London is an historic city, capital of the United Kingdom and the seat of the British government and monarchy. Yet it is increasingly recognised as a global city, the site of an unprecedented convergence of human communities from all parts of the world. Today London is home to communities of people from over 90 countries and its residents speak over 300 languages. Focusing particularly since the period of reconstruction after the Second World War, this course will look at patterns of urban development, inward migration and the struggle for political and civil rights in relation to the emergence of the wide range of ethnic and religious groupings that compose London’s population at the beginning of the 21st century. The course will cover a range of theoretical perspectives to help analyse cultural differentiation, cosmopolitism and hybridisation. We will concentrate on how issues of identity, ethnicity and religion in London are explored, contested, negotiated and shaped in relation to other markers of identity such as class, language, nationality and gender. The course will take full advantage of London’s multi-cultural and multi-religious landscape by visiting various cultural and religious centres. There will also be the opportunity to engage with political offices engaged with such issues as diversity, equality rights, policing and interfaith relations in the city. In some semesters, not open to students in another course with a SOC cross-listing except for sociology majors by request (check academic update for any restriction for current semester). These courses include SOC/PSC 362/REL 355 and QSX/SOC/WGS 400.1.
Semesters: Fall, Spring