The Sociology of Urban Life - SOCI7590

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


The module offers a broad overview of the changing socialities and conflicts in cities, from medieval to post-modern, alighting on a number of key arenas of social conflict and contestation. The module focuses primarily on the everyday life of Western cities, simultaneously noting the limitations of urban theories evolved in the metropolitan centres of the urban West.

The first half of the teaching presents broad theories of urban change, focusing on economic, cultural and political change in cities since the mid-20th century. Consumption is a particular focus. The second half of the teaching sessions focuses on particular groups in cities, including young people, ethnic minorities, homeless people and those with disabilities.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 22
Private study hours: 128
Total study hours: 150


Optional module for
Social Sciences BSc
Criminal Justice and Criminology BA

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

Coursework – essay (3000 words) – 50%
Coursework - research report (2000 words) – 50%

Reassessment methods

100% coursework

Indicative reading

Bridge, G., & Watson, S. (2010). The Blackwell city reader. John Wiley & Sons.
Bridge, G., & Watson, S. (Eds.). (2011). The new Blackwell companion to the city. John Wiley & Sons.
Lin, J. and Mele, C. (2005) The Urban Sociology Reader London, Routledge
Hubbard, P. (2008) Key ideas in geography – the city London, Routledge.
Mitchell, D. (2003) The right to the city New York, Guilford.
Tonkiss, F. (2007) Space, the City and Social Theory Oxford, Polity

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

8.1 Possess a critical awareness of the emergence and development of urban studies as a distinctive sphere of social science enquiry
8.2 Demonstrate a critical understanding of why cities are crucial sites in the negotiation of identity and difference
8.3 Show a critical awareness of the significance of a social science perspective on the forms of order and disorder that characterise
contemporary Western cities
8.4 Possess the ability to deploy specific social science techniques to describe and critically analyse the social life of urban spaces

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

9.2 Use enhanced communication skills, as evidenced through participation in seminars, essay writing skills and written answers in exams
9.2 Possess effective time management skills
9.3 Demonstrate advanced library investigation, critical debate and essay writing skills, as assessed though coursework


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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