Social Geography of Outsiders GEOG4066

  • Academic Session: 2017-18
  • School: School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2 (Alternate Years)
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course offers a geographical perspective on the worlds of 'outsider' human groupings emphasising the spatial dimensions of the social exclusion that they may experience.


2 hours lectures per week, including embedded practical sessions

2 x 1-hour seminars for each student

Requirements of Entry

Fullfillment of entry requirements to Level 3 Geography

Excluded Courses





An essay (up to 1,750 words) on the social geography of a particular "outsider" grouping chosen by the student 

A group-based presentation and group-led discussion, to which individual students will be expected to contribute fully

Examination (one question out of a choice of five to be done in 90 minutes)

Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

The course will offer a geographical perspective on "outsider" human groupings and aims to provide conceptual and empirical elements, from different times and places, and promote an awareness of (and perhaps a tolerance and respect for) 'outsider' worlds, lives and geographies.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

Subject-specific learning outcomes 

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

(1) debate the concept of 'outsiders', thinking about who might be so categorised in what circumstances, and being critical about the limitations of the concept;

(2) draw upon 'figures' of 'the outsider' associated with a range of disciplinary perspectives beyond academic geography, outlining their geographical implications;

(3) describe and evaluate the central claims about a social geography of 'outsiders' present in the texts of David Sibley;

(4) examine the many connections between space (both physical and imagined) and the worlds of 'outsider' human groupings, acknowledging that space can be both a tool of 'mainstream' oppression and a resource for 'outsider' resistance;

(5) critically assess the 'marginal geographies' associated with groupings (eg. islanders, crofters) existing in harsh physical environments remote from 'mainstream' population centres;

(6) critically assess the 'occupational geographies', noting the unique cultures that certain 'occupations' or ways of securing a livelihood (eg. sewer-workers, rubbish-workers and tinners) can foster in the people and places concerned;

(7) critically assess the 'enclaved geographies' of indigenous peoples (or 'Fourth Worlders') such as Australian Aborigines and New Zealand Maoris, noting the processes and legacies of a spatially constricting colonialism;

(8) critically assess the 'embodied geographies' of people whose physical capacities differ from what is taken as normal, exploring the relationship with space negotiated by both people with chronic illnesses and people with physical disabilities;

(9)critically assess the 'aged geographies' of people who are chronologically of very different ages, thereby contrasting the differing spatial exclusions/inclusions present in the worlds of babies, children and elderly people;

(10)critically assess the 'sexualised geographies' of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and others who are sexually different, noting the difficulties prompted for them by the predominant heterosexual codings of public space;

(11)reflect critically on the course materials, albeit in a manner that is both aware of the problems faced by many 'outsider' groupings and attuned to the creative (often courageous) ways in which such groupings cope with their situations.


Transferable skill-learning outcomes

(1) integrate more theoretical lines of argument with detailed empirical examples, thus to think conceptually about particular aspects of the substantive world;

1. synthesise and analyse diverse primary materials to be used as 'evidence' in their coursework assignment;

1. reflect critically upon their own often taken-for-granted assumptions about the differing human groupings present within society;

(4) produce carefully argued written work which adheres to the rigorous conventions of academic scholarship;

(5) discuss and present orally ideas and findings associated with the course, particularly as linked into the use of primary materials;

(6)work constructively and cooperatively in groups when addressing specific tasks requiring research, analysis, synthesis, presentation and question-answering.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Not applicable