Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Sociology of Space and Place

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION This study-unit invites a critical appreciation and diagnosis of the dynamic relationship between people and environments, be they spatial, cultural or political. The study-unit facilitates an understanding of the meaning of space and place; land use and land use conflict; and the ways in which social behaviour conditions, and is conditioned by, contextual features such as housing, streets, neighbourhoods and urban agglomerations, in spurious or deliberate manners.

Special attention is paid to vernacular elements of the Maltese environment and their link to sociological relevance issues such as inequality, distinction, competition, conflict order and change. This study-unit will also examine the material manifestations of power and inequality as expressed in maps, use of spaces, aesthetics, discourses and emotional geographies.

Study-unit Aims:

To inform and equip students with the sociological imagination that would enable them to critically see and follow power in action in the interpretation and designation of land use.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will:
- Know about the complex but critical relationnship betwen power, hegemony and landscape;
- Be aware of the mechanisms that are put to work by different stakeholders to command specific uses of habitat.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Unpack the dynamics of actual conflicts underway in determining or blocking land use, by a careful study of detailed case studies;
- Utilise ‘land use mapping’ techniques effectively.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- Baldacchino, G. (Ed.). (2011) Extreme Heritage Management: The Practices and Policies of Densely Populated Islands. New York: Berghahn Books.
- Boissevain, J. (1996) Coping with Tourists: European Reactions to Mass Tourism. New York: Berghahn Books.
- Giddens, A. & Sutton, P. W. (2013) Sociology. 7th edition. Cambridge: Polity Press. Haralambos, M. & Holborn, M. (2008) Sociology: Themes and Perspectives. London: Collins Educational.
- Irwin, A. (2001) Sociology and the Environment: A Critical Introduction to Society, Nature and Knowledge. Cambridge: Polity Press.
- Massey, D. (1994) Space, Place and Gender. Cambridge: Polity Press.
- Redclift, M. & G. Woodgate (1995) The Sociology of the Environment. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
- Sultana, R.G. & G. Baldacchino, eds. (1994) Maltese Society: A Sociological Inquiry. Malta: Mireva.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Fieldwork, Independent Study, Lectures & Practical

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Fieldwork SEM1 Yes 25%
Practical SEM1 Yes 25%
Report SEM1 Yes 25%
Report SEM1 Yes 25%

LECTURER/S Godfrey Baldacchino

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.