Undergraduate Module Descriptor

SOC3030: Sociology of Art and Culture

This module descriptor refers to the 2019/0 academic year.


NQF Level 6
Credits 15 ECTS Value 7.5
Term(s) and duration

This module ran during term 2 (11 weeks)

Academic staff

Dr Christopher Thorpe (Convenor)





Available via distance learning


This course examines how cultural issues can be investigated sociologically. It introduces students to the main range of theoretical approaches to the sociology of art and culture, including classical Marxist and neo-Marxist paradigms such as those of Gramsci and the Frankfurt School, semiotics, and the ideas of Pierre Bourdieu. It also offers students the chance to explore sociological viewpoints on the nature of artistic creation and other forms of cultural activity. A particular feature of the course involves analysis of what the terms ‘art’ and ‘popular culture’ may mean, and the stakes that are involved in their use in different social contexts. The relations between social groups, forms of power and modes of cultural creation, dissemination and consumption are explored and reflected upon.

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