Component

MA Public Opinion and Political Behaviour
BA American Studies (United States) options

Final Year, Component 04

Option(s) from list
BE422-6-SP
Business and International Development
(15 CREDITS)

This module explores enterprise-based development models within the developing world and examines their impact upon sustainable development and poverty alleviation. Using case studies from across Africa, India, and the UK, you learn about a range of social purpose business models, such as social enterprises, not for profit, green for profit and fair trade. You learn about the role of the informal economy, areas such as social exclusion and debates around social enterprises.

CS201-6-FY
The World in Question: The Social, Cultural, Political & Environmental Legacies of the Enlightenment
(30 CREDITS)

How have contemporary societies been shaped by the legacies of the Enlightenment, colonialism, and the different phases of capitalism? This interdisciplinary module helps you to critically understand some of the key forces and processes that have shaped the challenges we face in the 20th and 21st century. It is divided into three broad themes; Empire, The Self, and Nature. We’ll be examining processes of ‘othering’ that were intrinsic to colonialism; changing conceptions of the self; as well as both the causes of and potential solutions to the ecological crisis we are confronting today. The module is co-taught by academics from Art History, ISC, LiFTs, Philosophy, Psychoanalytic Studies and Sociology.

CS300-6-SP
Community Engagement: Group Projects
(15 CREDITS)

This module offers final year students a unique opportunity to work together in an interdisciplinary team on a real-world project for a local partner organisation. It enables you to use the knowledge and skills you’ve acquired during your degree to address a real-world challenge, while sharing and developing your creative, organisational and practical abilities. By doing so, this module will prepare you for entering the graduate labour market or going on to post-graduate study.

CS301-6-AU
Dangerous Ideas: Essays as Social Criticism
(15 CREDITS)

Is Montaigne right to wonder whether Westerners are worse off morally than tribes who practice cannibalism? What kind of writing does George Orwell champion? What did Marx and Engels achieve with ‘The Communist Manifesto’? Examine the ‘dangerous ideas’ presented in a range of subversive essays and manifestos. Study how they challenge and satirise existing ideas and social arrangements. Experiment with writing, thus broadening the approach of your own essays.

CS301-6-FY
Dangerous Ideas: Essays and Manifestos as Social Criticism Capstone
(30 CREDITS)

Is Montaigne right to wonder whether Westerners are worse off morally than tribes who practice cannibalism? What kind of writing does George Orwell champion? What did Marx and Engels achieve with ‘The Communist Manifesto’? Examine the ‘dangerous ideas’ presented in a range of subversive essays and manifestos. Study how they challenge and satirise existing ideas and social arrangements. Experiment with writing, thus broadening the approach of your own essays.

CS301-6-SP
Dangerous Ideas: Manifestos as Social Criticism
(15 CREDITS)

Is Montaigne right to wonder whether Westerners are worse off morally than tribes who practice cannibalism? What kind of writing does George Orwell champion? What did Marx and Engels achieve with ‘The Communist Manifesto’? Examine the ‘dangerous ideas’ presented in a range of subversive essays and manifestos. Study how they challenge and satirise existing ideas and social arrangements. Experiment with writing, thus broadening the approach of your own essays.

CS315-6-SP
Global Challenges in Interdisciplinary Perspective: Water Conflicts, Water Cultures
(15 CREDITS)

Access to water is one of the most urgent global challenges facing us today. Vital for health and well-being, as well as integral to indigenous cultures and industrial processes, water is a threatened commons and contested commodity. In this module, we will explore global and local case studies that highlight challenges of scarcity, contamination, privatization, and climate change, and the cultural importance of bodies of water for diverse communities. We will examine water-related problems, such as economic and urban development, grassroots activism, political conflict, community relations, heritage and public health.

CS316-6-FY
Democracy in Action
(30 CREDITS)

This module will allow third year students to do their final year project in an innovative and interdisciplinary way. The module seeks to give students the possibility to better understand their community, the issues it confronts and how to address them. Through the five step training of Citizens UK (1. Organise 2. Listen 3. Plan 4. Act 5. Negotiate) the students will learn the basics of community building and organising, which they will be able to practice and experience for themselves. Students will learn to build power and negotiate with local government on issues of local concern such as hate crime, transport, mental health and housing.

CS831-6-FY
Final Year Dissertation
(30 CREDITS)

The CS831 Dissertation Seminar is compulsory for ISC students who have chosen to do a final year BA dissertation. This workshop module enables you to pace your research and writing and to present your work to the co-ordinator and your peers. By doing so it helps you to keep on track and receive valuable feedback and guidance while you write your dissertation.

GV254-6-SP
Ethics and Public Policy
(15 CREDITS)

Is torture ever morally justified? Should pornography be banned? Should prostitution be legalised? Take part in the intellectual search for the moral principles that should govern how we answer these questions and others in governing public policy.

GV303-6-SP
Electoral Behaviour
(15 CREDITS)

Examine how people reason about voting and politics, and why people vote the way that they do. You consider the effects of institutions such as the electoral system or the number of political parties on voting behaviour, using case studies from elections in Britain and other advanced democracies.

GV312-6-AU
Domestic Politics and International Relations
(15 CREDITS)

How do interest groups influence the trajectory of a country's foreign policy? Who benefits and gains from globalisation and how does this affect their political beliefs? In this module, we will explore how domestic politics and interests influence government's decisions in the international arena, and how international politics affect domestic politics.

GV317-6-SP
Corruption
(15 CREDITS)

In this module you will examine corruption, a global problem that is present in dictatorships as well as democracies, in developing and more developed societies alike. In particular, you'll focus on the impact of corruption on democratic regimes. At the extreme, corruption hampers economic development, reinforces social inequality, and undermines democratic development generally. You will start by defining corruption and discuss alternative tools to evaluate the extent of corruption within a given polity. You'll then examine the causes and consequence of corruption (both political and bureaucratic). Last, but not least, you'll evaluate existing strategies to contain and control this problem.

GV538-6-SP
From Cradle to Grave: Social Justice in Childhood, Adulthood, and Death
(15 CREDITS)

Theories of justice are still being worked on and developed today. You question contemporary theories of justice through applying them to some of the most controversial issues dominating contemporary politics.

GV543-6-AU
Human Rights and Global Justice
(15 CREDITS)

This module explores the nature and foundations of international obligations. It asks what we owe to people in other countries, and what they can demand of us as a matter of right. Questions to be addressed include the following: Who owes what to the very poor? Are citizens of affluent countries complicit in the creation and maintenance of world poverty? Does justice demand the elimination of global inequality? Is the promotion of human rights a form of western cultural imperialism? When is international trade unfair? Do states have a right to close their borders to outsiders? Under what conditions (if any) is it permissible to wage war? We will address these questions by considering the answers that they have received in important recent works of normative political theory.

GV591-6-AU
Comparative Environmental Politics
(15 CREDITS)

Study one of the most important contemporary aspects of political action: the natural environment. You consider the state of the environment and possible paths along which it might change, before exploring environmental policies from the level of individual values to the environmental movement to political parties, and finally to the level of international affairs.

HR374-6-AU
Slavery and Plantation Societies in Latin America
(15 CREDITS)

The majority of the 12 million enslaved Africans deported to the Americas during the 16th to the 19th centuries ended up working on plantations in Brazil and the Caribbean. Sugar, cacao, indigo, tobacco, cotton and coffee were the main commodities produced for the rapidly expanding European markets. Slavery in the Americas contributed to the making of the modern world. You’ll examine the different plantation societies in Brazil, British Jamaica, the French Caribbean, and the Spanish colonies (Venezuela and Cuba).

HR394-6-FY
The United States and the Vietnam War
(30 CREDITS)

Gain an in-depth understanding of the United States' involvement in the Vietnam War and the profound impact this conflict had on American politics and political culture. You’ll examine the history of the war and will focus on the different ways in which the war has been understood. The module encompasses not just international and military, but also cultural, history. Combining these approaches will help you understand the enormous effect that the war has had on American public life.

LA450-6-FY
Proficiency Level Spanish
(30 CREDITS)

Want to improve your Spanish? Study topics related to social and historical events in Spanish-speaking societies to build your vocabulary and knowledge. Learn to interact in everyday situations, as well as in discussions on more specialised topics. Become familiar with more complex grammar, while developing your oral and written skills.

LT320-6-FY
Post-War(s) United States Fiction
(30 CREDITS)

How has the American identity and purpose changed since World War Two? And how is this reflected in literature? Gain answers to these questions via a range of American texts. Analyse these works using a variety of critical approaches, considering social, political and cultural contexts since the Second World War.

LT321-6-SP
Possible Worlds: Science Fiction, Speculative Fiction, and Alternate History
(15 CREDITS)

Possible Worlds is a module on speculative fiction in its many guises. Encompassing science fiction, apocalyptic fiction, graphic novels, and alternate histories, the literature and cinema of possible worlds is concerned with the precarious routes leading to and from our own present, and is characterised by an acute sense of the volatility and contingency of history. These novels and films typically take as their starting point a hypothetical alteration in the course of events or a change in social or technological dynamics. From there, they extrapolate lines of development leading towards one or more possible worlds. In doing so, they serve to estrange us from the world as we find it and reawaken us to the variability and open-endedness of the human situation. After an introductory session on the history of science fiction, we will go on to look at nine major examples of the literature and cinema of possible worlds, drawing on a diverse group of modern and contemporary writers and filmmakers: from the pioneering work of H. G. Wells at the end of the Victorian period through the work of key twentieth-century figures such as Philip K. Dick and Ursula Le Guin to recent science fiction cinema. Topics and themes addressed on the module include, but are not limited to: time travel, alien encounters, evolution, alternate histories, superheroes, science fiction as philosophy, feminist science fiction, utopias and dystopias, and speculative treatments of race, gender, and sexuality.

LT399-6-AU
Video Game Theory
(15 CREDITS)

This module aims to consider the significance, history, culture and impact of video games. It fosters critical thinking by inviting students to consider issues central to the historical, theoretical and aesthetical dimensions of computer games and computer game theory. In this digital age of Web 2.0 gaming and interactive media is ubiquitous and consistently redefines our relationship to games and other external players. Gaming is constantly evolving, and as new consoles emerge other platforms and experiences of gaming become obsolete. How do we keep up with this constant change and where does this leave older games and players? Why is gaming and rule-based environments significant to culture? – chess for example dates back to the 15th century and is still widely enjoyed today, reformed in gaming apps bringing together global players to a rule-based environment played out on a screen. This module explores different historical and contemporary ideas of gaming from debates about interactive fiction and storytelling to phenomenological ideas of the game’s controller and avatar and how they extend players into virtual spaces. It will consider a range of topics including: gender, ethnicity, violence, capital, contemporary art, while turning a critical eye inwards to discussions on ludology, immersion, procedural rhetoric, cyber-individualism, embodiment, avatars and ludonarrative dissonance. Through a close consideration of video game theory, students will reflect on how gaming has evolved to become an even larger industry than that of film.

SC302-6-SP
Crimes of the Powerful
(15 CREDITS)

In the popular imagination and, to a large degree, in criminology itself, crime is associated with the poor and powerless. However, it is clear that the most serious and harmful crimes are actually committed by apparently legitimate states, corporations and the political economies that they support. These crimes include torture, mass murder and rape of civilians, as well as large-scale financial crimes committed and facilitated by global corporations and financial institutions, and the destruction of the planet. This module will examine these crimes of the powerful, focusing specifically on organisations, their extraordinary power in the contemporary world, and their relative immunity to sanction.

SC304-6-FY
Globalisation and Crime
(30 CREDITS)

What effect does globalisation have on crime and justice? How do we deal with global crime issues, like terrorism or illegal migration? Can we prevent large-scale crime, such as genocide? Study the changing nature of criminology, looking at contemporary developments, alongside the problem of balancing human rights with human security.

SC306-6-AU
Crime, Media and Culture
(15 CREDITS)

In this module, we want to enable you to critically assess contemporary thinking and research on the relationships between crime, media and culture. These relationships have long been the subject of intense debate and this option offers an account of crime stories in the media that is more interested in their social character: the ways they are produced, circulated and read. In doing so it will also move beyond their symbolic meaning – by emphasising the work such stories perform in the wider social order, how they alter over time, shape political processes and clarify moral boundaries.

SC308-6-SP
Race, Ethnicity and Migration
(15 CREDITS)

This module provides an introduction to theoretical, historical and contemporary debates around race, ethnicity and migration. It will engage you with substantive topics but will also practically illustrate the inner workings of research in the field through a practical ‘Getting a feel for research’ embedded in the module design. We focus on the deep implications that these notions carry for thinking about identity, culture, and social hierarchy; but also for studying ethnic tensions, prejudice and political mobilization.

SC361-6-AU
American Society: Ethnic Encounters in the Making of the USA
(15 CREDITS)

What is it to be an American Indian today? Has the slavery legacy contributed to contemporary debates on criminal justice? What are the politics for a Latino presence? Examine social, political and economic encounters between European settlers, American Indians, African-Americans and Latinos that shaped the USA, from colonisation to today.

SC361-6-FY
American Society: Ethnic Encounters in the Making of the USA
(30 CREDITS)

What is it to be an American Indian today? Has the slavery legacy contributed to contemporary debates on criminal justice? What are the politics for a Latino presence? Examine social, political and economic encounters between European settlers, American Indians, African-Americans and Latinos that shaped the USA, from colonisation to today.

SC361-6-SP
American Society: Ethnic Encounters in the Making of the USA
(15 CREDITS)

What is it to be an American Indian today? Has the slavery legacy contributed to contemporary debates on criminal justice? What are the politics for a Latino presence? Examine social, political and economic encounters between European settlers, American Indians, African-Americans and Latinos that shaped the USA, from colonisation to today.

SC362-6-SP
Visual Cultures: the Social Meanings of Photography and Art
(15 CREDITS)

This module examines how photography and other forms of visual art provide meanings and interpretations of societies.

SC387-6-AU
The Age of Trauma
(15 CREDITS)

What is ‘trauma’ and how is its history connected to that of war in the modern age? How have stories of trauma become a feature of contemporary society, and why? This module traces the history of trauma in the age of ‘total war’, from the two World Wars, through the Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan conflicts, to the present, linking the history and sociology of medicine to the cultural and social history of modern warfare.

SC387-6-FY
The Age of Trauma
(30 CREDITS)

What is ‘trauma’ and how is its history connected to that of war in the modern age? How have stories of trauma become a feature of contemporary society, and why? This module traces the history of trauma in the age of ‘total war’, from the two World Wars, through the Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan conflicts, to the present, linking the history and sociology of medicine to the cultural and social history of modern warfare.

SC387-6-SP
The Age of Trauma
(15 CREDITS)

What is ‘trauma’ and how is its history connected to that of war in the modern age? How have stories of trauma become a feature of contemporary society, and why? This module traces the history of trauma in the age of ‘total war’, from the two World Wars, through the Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan conflicts, to the present, linking the history and sociology of medicine to the cultural and social history of modern warfare.

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