Course Description

Course Name

Londonopolis - Exploring the Global City

Session: VLNU3621

Hours & Credits

10 UK Credits

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


Course Rationale:

This module will combine contemporary theories and debates on the condition of urban life in a global city with hands-on ethnographic, street level perspective on urban social form experienced by students. The idea is to continuously relate theories from urban anthropology, sociology and urban studies with dynamic reality ?out-there? directly confronted and experienced by students. The aim of the module is to generate discussions among students on the interplay between culture and structure, economy and society, urban landscape and human behaviour using phenomena, data, images, observations experienced by students during fieldtrips which are the integral part of the teaching tool. The methodological assumption behind the module is strictly anthropological - that students need to be ?immersed? in various aspects of London life, see things with their own eyes, analyse and critically evaluate their own assumptions against the backdrop of chaos and order of urban life in London.

London is undoubtedly one of the global cities that offer a unique experience of social diversity. For many international students life in London is part of their education trajectory per se and this module aims at deepening this commonly held assumption through a study exploring various aspects and trends in contemporary global city. The proposed structure of the module will be divided between lectures/seminars/ethnographic debriefing sessions and field trips in 1:1 ratio (one trip, one session). The taught sessions will be divided into a taught part and an ?ethnographic debriefing? session where notes, pictures, impressions from fieldtrip will be discussed and analysed.

Learning outcomes:

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

1) be familiar with various aspects of contemporary social life in London beyond mere visitor?s gaze
2) critically reflect on various theoretical debates within urban studies using their own experience of living in London
3) reflect on various methodological, ethical and political aspects of urban ethnography
4) apply their critical reflections in their own interpretations of social life of London
5) familiarize themselves with various qualitative methods of urban research like interviews, visual ethnography, participant observation, discourse analysis, auto-ethnography
6) Be aware of effective writing strategies

Required reading on methodology

? M. Hennink, I. Hutter, A. Bailey. 2010. Qualitative research methods. Sage Pub.
? P. Atkinson. 2007. Handbook of ethnography. Sage Pub.
? M. Hammersley, P. Atkinson. 2007. Ethnography: principles in practice. Taylor&Francis
? S. Pink. 200. Doing Visual Ethnography, London: Sage, especially Chapters 3 & 6.


1) Visual ethnography piece ? 40% - to be presented
2) Three thousand words essay ? 60%

*Course content subject to change