module specification

SS5087 - Sociological Perspectives on Youth Transitions (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module status DELETED (This module is no longer running)
Module title Sociological Perspectives on Youth Transitions
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 150
20 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
85 hours Guided independent study
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   A reflective essay
Running in 2022/23

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

Module summary

In order to make sense of the social world that young people live in and societal issues that cause concern for them, this module draws on the toolbox offered by sociology. Furthermore, this module provides students with an insight into young people’s multiple transitions into adulthood; e.g., school to work transitions; domestic transitions; housing transitions; transitions into economic independency and citizenship. Through interactive lectures and innovative learning activities, the module will help students to navigate the multitude of factors and contexts that affect how young people behave and the formation of youth identities. It sheds light on the challenges, opportunities and oppressive structures that young people, in various ways and to various extents, are surrounded by and faced with.
The module takes as its premise that youth transitions and young people’s development are complex, diverse, non-linear, dynamic and sophisticated, and, thus, encourages students to have an open-minded attitude towards young individuals. The module, furthermore, gives students tools to critically explore sociological literature on young people and youth identities, and it does so by embracing the notions of compassion and inclusion, as well as social justice and anti-discriminatory research, which is key to the University’s Education for Social Justice framework. This module is also relevant to those who want to pursue youth work since a crucial principle for youth workers is to understand young individuals and the challenges they face by looking at the context of their lives and structures of inequality.

The module aims:
1. to introduce students to sociological perspectives on, and examples of, young people’s transitions into adulthood and their participation in social institutions, such as religion, family, education, workplace, politics and social media;
2. to develop students’ skills in reading and analysing sociological texts on youth, as well as engaging in debate and critical thinking;
3. to discuss how young people are engaged in the production of ‘youth culture’, both as active consumers and creators;
4. to look at the context and underlying factors behind issues affecting young people;
5. to draw on sociological theories, including those rooted in the ‘structure versus agency’ debate, to understand the multiple challenges that young people face;
6. to enable students to critically examine their own values and belief systems, and the lives of young people from different perspectives;
7. to gain an understanding of how partnership and collaborative working can improve youth work practice and the lives of young people, and provide examples of such collaborative partnership work;
8. to scrutinise sociological perspectives and texts on youth transitions through a decolonising and anti-oppressive lens;
9. to explore a range of factors that exclude young people and barriers to participation; and,
10. to identify opportunities for students to engage with critical enquiry into, and active learning of, the lived experiences of disadvantaged and marginalised groups.


This module builds upon and deepens students’ understanding of key themes in youth studies and sociology of youth. It builds upon what students encountered at Level 4 (Year 1) of the BSc (Hons) Youth Studies course.
The syllabus will encourage students to think critically about issues affecting young people in contemporary contexts and introduce theory, sociological perspectives and applied youth studies approaches in relation to the following:

• The young individual and society; exploring the relationship between the personal capacities of young people (agency) and how society is organised (social structure), such as family, religion, the education system, class, gender and the economy. LOs 1, 3 and 6.
• Sociological concepts: W.E.B. DuBois’ ‘double consciousness;’ Pierre Bourdieu’s notions of capital and habitus; the structure–agency distinction; Kristie Dotson’s epistemic oppression; everyday microaggressions in the lives of young people (e.g., Derald Wing Sue). LOs 1, 2, 3 and 6.
• Key themes in youth studies and sociology of youth, such as youth (un/under)employment; youth cultures; diversity; youth identities; young people and social media; everyday lives of young people; youth and crime; belonging; and, marginalisation. LOs 2, 3 and 6.
• Different levels (micro, meso and macro) and different sociological perspectives on youth. LOs 1, 3 and 6.
• Socialisation processes involved in youth-identity formation and young people’s transitions into adulthood. LOs 1, 3 and 6.
• Media representations of youth; stereotypes, invisibility/visibility and misrepresentations of minoritised and marginalised young people. LOs 1, 3, 5 and 6.
• Theory and practice; linking theoretical perspectives to experience and practice. LOs 2–6.

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The module will be taught by a blended learning approach to the lecture. Critical discussions will also be facilitated both in and outside class. A student-centred approach will be adopted in teaching and learning on the module, relying on interactive activities, class discussions and reflections. A lecture introducing the topic will be followed by a seminar where the emphasis will be on student empowerment through active participation and critical enquiry. Weekly reading is expected in order to get the most out of the module.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able:
1. to analyse social phenomena at different levels and from different perspectives;
2. to give examples of, and examine, a range of transitions from childhood to adulthood;
3. to demonstrate an understanding of issues that young people face and knowledge about underlying factors affecting these issues;
4. to link theory to practice through reflection, connecting sociological understandings of the social world that young people find themselves in to policy making and improved ways of working with young people;
5. to critically discuss organisational policies, procedures and legislations relating to equal opportunities and anti-discriminatory practice; and,
6. to scrutinise sociological perspectives on youth transitions through a decolonising lens.

Assessment strategy

The learning of the module will be assessed through one assignment, a reflective essay.
Students will choose a contemporary youth studies theme introduced in one of the lectures, and analyse relevant concepts, issues, research and/or theories. Students are also encouraged to link theory to practice by reflecting on their own experiences, policies and practical applications of different approaches to youth studies and the sociology of youth.
This module includes a formative assessment, which allows students to submit a draft; in turn, draft feedback and one-to-one tutorials will be facilitated so that students can feel confident about their academic progress and prepared for their assignment. Comments on draft work are provided at least a week before the final hand in date, so that students have opportunities to amend their work.