Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POC3101: Contemporary Political Theory: Race, Class, Gender

This module descriptor refers to the 2018/9 academic year.

Please note that this module is only delivered on the Penryn Campus.

Module Content

Syllabus Plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover some or all of the following topics:


After introducing the notions of power and structural oppression, the course will interrogate how these are constituted along the three axes of race, class and gender in contemporary Western societies.


Key questions covered could include:


  • How do different forms of oppression intersect and mutually reinforce each other?
  • What transformations have occurred in class composition over the past century?
  • Is the nature/nurture dichotomy a viable and compelling distinction for understanding human development?
  • What is emotional labour and why might we consider it a feminist issue?
  • What is “colourblindness” and how can it reinforce racialised forms of oppression and white privilege?
  • How do you resist the exercise of political power? How does privilege operate and what should we do about it?

What are the limitations and weaknesses of contemporary accounts of allyship? Does being an ally mean giving up our agency or focusing on the wrong issues?

Learning and Teaching

This table provides an overview of how your hours of study for this module are allocated:

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

...and this table provides a more detailed breakdown of the hours allocated to various study activities:

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity2211 x 2 hour seminars
Guided independent study58for Directed reading
Guided independent study6for completing the formative research
Guided independent study 14for completing the essay/policy note
Guided independent study50for completing the research project.

Online Resources

This module has online resources available via ELE (the Exeter Learning Environment).