CP0242: Social Geography

School Cardiff School of Geography and Planning
Department Code GEOPL
Module Code CP0242
External Subject Code L700
Number of Credits 20
Level L5
Language of Delivery English
Module Leader Dr Geoffrey Deverteuil
Semester Spring Semester
Academic Year 2017/8

How the module will be assessed




2000 words




1.5 hours



The opportunity for reassessment in this module


Students are permitted to be reassessed in a module which they have failed, in line with the course regulations. The reassessment will usually take place during the summer.





How the module will be delivered

The module will be delivered through a combination of 2-hour lectures and 1-hour discussion/seminars.

Outline Description of Module

This module provides a detailed introduction to social geography, a key sub-field of the wider discipline of human geography. Whilst in theoretical terms social geography shares much overlap with cultural geography, not least in its approach to the themes of identity and socio-cultural ‘difference’, social geographical inquiry is distinguished from other fields of the discipline through its substantive focus on the spatiality of social divisions and disadvantage, and its corresponding concern with socio-spatial justice. The forms taken by these concerns are broad, including: the geographical expression and constitution of social polarisation and exclusion; the effects of population change on cities and neighbourhoods; the cultural and socio-economic impact of internal and international migration; the changing geographies of ‘work’ and of the relations between home and workspaces; the ‘new’ geographies of gender, ‘race’ and class and their various intersections; and the socio-spatial effects (urban and rural) of globalisation

On completion of the module a student should be able to

  1. Display an understanding of the key conceptual and empirical orientations of the social geographical field;
  2. Demonstrate an analytical understanding of the spatial processes underlying different forms of social division;
  3. Critically explore the empirical and methodological connections between social geography, other fields within the geographical discipline and the wider social sciences;
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of how social geographical contributions to knowledge inform social policy
  5. Central to this module is the development of students’ ability to engage critically with the need for geography to engage differently with various publics. This is assessed through coursework that all students must undertake.

Skills that will be practised and developed

  1. Critical thinking and analysis skills – evidenced by students demonstrating  their appreciation of the distinctiveness of social geographical inquiry, particularly through the opportunity to apply abstract and general ideas to specific case study areas and key subject areas in order to show how ideas can be applied in practice
  2. Oral communication skills by active participation in debates and seminars – evidenced by students’  understanding of the ontological and epistemological issues at stake in how social geography frames its driving questions and concerns
  3. Essay writing skills
  4. Display an understanding of topic-specific knowledge of contemporary issues and debates informed upon by social geographers


Assessment Breakdown

Type % Title Duration(hrs) Period Week
Written Assessment 50 Essay N/A 1 N/A
Examination - Spring Semester 50 Social Geography 1.5 1 N/A

Essential Reading and Resource List

Del Casino, V. (2009) Social Geography: A Critical Introduction, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.


Knox, P. and Pinch, S. (2010) Urban Social Geography. Sixth Edition


Parnelli, R. (2004) Social Geographies. London: Sage Publications.


Smith, S et al (2010) The Sage Handbook of Social Geographies. Sage: Thousand Oaks CA.


Valentine, G. (2001) Social Geographies: Space and Society. London: Prentice Hall.

Background Reading and Resource List

Ley, D. (1983) A Social Geography of the City, New York: Harper and Row.


Philo, C. (1995) Off the Map: The Social Geography of Poverty in the UK, London: Child Poverty Action Group.



Sibley, D. (1995) Geographies of Exclusion: Society and Difference in the West, London: Routledge

Syllabus content

Compulsory guided reading associated with each topic to supplement and deepen the taught component.


The lectures will focus upon specific topics within social geography:

  • introducing social geography and key concepts                                      
  • social and spatial inequality
  • exclusion, stigma and place
  • housing, homelessness and inequality
  • identity
  • migration, segregation
  • welfare


Seminars will be based upon an amalgam of both classic and contemporary readings in social geography. Discussion in seminars will be structured to enable class members to take up and defend mock adversarial positions, allowing the honing of core analytical and debating skills.

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