GV3CPS-Consumption, Politics and Space

Module Provider: Geography and Environmental Science
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Prof Mike Goodman

Email: m.k.goodman@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
This module provides students with an appreciation of the theoretical and empirical links among consumption, globalisation and sustainability from the perspective of political ecology. It enables students to develop a critical awareness of the role of the middle-class and rich people in global patterns of consumption and enviro-social sustainability and facilitates an understanding of the moral economies of global consumption networks.

To provide students with an appreciation of the broad theoretical and empirical links between political ecology and the globalised politics of sustainability; to develop a critical understanding of the cultural material politics of sustainable consumption and the celebritised and other mediatised framings of sustainable consumption, environments, development and food politics; to explore practical and policy-related responses to these issues and concerns through group discussion and debate; to gain the skills of generating a practical solution to the reduction of individual carbon footprints.

Assessable learning outcomes:
At the end of the module students will 1) have a critical understanding of the politics of sustainable consumption; 2) have an awareness of a number of different theoretical approaches to the politics of sustainability and sustainable consumption and the cultural politics and political ecologies of the environment, food and development; 3) have developed the skills to create practical and creative solutions to socio-environmental problems.

Additional outcomes:
Ability to develop a CW question and project; ability to work in a group to produce a viable presentation and practical set of ideas to reduce individual carbon footprints; the module also aims to encourage the development of skills of critical thinking and the presentation of arguments in oral and written form. This will be achieved through students’ individual reading, research, and contributions to seminars.

Outline content:
The module will combine the critical discussion of theories of social and socio-ecological change, with the analysis and evaluation of their application to case studies in diverse geographical contexts. Themes will include: Introduction to Consumption, Globalisation and Sustainability; iSustainability and its discontents; Sustainable Foods I: Fish Fighting Chefs; Sustainable Foods II: Food, environment and shmeat; Sustainable Stuff: Ethical/Sustainable Fashion; Climate Cultures I: Carbon labelling; Cultures of Sustainability I: Celebrities, transnationalism, and charity campaigns; Cultures of Sustainability II: Green the film and communicating conservation; and Cultures of Sustainability III: Social media and digital/virtual sustainabilities.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Students will be taught using a blend of lectures, seminars and other workshops.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Seminars 10
Guided independent study 170
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 50
Oral assessment and presentation 50

Other information on summative assessment:
Students will be assessed through a coursework essay and a group presentation accompanied by supporting documentation.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40%overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Resubmission of coursework in August/September

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 31 March 2017

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