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This course introduces students to a range of issues associated with the sociology of the everyday world. It examines how the elements of everyday life - shopping, credit cards, leisure, the meaning of home, food, relationships with companion animals, and other student selected topics reveal our entanglement with wider social processes. Everyday worlds will also be examined as a nexus for our engagement with contemporary issues ranging from environmental awareness to social justice.
This course will critically reflect on our experiences of everyday life. It will draw on a variety of theoretical approaches to everyday life and examples from both New Zealand and abroad. In New Zealand, everyday life may be shaped by our experiences of living in the suburbs, eating at McDonalds, shopping malls, having credit card debts, holidays at the beach, having pets, working in tourism, and sharing this country with millions of cows and sheep. Our online world shapes many of these experiences.Everyday life is understood as those aspects of life which are often routine and unremarkable, but which provide an entry point to the key social processes. Daily practices are valued by ordinary people as it is in them that people are least controlled by institutions, and their potential to foster resistance to the structures of capitalist life has motivated recent scholarship in this field. As an introduction to the political potential of everyday worlds, the course questions whether the current problems (the environmental ones are a good example) appear too abstract and distant to ordinary people, and explores how lived experience provides a nexus for engaging more with them, how habit can be dynamic and facilitate radical change. For the example of the environment, this includes daily practices such as consumption choices, or recycling, or cleaning up favourite local places as well as joining organisations related to the environment. The course will also situate sociology of every day worlds in the discipline of sociology as a whole.
By the end of the course, you are expected to: understand how New Zealanders experience everyday life and its potential for support of political outcomes gain a deeper understanding of how everyday life is embedded in time and space, apply sociological understandings to experiences of everyday life,analyse each concept critically using a suite of sociological tools, develop academic skills e.g. argumentation and presentation.
15 points of SOCI or ANTH at 100 level; OR 45 points in related subjects with the approval of the Head of Department.
Students must attend one activity from each section.
Making sense of everyday life;
Domestic fee $761.00
International fee $3,188.00
* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.
This course will not be offered if fewer than 20 people apply to enrol.
For further information see
Language, Social and Political Sciences.