module specification

SS5066 - Self and Society (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Self and Society
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 150
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
24 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
90 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Coursework (photo essay or a 30 minutes podcast)
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Friday Morning

Module summary

This module introduces students to some of the key sociological approaches used to explore and explain the sociological notion of ‘self’. This will involve an examination of a range of major 20th century sociological thinkers on the nature of the social construction of self – eg. Mead, Goffman – and it’s constrains – e.g. Marx and Parsons. The intention is to use some of the major sociological theorists and apply their insights into current concerns with the ‘project’ of self and identity. That is, to examine how much choice we have in becoming who we are.

Prior learning requirements

Available for Study Abroad? YES


Agency vs. Structure – Micro/Macro debate
• Origins of the Debate
• From American pragmatism to G. H. Mead
• Symbolic Interactionism
• Erving Goffman and Dramaturgy
• Structural Functionalism: Parsons and Merton
• Conflict Theory
• Identity: Acquired or Ascribed

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Teaching will comprise weekly lectures followed by exercises and reflexive discussion in seminars. Teaching will be informed by research and scholarly activities of the tutors.

Learning: Learning will be supported by the Weblearn site for the module which will include all the teaching materials and guidance for assessment.

The students will be encouraged to engage with contemporary issues and follow the current debates in the media.  This will be supported by Weblearn-based materials and forums.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

1. Distinguish and evaluate a number of sociological traditions in terms of the different conceptions of the relationship between social structure and the individual.
2. Identify and critically apply the key sociological concepts used to explain the relationship between the individual and society.
3. Debate the strengths and weaknesses of the various sociological conceptions of the ‘self’.