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This course introduces students to the sociological study of culture. Exploring topics such as art, sport, food, religion, music, social media and cultural memory, we will examine how culture can reproduce, organise, and challenge particular social values and structures. To put this study into context, the course also traces the rise of cultural sociology in the late 20th century; a time when sociologists became increasingly interested in popular culture and everyday life, and cultural critics began to consider the sociological context of literature, art, and film. Using these innovative studies as a framework, each week we will analyse an aspect of contemporary culture and consider its sociological importance. On completion of the course, students will have an understanding of the cultural dimensions of social life and the key theories and methods that can be used to critically analyse cultural experience.
Intended learning outcomes
On successful completion of this subject, students should:
- Have an understanding of why culture is an important site for sociological research
- Have an ability to use sociological frameworks to explore dimensions of contemporary cultural life including identity, ritual, and community
- Have an ability to analyse case studies
- Have an ability to use sociological theory to interpret cultural practices.
On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:
- Think and write critically and creatively about complex cultural issues
- Apply theoretical frameworks to everyday contexts and case studies
- Develop an understanding of cultural diversity in public life.
Last updated: 20 February 2024