainstream sociology


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 22 hours
Total private study hours: 128 hours
Total module study hours: 150 hours.

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Coursework - Individual seminar presentation (10 minutes) – 20%
Coursework - Essay (3,000 words) – 80%

Reassessment methods
100% coursework

Indicative reading

Connell,R (2007) Southern Theory: the global dynamics of knowledge in social science, Cambridge: Polity
de Sousa Santos, B. (2014) Epistemologies of the South: Justice Against Epistemicide. London: Routledge.
Gilroy, P (2004) After Empire: Melancholia or Convivial Culture?: Multiculture or Postcolonial Melancholia. London, New York: Routledge.
Mignolo, W.D. and Walsh, C.E. (2018) On Decoloniality. Durham and London: Duke University Press
Modonesi, M. (2013) Subalternity, Antagonism, Autonomy: Constructing the Political Subject, London: Pluto Press
Morris, R. (2010) Can the Subaltern Speak?: Reflections on the History of an Idea. New York: Columbia University Press
Said, E.W. (1978) Orientalism. New York: Pantheon Books

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes are as follows. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:-
1.Critically discuss the historical context of contemporary dominance in sociological discourse by North American and European academia and its consequences.
2.Possess a systematic understanding of the key debates and main actors in (re)shaping a truly global sociology
3.Demonstrate critical understanding of key concepts, theories and methodological innovations emerging from the Global South and be able to use these ideas and methods to enrich their own sociological analysis in their third year dissertation.
4.Demonstrate an informed and critical appreciation of the ambiguity and limits of 'global sociology' and assess the strength and limitation of current mainstream sociological discourses.

The intended generic learning outcomes are as follows. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1.Communicate ideas to both academic and general audiences using a range of methods.
2.Demonstrate critical thinking and evaluation, particularly on competing interpretations of social facts.
3.Frame social fact with more context-appropriate analytical approach and identify solutions.
4.Synthesise and evaluate knowledge from different disciplines and schools of thoughts.


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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