Module details for Sociology of Culture and Civilisation


Culture has become the watchword of our age. This module builds on students' earlier level study of the sociology of culture to inform a critique of the relationship between culture, crisis and civilization.


The aim of this Module is to provide students with the capacity to evaluate debates about culture, civilization and crisis.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  critically evaluate the historical legacy of debates about culture and civilization since the Enlightenment in the Western state formation process

2.  critically understand the cultural critique of civilisation in social theory

3.  critically grasp the contribution made by sociology to the understanding of modern culture

Indicative Content

1 Civilisation and crisis

Introduces the relationship between the concepts of crisis and civilisation

2 Civilisation, civil society and the Enlightenment

Explores the role of the concepts of civilisation and civil society in political change and the emergence of the public sphere in Europe and America

3 Culture and the critique of civilisation

Outlines the role of the aesthetic as a special lens for the critique of modernity and morality

4 Sociology of culture

Explores the role of classical sociology in the crisis of and disenchantment with European civilisation and nationalism

5 Relational Sociology and Culture

A sociology of cultural relations turns attention to issues of power, process, symbolic and physical violence, and the roles of nationalism, economy and the state

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Teaching and Learning Method Hours
Lecture 13
Tutorial/Seminar 26
Practical Activity 28
Assessment 50
Independent 83
Total 200

Guidance notes

SCQF Level - The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework provides an indication of the complexity of award qualifications and associated learning and operates on an ascending numeric scale from Levels 1-12 with SCQF Level 10 equating to a Scottish undergraduate Honours degree.

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2021/22 , and may be subject to change for future years.