SOAS University of London

Department of Anthropology and Sociology

African and Asian Cultures in Britain

Course Code:
Unit value:
Year of study:
Year 1 or Year 2
Taught in:
Term 2
There have been people of African and Asian origin in Britain for over five hundred years. In this course we focus on the communities they have created after the Second World War and examine whether they have helped foster new ideas of ‘Britishness’. The course examines why people from the ex colonies migrated to Britain and the contributions they have made to British culture and society.

We will look at the social science literature on these diasporas under a number of key debates, including issues of race and nation, political identity, popular culture, education, and social protest in an attempt to understand the different approaches of those who have written about these issues.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

The course aims to highlight that ‘Britishness’ is a concept that has transformed historically and continues to be in flux, and migrant communities have been integral to the constellation of meanings attached to the term. By telling ‘the migrant’s story’, through the experiences of African and Asian communities who migrated here, as well as the new ‘others’ who have come to Britain, ideas of race, nation and belonging can be viewed through a different, and more critical, lens.

Learning Outcomes: 

  • Students will develop an advanced knowledge base regarding migrant communities in Britain post 1945.
  • Students will develop an awareness of methodological issues in the study of anthropological theories of race, nation, migration and diaspora communities.
  • Students will develop appropriate analytical skills.
    H. Students will develop appropriate research and communication skills and reflect critically on their own learning processes.
  • Students will develop the skills necessary to continue with independent research in the areas covered by the course.

Method of assessment

100% coursework.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules