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The idea of power is a way to grasp the character of social relations. Investigating power can tell us about who is in control and who may benefit from such arrangements. Power can be a zero-sum game of domination. It can also be about people acting together to enact freedom. This subject examines the diverse and subtle ways power may be exercised. It considers how power operates in different domains such as markets, political systems and other social contexts. It also examines how power may be moderated by such things as regulation and human rights. A key aim is to explore how differing perspectives portray power relations and how issues of power distribution may be characterised and addressed.
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of this subject students should:
- Demonstrate a detailed knowledge and understanding of the way power is exercised and operates, including key concepts and principles;
- apply appropriate critical skills and methodologies to the analysis of national and international debates on power;
- identify and engage with common methods of research in the humanities and social sciences;
- approach critical debates in the humanities and social sciences with intellectual honesty, self-reflection and a respect for ethical scholarship;
- identify the strengths and weaknesses of scholarly arguments;
- communicate knowledge and arguments effectively in oral and written formats;
- work effectively, in groups and independently, to identify, discuss and critically analyse key issues in the humanities and social sciences.
Last updated: 18 December 2020