The module aims to acquaint students with some of the most relevant approaches to issues related to social minority and identity. The sessions are structured around case studies offering a global and comparative perspective on social conflicts in Europe to outline the political, cultural, and social dimensions of complex issues related to minorities and identities.
The first session will provide a theoretical basis for the module through the critical scrutiny of the notions ‘identity,’ and ‘minority’ and their fluid, constructed nature. From the second session onwards, the module will examine social inequalities through case studies taken from contemporary Europe but with a focus on global processes. We will debate the question of race and racism concerning Western and Eastern Europe, then unfold the issues of ethnicity-, religion-, language-, or gender based biases through the examples of immigration, Muslim minorities, and multiculturalist endeavors. The last session will focus on the fight for minority rights, showing the real-life challenges of human rights NGOs, and concluding and reflecting on all the previous debates of the module.
As a learning outcome, students will have a solid understanding of how identities are formed along constructed categories and are embedded in global power structures, and will be able to critically address the many faces of minority oppression. The module is recommended for anyone interested in social sciences and may serve as a starting point for public policy, cultural studies, religious studies, human geography, or sociolinguistics.