Space, Place, and Contemporary Culture

Module code: SY3093

Module co-ordinator: Jerry Coulton

Sociology, as a discipline, is very much about understanding events in our 'Social World', and importantly learning how not to 'take these for granted'. We tend to take nothing for granted more than the spaces and places around us – if you like, the spaces and places where all this other stuff goes on. In this module we will explore the spaces and places of everyday life, and some not so 'everyday' too, and ask questions such as:

  • How are these spaces produced?
  • Who 'owns' them?
  • Does the space determine what goes on there?
  • Does what goes on determine the nature of the place?
  • Is there such as thing as public space?
  • Are there such things as 'non-places'?

In this module you will discover the very real spaces and places of the contemporary world in which we live, using some very real examples, such as shopping malls, theme parks, city centres, airports, and whole cities such as Las Vegas, and even Leicester!

This follows through into the assessment, where you choose a place and then examine it as a space or place and attempt to explain its importance in contemporary society and culture.

Topics covered

  • Key theories and theorists
  • The relationships between space, culture, and subculture
  • Issues surrounding spaces for sport and the gentrification process associated with them
  • Contemporary debates related to space, place, and consumption
  • Processes through which space and place become sites for crime and deviance
  • The creation of contested space
  • Interaction through virtual and network spaces


  • Eighteen one-hour lectures
  • Eight one-hour seminars


  • One case study of 4,000 words (100%)