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Module Reading List

Understanding and Researching Contemporary Society, 2021/22, Semester 1
Dr Carly O'Neill-Barrett
Tutor information is taken from the Module Catalogue

Block 1: Disability

Essential Reading 

Barnes, C., & Mercer, G. (2010). Exploring disability (2nd ed.). Oxford: Polity.  

Swain, J., French, S., Barnes, C., & Thomas, C. (2014). Disabling barriers - enabling environments (3rd ed.). London: SAGE.   


Other key books cited in the lectures

Equality and Human Rights Commission. (2017). Being disabled in Britain: A journey less equal.   Retrieved from

Hingsburger, D. (1995). Just Say Know! – Understanding and Reducing the Risk of Sexual Victimisation of People with Developmental Disabilities. Quebec/ Canada: Diverse City Press.

Hollomotz, A. (2011). Learning difficulties and sexual vulnerability: A social approach. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Hunt, P. (1966). Stigma: the experience of disability. London: G. Chapman.

Miller, E. J., & Gwynne, G. V. (1974). A Life Apart: Pilot Study of Residential Institutions for the Physically Handicapped and the Young Chronic Sick. London: Tavistock Pubns.

Oliver, M. (1990). The politics of disablement. London: Macmillan Education.

Oliver, M. (1996). Understanding disability: From theory to practice. Basingstoke: Macmillan.

Oliver, M., Sapey, B., & Thomas, P. (2012). Social work with disabled people (4th ed.). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Ryan, J., & Thomas, F. (1987). The politics of mental handicap (Rev. ed.). London: Free Association.


Block 2: Urban sociology

Essential Reading 

Parker, S. (2015) 'Encountering the City' in Parker, S (2015) Urban theory and the urban experience: encountering the city. London: Routledge  

Savage, M, (1993) 'Perspectives on Urban Culture', in Savage, M and Warde, A (1993) Urban Sociology, Capitalism and Modernity. Basingstoke: Macmillan.         

Other reading

Back, L and Purwar, N (2012) 'A Manifesto for Live Methods: Provocations and Capacities'. The Sociological Review 60 (1): 6-17

Horning, R (2020) Deserted cities of the heart

Paton, K (2018) The Future Imagination: Going Live, Getting Real, DIY


Block 3: Hollywood cinema and the representation of African Americans

Benshoff, H.M. and Griffin, 2009, S. America on film: representing race, class, gender and sexuality at the movies, Parts I and II, chapters 1 to 7.

Bogle, D. 2016, Toms, coons, mulattoes, mammies, and bucks: an interpretive history of blacks in American films 5th edition

Cohan, S; Hark I.R.1993, Screening the Male: Exploring Masculinities in Hollywood Cinema, Routledge, London. Ch. 10.

Cripps T, 1977, Slow fade to black: the Negro in American film, 1900-1942.

Denzin, N, 2001, Reading Race, Sage.

Diawara, M. ‘Black spectatorship: problems of identification and resistance’ Screen, Volume 29, Issue 4, Autumn 1988, Pages 66- 79

Guerrero, E. 1993, Framing Blackness: the African American image in film, Temple University Press.

Bernardi, D. (2001), Classic Hollywood Classic Whiteness, Minnesota press, U.S.A  (ch.8)

Diawara, M. (1993), Black American Cinema, Routledge, London (ch.16).

Null, G. (1975) Black Hollywood: The black performer in Motion Pictures, Citadel Press, New York.

Tasker, Y. (1993), Spectacular Bodies: Gender, Genre and the Action Cinema, Routledge, London.


Key Research Methods Textbooks

Due to the vast amount of relevant sources available from the library, this reading list cannot be exclusive. Furthermore, no list can ever replace the experience of browsing the library shelves yourself. Most methods books can be found at shelf mark ‘Sociology A-2’ in the Edward Boyle or Laidlaw Library. Thus, ensure that you visit the libraries on a regular basis to make the most of the information available to you.

Essential Reading: Bryman, A. (2015) Social Research Methods (5th Edition). Oxford: Oxford University Press.     


Other good texts

Babbie, E. R. (2015). The practice of social research (14th ed.). London: Wadsworth Cangage Learning.

Berg, B. L. (2009/12). Qualitative research methods for the social sciences (7/8th ed.). London: Pearson Education.

David, M., & Sutton, C. D. (2010). Social research : an introduction (2nd ed.). London: SAGE.

Gilbert, G. N. (2015). Researching social life (4th ed.). London: SAGE.

Kumar, R. (2014). Research methodology: a step-by-step guide for beginners (4th ed.). London: SAGE.

May, T. (2011) Social Research: Issues, Methods and Process (4th Edition). Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Neuman, W.L. (2010) Social research methods: qualitative and quantitative approaches (7th ed.). London: Pearson.

Punch, K. (2014). Introduction to social research: Quantitative and qualitative approaches (3rd ed.). London: SAGE.

Sarantakos, S. (2012). Social research (4th ed.). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Seale, C. (2017) Researching society and culture (4th ed.), London, SAGE.

Walter, M. (2013) Social research methods (3rd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Chapter 5 "Carrying out qualitative interviews" in: King, N., Horrocks, C., & Brooks, J. (2019). Interviews in qualitative research (2nd ed.). London: SAGE.    Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva 


Academic skills

Owning your own copy of at least one of the texts listed below will make preparation and future reference easier – remember study skills are a continuing issue during your studies. Their relevance does not end once this module is completed. (If you want to save money, search for earlier editions of Cottrell’s book, for instance. You do not need the latest edition, as the subject matter does not change much.)

Arksey, H. & Harris, D. (2007) How to Succeed in your Social Science Degree. London: Sage Publications.

Allen, K.L. (ed). (2005) Study Skills – Student Survival Guide. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Cottrell, S. (2019) The Study Skills Handbook. Fifth Edition. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Currie, D. (2005) Developing and Applying Study Skills. London: Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development.

Drew, S. & Bingham, R. (2001) The Student Skills Guide. Second Edition. Burlington: Gower Publishing Company.

Price, G., & Maier, P. (2007).  Effective study skills. London: Pearson Education.

This list was last updated on 08/10/2020