Society in Transformation

Module code: SY1002
Module co-ordinator: Dr Ipek Demir

This module focuses on social change in three much-debated areas of late-modern life: 'city', 'education', and 'crime'. We will examine how spatial, social, and educational exclusions overlap and reinforce each other.

In the first section we will examine developments in the structure and activities of the modern city (metropolis) and late-modern city (megalopolis). We will also focus on regeneration projects, social divisions, and exclusions in the late-modern city.

The second section considers the impact of social change and of new policies on education in late-modernity. We will discuss issues of inequality, social mobility, and choice as well as gender and race in relation to education. We will also pay attention to the relationship between globalisation and talent 'wars'.

Finally we will consider how and in what ways our experience of crime and safety has changed in the late-modern city. We will look at changing trends in crime, the social construction of crime, and new theories of crime causation.

Topics covered


  • Modernity and cities (metropolis)
  • Late-modernity and cities (megalopolis)
  • Regeneration
  • Gentrification
  • Wannabe cities
  • Social exclusions in cities: gender exclusions, racial exclusions, hyper-ghettos, gated communities


  • Education, modernity, and late-modernity
  • Global talent wars
  • Markets and educational choice
  • Parentocracy
  • Schooling and social inequalities of race and gender


  • Crime and the city: the dangerous city
  • Crime, the family, and the underclass
  • Theorising crime for late-modernity
  • Urban riots


  • 18 hours of lectures
  • 8 hours of seminars
  • 174 hours of guided independent study


  • Portfolio of 3,000 words (100%)