Free course

Passports: identity and airports

Free statement of participation on completion
Passports: identity and airports Copyrighted Icon

This free course, Passports: identity and airports, offers a sociological analysis of the modern airport. Using a lively mixture of videos, interactive exercises and readings, the course explores how the social world of the airport is made and maintained. In particular, it investigates how the processes that constitute this world - queuing, check in, security clearance, moving around and so on - depend on relations between people and material objects.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • understand the historical and sociological context of how passports became commonplace
  • identify ways in which passport regimes are used to sort, categorise, order and classify populations
  • consider ways that the passport can produce racialised subjects
  • understand how the passport has become a staple of security in the modern airport
  • understand the role of matter and the material in making social worlds by using the airport as a case study.

First Published: 11/11/2016

Updated: 02/09/2019

Skip Rate and Review

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371