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Module

SOC2094 : Class in Everyday Life

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Jacqui Close
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

The aims of this module are to explore the continued relevance of class in the late modern, post- industrial period. Class has become an increasingly contested issue whereby some commentators see it as less relevant, whilst others assert it is as significant, if not more so, than it has ever been. The module examines the role of class in the context of de-industrialisation, individualisation and the neoliberal moment that have led some to pronounce its death. Students will engage with and critically evaluate contemporary theoretical trends in class analysis. The module reasserts the continued relevance of class today and looks at how it manifests in our everyday lives through such things as our relationships, job, health and clothes and endures as a key mode of inequality and identity in the UK. Students will be expected to engage critically with the content of the module and come to their own assessments as to how far class remains a key dimension of inequality in the contemporary period. The module will examine the on-going fissures between cultural and economic/ phenomenological and material relations of class that have beset analysis and explores how these might be understood using various theoretical frameworks to explore the remaking of class subjects. Throughout the module there will be a particular focus on the changing relationship between structure and agency in the ways in which life chances and life experiences are determined. The module will challenge students to think about social class from both a personal and a theoretical perspective.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module begins by developing theoretical foundations of class analysis and knowledge of key historical, political and intellectual moments that have been argued to have undermined its relevance before going on to explore and assess the continued relevance of class in current everyday life.

Lectures/Workshops 1-4
Building on theoretical debates introduced in stage one (particularly the work of foundational theorists including Marx, Weber and Bourdieu), this module will further develop those ideas and will also introduce students to contemporary Cultural Class theorists such as Savage, Skeggs and Reay and individualisation theories via Beck, Giddens and Bauman. This part of the module will develop students’ knowledge of class and will present and consider the role of hegemony as a tool for reasserting and examining class today in late modern neoliberal times.

Lectures/Workshops 5-9
Each week will explore the contemporary relevance and manifestations of class in relation to substantive topics. These include: employment, leisure, media, elites, and social mobility. Students will explore the current ways in which class is experienced via old and new inequalities and identity formation in everyday life.

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials92:0018:00Non synchronous, on line
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities92:0018:00Non-Synchronous, non-timetabled remote delivery
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching91:009:00Synchronous, timetabled on-line delivery (small group practicals)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops91:009:00Synchronous, timetabled on-line delivery ( Skills based Q&A)
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1116:00116:00N/A
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will introduce students to the core themes of the module. Students will be engaged in critical assessment of key readings in the workshops and asked to reflect on these in light of their own life experiences. Students will be set activities each week that prepare them for the following week’s lecture and workshop, in which there will be space for personal reflections, insights and analysis. Included in the non-synchronous activity work, students will be set independent tasks such as collecting news articles, images, and social media posts that catch their attention and can be viewed through a classed lens. They will also be set the task of viewing specific, relevant films and documentaries that either have class as their central theme or that can be analysed as presenting a particular class perspective. These activities are intended to encourage students to link abstract ideas to the everyday and will feed directly into the second assessment for this module.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M50Essay 2000 words
Essay2M50Zine Making Project 2000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The essay will test the theoretical learning outcomes and will involve the students engaging with independent learning – retrieving and assimilating new material. The zine-making project will allow students to reflect on either one or two personal issues or experiences through a classed lens and draw in theoretical material where appropriate. Students will be encouraged to keep a weekly diary that records their experiences on the module and reflects upon the topics covered (work, leisure etc.) from a personal perspective. The diary is not assessed, but is intended as a way to build a cumulative record of their thoughts and feelings, and collection of images and writings, which will help them in creating the second assessed piece of work.

Reading Lists

Timetable