Year of entry: 2018
Course unit details:
Sociology of Personal Life
|Unit level||Level 1|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 1|
|Available as a free choice unit?||Yes|
The course will start with an introduction to what is meant by 'personal life' with the help of practical examples. This will provide a basis for the lectures that follow. These will address demographic shifts that have occurred in the area of personal life over the last century or so, as well as how these wider social changes have been visible on the level of individual lives. We will unpack different areas of 'personal life' and examine how these have changed in relation to wider social phenomena. One important area is that of different personal relationships such as family, kinship and friendships. Other aspects of personal life that we will address include the meaning of home, sexualities, the impact of new reproductive technologies and the link between the personal and the political. The course will end with a lecture that provides a summary and overview of what personal life means in sociology.
' To introduce students to a sociological approach to the study of personal life
- To examine how personal lives have changed over time and in relation to social changes
- To explore how wider social changes have impacted upon personal life
- To provide conceptual tools for understanding the micro level of day-to-day life
On completion of this unit successful students will:
- be able to understand the relationship between personal experience and wider social phenomena
- be able to understand how the 'present' is rooted in the past
- have knowledge of the interconnections between issues of biography, sexuality, place, home, and other areas defined as 'personal'
- will have an appreciation of why and how the individual is important to the study of sociology
Teaching and learning methods
Weekly lectures (2 x 1hr)
Weekly tutorials (1hr)
1 compulsory non-assessed essay (1500 words) and 1 non-assessed presentation (during tutorial times). 5 marks deducted from final mark for each non-completed assignment.
Final mark derived from 2 hour examination.
All sociology courses include both formative feedback – which lets you know how you’re getting on and what you could do to improve – and summative feedback – which gives you a mark for your assessed work.
Davis, Kathy (1995) Reshaping the Female Body: The Dilemma of Cosmetic Surgery. London: Routledge.
Jamieson, Lynn (1998) Intimacy: Personal Relationships in Modern Societies. Cambridge: Polity.
Lupton, Deborah (1998) The Emotional Self: A Sociocultural Exploration. London: Sage. McRae, Susan (ed) (1999) Changing Britain: Families and Households in the 1990s. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Morrill, Calvin, Snow, David A. & White, Cindy H. (eds) (2005) Together Alone: Personal Relationships in Public Places, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Pahl, Ray (2000) On Friendship. Cambridge: Polity.
Scott, Susie (2009) Making Sense of Everyday Life, Cambridge: Polity.
Weeks, Jeffrey, Heaphy, Brian & Donovan, Catherine (2001) Same Sex Intimacies: Families of Choice and Other Life Experiments. London: Routledge.
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Assessment written exam||2|
|Independent study hours|
|Petra Nordqvist||Unit coordinator|
Wednesday 10:00 - 12:00, plus a separate one-hour tutorial (range of times available)