Sociology of Culture

Subject SOCI20016 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Aug-2016
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 30 contact hours: 1 x 1.5 hour lecture and 1 x 1 hour tutorial per week for 12 weeks.
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours in total.

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Students are recommended to have taken Sociology at level one.

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr Ashley Barnwell


Subject Overview:

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.

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this subject, students will:

  • have an understanding of why culture is an important site for sociological research; and
  • have an ability to use sociological frameworks to explore dimensions of contemporary cultural life including identity, ritual, and community; and
  • have an ability to analyse case studies; and
  • have an ability to use sociological theory to interpret cultural practices.

  • Short essay of 1000 words, (20%) due early semester.
  • Case study of 1000 words, (30%) due late semester.
  • Research essay of 2000 words, (50%) due during the examination period.

Hurdle requirement: Students must attend a minimum of 75% of tutorials in order to pass this subject. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject. Regular participation in tutorials is required.

Note: Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per working day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked.

Prescribed Texts:

Reading materials will be available online through the LMS.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On successful completion of this subject, students will be able to:

  • think and write critically and creatively about complex cultural issues; and
  • apply theoretical frameworks to everyday contexts and case studies; and
  • develop an understanding of cultural diversity in public life.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Sociology

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