Ethnicity and Migration

Final year module

Migration and issues of ethnic and national belonging are currently generating intense national, political discourses across Europe and the UK. Media and popular cultural texts are engaged in major debates concerning international migration. In this context, these issues are provoking pervasive feelings of increased anxiety, risk and dislocation, within a context of rapid social and cultural transformations.

This module will examine sociological research perspectives that explore issues of ethnicity and international migration.

The first part of the module is a diachronic analysis of international migration which sets out to explore in detail the major historical migration of countries of south into Western Europe. The aims of the module here are to offer a comparative and comprehensive exploration of international migration, decolonisation and globalisation. This module will aid students to comprehend the complexity of history and to address the question of human movement in relation to that history.

The second part of the module is a synchronic analysis which will address the contemporary issues in ethnicity and migration such as: the relationship between ethnicity and migration; migration theories; the duality and ambivalence of the colonial experience; the competing discourses of nationalism and trans-nationalism; labour, legal status and the achievement of citizenship; citizenship tests and statutory support; functional integration and social integration; return investments and remittances; gender and migration; religion and migration, asylum-seekers and refugees; and media representations.

The module provides students with depth and scope in the analysis of central aspects of international migration and ethnicity and provides them with the tools to discuss competently these current issues.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this module the students should be able to:

  • describe and critically evaluate a number of theoretical positions on ethnicity and migration discourses;
  • use relevant sources, concepts and theories to formulate an argument
  • locate these positions within a historical framework and in relation to other discursive practices in ethnicity and migration.
  • analyse the diversity of transnationalism, ethnicity and migration representations through a variety of different media and political discourses.
  • to critically apply ethnicity and migration theories to transnationalism questions and critically assess different themes
  • apply ethnicity and migration critical theories to the analysis of a wide range of texts and to address contemporary questions in Britain.
  • examine key concepts and strategies of ethnicity discourse and migration critical theory and be able to evaluate their relevance in different historical situations and to different examples of cultural representation.
  • support an argument with evidence and use examples to explain your argument analyse the origins and permutations of racial perceptions, stereotypes and identities critically engage with historical sociological questions
  • recognise and critically evaluate the continued dominance of national discourse
  • communicate in an appropriate academic style using correct referencing, essay structure , grammar and spelling


  • 1 x 4000 word essay 50%
  • 1 x three-hour exam 50%