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The Production of Belonging: Claiming Urban Space through Cultural and Linguistic Practices


Admission requirements

This course is only available for students in the BA Urban Studies programme.


This course explores the poetics, performances and politics of cultural and linguistic practices in cities all over the world. The emergence of increasingly multicultural cities comes with a multitude of dynamic cultural practices. Students are trained to reflect critically on both the dynamics and historical, social and cultural embeddedness of these urban practices. How is urban space claimed through cultural and linguistic practices and how they produce and reproduce notions of belonging? In this course, students will engage with critical approaches to study youth cultures and urban cultures in relation to globalization, group formation and identity construction. Topics such as hiphop, urban sports, youth language, fashion, art and social media are discussed on local and global scales, with a specific focus on its intersections with gender, race and class. This courses offers an approach that is sensitive to the dynamic, relational character of culture and that reflects the realities of the contemporary city.

This is the Multicultural City Thematic Elective.

Course objectives

General learning outcomes

See tab Additional information for the overview of the programme's general learning outcomes. In the assessment methods below is outlined which general learning outcome will be tested through which method.

Course objectives, pertaining to this course

  • 1) Students develop and learn to apply knowledge of the ways in which linguistic and cultural practices vary across the world in dynamic ways and how urban space is claimed through these practices;

  • 2) Students develop skills to empirically investigate how people produce senses of belonging in the city by practicing various research methods in the city of The Hague;

  • 3) Students acquire intellectual familiarity with different theoretical points of view with regard to youth cultures and urban cultures, globalization, group formation and identity construction and learn to apply this knowledge in their own work.


The timetable is available on the Urban Studies website

Mode of instruction

  • Work group (compulsory attendance)
    This means that students have to attend every session of the course. If a student is unable to attend a workgroup, they should inform the lecturer in advance, providing a valid reason for absence. The teacher will determine if and how the missed session can be compensated by an additional assignment. If they are absent from a workgroup without a valid reason, they can be excluded from the final exam in the course.

Course Load

Total course load for this course is 10 EC (1 EC equals 28 hours), which equals 280 hours, broken down by:

  • Practical work: 110 hours

  • Attending work groups: 28 hours

  • Study of compulsory literature: 100 hours

  • Completing assignment(s), preparing for classes and exams: 12 hours

  • Assessment hours (exams): 30 hours

Assessment method


  • Attendance, preparation and participation in workgroups
    -measured programme's general learning outcomes: 1, 4-5, 8, 10-11, 13-21, 23-26
    -measured course specific objectives: 1-3

  • Written paper
    -measured programme's general learning outcomes: 1, 4-6, 8, 11, 13-17, 19-20, 24-26
    -measured course specific objectives: 1-3


Partial grade Weighing
Work group grade: Attendance, preparation and participation 10
Reflection Paper 40
Final Research Paper (either textual or other format) 50

End grade

To successfully complete the course, please take note that the end grade of the course is established by determining the weighted average of all assessment components.


Students who have been active participants in class and submitted the final paper on time, but scored an overall insuffient mark, are entitled to a resit. For the resit, the students are given a chance to hand in a new version of the final paper. The deadline for resubmission is to be consulted with the lecturer.

Faculty regulations concerning participation in resits are listed in article 4.1 of the Faculty Course and Examination Regulations.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organised.


Blackboard will be used for:

  • Distribution of the syllabus and other relevant information

  • Distribution of some of the literature

  • Submission of assignments

  • Communication

Reading list

A reading list will be provided in the syllabus, consisting of articles that can be accessed through the Leiden University Library or shared by the lecturers on Blackboard.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Jasmijn Rana Maarten Mous