Social and Cultural Geography

Module code: GY2413

In this second year module you'll learn about the different sub-disciplinary histories of (Euro-American) social and cultural geography, and the emergence of a ‘cultural turn’ that brought the two together to be ‘socio-cultural geographies’. You'll discuss the theories, concepts and methods behind these approaches, exemplifying these through detailed empirical examples across a variety of spaces and places. 

The ‘cultural turn’ to a ‘new cultural geography’ emerged in the early 1990s, the module discusses what led to this ‘turn’ and the merging of ideas in social and cultural geography. Since then ‘new cultural geography’ has become mainstream in the discipline, especially in British human geography, and new research is always being published in this area. The module also looks at more recent C21st discussions and understandings in ‘new cultural geography’.

In this module you'll learn how to read human geographical landscapes, in particular focusing on how to participate in discourse and textual analysis. You'll learn more about the history and criticisms of your discipline, enabling you to reflect on your own position within it.

Topics covered

  • The history of social and cultural geography as separate sub-disciplines
  • The history of the concepts of space and place (Brighton as a case study)
  • Why a ‘cultural turn’ happened in human geography and what influenced this turn
  • Reading landscape as text (representational and non-representational geographies)
  • Place making (especially in cities)
  • Critical evaluation of the gendering of the discipline of human geography 
  • The gendering of space in the modern and postmodern city
  • The spaces and places of gentrification from the 1960s to the current day
  • A self-directed fieldtrip on gentrification in Leicester
  • The body, embodiment and your own bodies in space
  • Young people’s geographies and your own geographies as young people
  • Power and social justice
  • Nature and culture

Learning

  • 20 hours of lectures
  • 8 hours of seminars
  • 4 hours of fieldwork
  • 118 hours of guided independent study

Assessment

  • Coursework  (50%)
  • Exam, 2 hours (50%)