Cultural Politics and Social Diversity in Contemporary Russia and Post-Socialist Europe CEES4014

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

The demise of state socialism created unprecedented opportunities for qualitative sociological and anthropological research into the societies and cultures of the former 'Soviet block'. Studies have revealed complex and diverse societies which challenge previous understandings of the experiences of state socialism, as well as presenting a range of experiences, practices and responses to 'post-socialist' transformations. This course will query the meanings of 'post-socialism' both examining and questioning the impacts of 'shared' historical legacies. Focusing on case studies of gender, class, social security and care, the course will explore growing inequalities in the contemporary period and the ways in which practices, relationships and experiences are shaped by both local and global socio-economic and political structures and by socio-cultural expectations and understandings of what is possible and acceptable for different groups of people. The course will also draw students' attention to the ways in which 'knowledge' is created and the biases and silences which can arise as a result. Students will be encouraged to explore a range of methodologies and approaches by which people's experiences and understandings of and responses to social and cultural change can be studied and analysed..

Timetable

One 2 hour class per week

This course may not be running this year. For further information please check the CEES Moodle page or contact the subject directly.

Requirements of Entry

Mandatory entry requirements
Entry to CEES Honours normally requires a grade point average of 12 (Grade C) over CEES 2A and CEES 2B as a first attempt.

Excluded Courses

None

Co-requisites

Whilst it is not a pre-requisite it is strongly recommended that students wishing to take this course, consider taking 'Social History and Cultural Politics in Twentieth Century Russia' in semester 1.

Assessment

Research project 80% (4,000 - 4,500 words). Oral Assessment and Presentation: In weeks 6 and 7 all students will give a short presentation of their outline for their research project - 10%; In addition, course participation will be assessed in terms of both student attendance at weekly seminars and through assessment of active participation by engagement with weekly pre-class tasks and in-class group work - 10%. Where a student is unable to attend for a valid reason, written evidence of preparation and participation in pre-class study tasks may be submitted.

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

The demise of state socialism created unprecedented opportunities for qualitative sociological and anthropological research into the societies and cultures of the former 'Soviet block'. Studies have revealed complex and diverse societies which challenge previous understandings of the experiences of state socialism, as well as presenting a range of experiences, practices and responses to 'post-socialist' transformations. This course will query the meanings of 'post-socialism' both examining and questioning the impacts of 'shared' historical legacies. Focusing on case studies of gender, class, social security and care, the course will explore growing inequalities in the contemporary period and the ways in which practices, relationships and experiences are shaped by both local and global socio-economic and political structures and by socio-cultural expectations and understandings of what is possible and acceptable for different groups of people. The course will also draw students' attention to the ways in which 'knowledge' is created and the biases and silences which can arise as a result. Students will be encouraged to explore a range of methodologies and approaches by which people's experiences and understandings of and responses to social and cultural change can be studied and analysed.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

 

■ identify and explain the ways in which socio-economic and political structures, as well as socio-cultural expectations and understandings influence practices, experiences and relationships between different groups of people in contemporary Russia and 'post-socialist' Europe.

■ evaluate the balance between shared experiences of state socialism and post-socialist transformations on the one hand, and local, social and cultural specificities on the other, in shaping everyday realities in Russia and 'post-socialist' Europe.

■ critically apply relevant theoretical frameworks to empirical case study examples illustrating aspects of social diversity, inequalities and cultural politics in contemporary Russia and 'post-socialist' Europe.

■ critically assess primary sources including contemporary media texts and visual images, cultural representations and ethnographic data, as well as academic and other secondary accounts, paying particular attention to silences and omissions.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.