Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024

Module ANTH30P7: Social Movements in Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Department: Anthropology

ANTH30P7: Social Movements in Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Type Open Level 3 Credits 10 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • ANTH2051 Politics and Economics OR ANTH2141 Global Health and Disease or ANTH2231 Environment, Climate and the Anthropocene


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • Introduce students to a wide array of social movements research in the social sciences, with a focus on anthropological and ethnographic case studies.
  • Introduce key concepts and theories within the interdisciplinary field of Social Movement Studies.
  • Provide students with an interdisciplinary perspective on the definitions, origins, dynamics, characteristics, and networking of activism and social movements.
  • Help students develop reflexivity and awareness of one’s positionality when thinking about current events, movements, and debates.
  • Explore the implications of social movements for social transformation, justice, and equality.


  • Key concepts and theoretical frameworks in research of social movements and activism.
  • Ethnographic and theoretical engagements with a wide array of social movements across contemporary time and space, such as the feminist movements, the LGBTQ movements, the environmental and green movement, The Black Lives Matter Movement, the Occupy Movements, labour and workers' rights movements, lifestyle movements, the hacker’s movement, the maker’s movement, democratic and civil rights movements, anarchist movement, religious movements, health/patient groups’ movements etc. Please note, given the diversity and dynamics of social movements, the content will differ slightly each year.
  • Learning material will not be confined to academic literature, but will also include multimedia sources – newspaper and magazine articles, Youtube videos, blogs, activists' artefacts, podcasts, films, photography, graphic novels, etc.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Knowledge of social movements research in the social sciences.
  • Understanding of key theories and concepts in studies of social movements.
  • Critical engagement with key concepts and arguments in the anthropology of social movements and social movement studies.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Ability to apply an anthropological or an interdisciplinary approach to understanding social movements.
  • Ability to access, assess, interpret, synthesize, and analyse the primary, secondary, and multimedia sources of social movements.
  • Ability to reflect on one’s positionality when thinking about current events, movements, and debates.
Key Skills:
  • Critical and analytical thinking
  • Analytical writing
  • Independent research and literature review
  • Reflexivity

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • This module is composed of lectures, tutorials, independent reading and preparation, student presentations, writing exercises, break-out discussions, and group work.
  • Lectures aim to provide students with an outline of key concepts, debates, and case studies in social movements studies and anthropology of social movements.
  • Lectures may consist of short film clips, live presentations from guest speakers, break-out discussions, or any other interactive activities as appropriate to the material covered from week to week.
  • Tutorials may consist of break-out discussions, student presentations, and “essay clinics”, which are designed to help students improve their academic writing skills and prepare them for writing their summative assignment.
  • Discussions in tutorial will deepen students' understanding and critical reflection on the material shown in lectures and reading.
  • Student presentations will improve students’ oral communication and public speaking skills.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 10 Weekly 1 hour 10
Seminars 5 Fortnightly 1 hour 5
Preparation and Reading 85
Total 100

Summative Assessment

Component: Coursework Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 2500 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

A 250-300 words reflection of a social movement through a key concept or theoretical framework introduced in the lectures.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University