Sociology of the Body

Subject SOCI20006 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 1 x 1.5-hour lecture and 1 x 1-hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: Sociology at Level 1
Non Allowed Subjects: 166-209 Sociology of the Body
Core Participation Requirements: For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Dr Millsom Henry-Waring


Dr Millsom Henry-Waring:
Subject Overview:

For sociologists, the human body is not just a physical/psychological entity, it is a key site of the social. This subject will critically examine ways of thinking sociologically about the body in society. By outlining an historical context, this subject will explore the social construction of the body and its increasing significance in contemporary society. In particular, the ways in which the body is shaped by gender, race, sexuality, class, disability and age. Drawing on these key social markers, Sociology of the Body will explore issues such as the relation between sex and the body. science, culture and the body. the body, social structure and social interaction and the re-emergence of the Self, identity and the body in contemporary society. Specific attention will be paid towards the body as a contested site of the social, which will draw upon the importance of contemporary social scientific theory and research for understanding the body.

Objectives: Students who complete this subject should:
  • Acquire a knowledge of sociological approaches to bodies;
  • Have an introductory knowledge of the main theoretical concepts which underpin contemporary sociological understanding of diverse bodies;
  • Have an understanding of the lived experiences of embodiment;
  • Gain an understanding of the centrality of differences as this relates to bodies.

A short paper of 1000 words (25%) due mid-semester, a take-home test of 1000 words (25%) to be held towards the end of semester, and a research essay of 2000 words (50%) due during the examination period.

This subject has a minimum Hurdle Requirement of 75% Tutorial attendance. Students who fail to meet this hurdle requirement will be deemed ineligible to submit the final piece of assessment or sit the final examination. Regular participation in tutorials is required.

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. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available for purchase from the University Bookshop.

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:
  • demonstrate critical thinking and analytic skills, through research and written communication.
  • be able to communicate knowledge intelligibly and economically, both orally and in writing.
  • display awareness and understanding of the social, ethical and cultural contexts of research and of our place as researchers.
Notes: Available as a Breadth subject to non-Bachelor of Arts students
Related Course(s): Bachelor of Arts(Media and Communications)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Gender Studies
Sociology Major
Related Breadth Track(s): Sociology

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