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SOC3094 : Class in Everyday Life

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • 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 and to understand the differences between competing perspectives.
Class has become an increasingly contested concept whereby some theorists and commentators see it as less relevant, whilst others assert it is just as significant, if not more so, than it has ever been. Students will be expected to critically evaluate, a range of theoretical trends in class analysis to explore the on-going tensions between cultural and economic/phenomenological and material relations of class and the (re)making of class subjects.
Alongside theoretical concepts, the module examines how class manifests in our everyday lives through such things as our relationships, jobs, health, and leisure and to what extent it endures as a mode of identity and inequality in the UK. Throughout the module there will be a focus on the changing relationship between structure and agency and the ways in which life chances and life experiences are shaped. The module will challenge students to think about social class from both personal and theoretical perspectives and enable them to develop reasoned arguments about the role of class in contemporary society.

Outline Of Syllabus

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

Building on theoretical debates introduced in stages one and two (particularly the work of foundational theorists including Marx and Weber), this module will further develop those ideas and will introduce students to Cultural Class theorists (for example Bourdieu) and individualisation theories (such as Beck, Giddens and Bauman). This part of the module will develop students’ knowledge of class and competing theoretical perspectives as a tool for reasserting and examining class today.

Following the focus on theoretical perspectives, each following week will explore the contemporary relevance and manifestations of class in relation to substantive topics. These may include: employment, leisure, social mobility, health, and the media. Students will explore the ways in which class is experienced via old and new inequalities and identity formation in everyday life.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture102:0020:00Traditional lecture format
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion175:0075:00N/A
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.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery22:004:00Drop-in feedback sessions after each assignment, students come individually for 15-20min.
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity18:008:00N/A
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 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
Essay2M401500 words
Portfolio2M602500 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 portfolio 'zine' project 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