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SOC3094 : Class in Everyday Life

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Jacqui Close
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


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 deindustrialisation, 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 which 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 in the current period. The module will challenge students to think about social class from both a personal and a theoretical perspective.

Outline Of Syllabus

This 12 week course begins by developing theoretical foundations of class analysis and knowledge of key historical, political and intellectual moments that have seemingly undermined its relevance before going on to explore and assess the continued relevance of class in current everyday life.

Lectures 1-4
Building on theoretical debates introduced in stages one and two (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.

Lecture 5-11
Then each week will explore the contemporary relevance and manifestations of class in relation to substantive topics. These include: employment, leisure, crime, social mobility, health, housing and community and the media. Students will explore the current ways in which class is experienced via old and new inequalities and identity formation in everyday life.

Week 12, summing up and revision/ assessment

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion175:0075:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture102:0020:00Traditional lecture format
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching81:008:00Seminars will allow the students to explore topics in depth
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops22:004:00Two workshops will be devoted to assessment planning and assessment skills development.
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity18:008:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery22:004:00Drop-in feedback sessions after each assignment, students come individually for 15-20min.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study181:0081:00Independent reading and study is integral to the module
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 seminars and asked to reflect on these in light of their own life experiences. Small group work will be undertaken in the seminar classes. Two of the workshops will be devoted to assessment planning and assessment skills development.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M501500 words
Portfolio2M502500 words
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Reflective log2MStudents will be encouraged to keep a diary of reflections on everyday encounters viewed through a classed lens which they will be able to discuss at seminars to help prepare for their assessments.
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 reflective log will allow students to reflect on a personal issue 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 (not assessed) that will help them in writing the reflective log at the end of the module

Reading Lists