Sociology of the Self and Everyday Life

First year module

Lecturer: Team taught

This module introduces students to traditions in sociology which seek to understand the development of individual subjectivity and everyday experience in a sociological context.  The module explores what is distinctive about sociological accounts of individual experience. It identifies and draws on key concepts from the micro-sociological tradition (eg roles, rules, norms) in analysing how individuals come to make sense of and negotiate everyday settings. The question of agency – the extent to which individuals are the active creators of their identity and worldview – is a crucial issue in such debates. Having introduced these analytical concepts, the module pursues them through a series of in-depth substantive case studies focusing on different elements of individual experience. These will be drawn from areas such as the experience of the self in the city, the relationship of the individual to an imagined political community, and the construction of 'happiness' in ordered societies.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module students should be able to:

  • Identify and critically assess key concepts in the Sociology of the Self and everyday life
  • Identify what is distinctive about sociological accounts of the Self and everyday life compared to other disciplines and types of account
  • Apply and evaluate these key concepts in the context of substantive case studies on different aspects of everyday experience


  • Term One: 1 x 2,000 words summative assessed work (50%)
  • Term Three: 3 hour examination (50%)