The University of Southampton
Courses

SOCI3008 The Sociology of Youth

Module Overview

The youth of today' has long been a source of curiosity to older generations, and sociologists are no exception to this trend. Over the past 100 years, sociologists have attempted both to explain society's fascination with the younger generation, and to delineate young people's experiences within a theoretical framework. Of course, the sub-discipline's subject matter is something we all know about from our own experience: indeed, most if not all of you taking this unit would be considered prime targets for contemporary sociologists of youth! This seminar-based unit is designed to introduce you to some of the central themes and concepts in the sociology of youth, and to some of the key substantive concerns of contemporary youth researchers. With regard to the former, we will explore the social construction of youth, dominant discourses surrounding the study of youth, subcultural approaches to youth, the youth transitions tradition, and more recent approaches drawing on theories of reflexive modernisation, which have explored the nature and extent of processes of detraditionalisation and individualisation in young people’s lives. Along the way, we will touch upon the following substantive topics: youth subcultures, youth cultures in the context of globalisation, the youth labour market, household formation, social exclusion and civic engagement, the rise of individualised lifestyles, debates concerning gender convergence, ‘post-feminism’, the purported ‘crisis in masculinity’ and broader generational change.Where possible, the course will shed further light on these themes by taking a cross-cultural perspective, with examples both from the UK and from a variety of international contexts, including a final session on young people in post-socialist Eastern Europe.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

introduce you to some of the central themes and concepts in the sociology of youth, and to some of the key substantive concerns of contemporary youth researchers

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of different theoretical perspectives on youth and their usefulness for understanding the position of young people within contemporary society;
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key characteristics of, and trends in, the contemporary experience of youth in relation to a selected range of topics, and the causes and effects of these trends;
  • reflect on your own experiences of youth in a theoretically-informed manner
  • demonstrate skills in group working and oral presentation
  • synthesize and summarize information from a variety of sources

Syllabus

This unit will introduce you to some of the central themes and concepts in the sociology of youth, and to some of the key substantive concerns of contemporary youth researchers. With regard to the former, we will explore the social construction of youth, dominant discourses surrounding the study of youth, subcultural approaches to youth, the youth transitions tradition, and more recent approaches drawing on Beck's individualisation thesis. With regard to the latter, we will examine the following substantive topics: youth cultures, the youth labour market, household formation, social exclusion and civic engagement, the rise of individualised lifestyles, and debates concerning gender convergence, ‘post-feminism’, and broader generational change. A key theme underpinning the unit as a whole relates to contemporary debates about the changing nature of 'youth' and 'young adulthood' in the early twenty first century.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

This unit is taught by means of ten weekly two hour seminars in which students will be expected to engage in a range of learning activities. Learning activities include: • small group work • classroom discussion • student presentations • data interpretation exercises

TypeHours
Teaching14
Independent Study136
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Furlong, A and Cartmel, F (2007). Young People and Social Change: New Perspectives. 

France, A (2007). Understanding Youth in Late Modernity. 

Nayak, A and Kehily, M (2008). Gender, Youth and Culture: Young Masculinities and Femininities. 

Assessment

Assessment Strategy

The critical commentary is designed to contribute to the assessment of the first learning outcomes, ie an understanding of different theoretical perspectives on youth and their usefulness for understanding the position of young people within contemporary society, and relates to the second of the key transferable skills, ie to synthesize and summarize information from a variety of sources. The 2500-3000 word essay is designed to contribute to the second learning outcome, ie knowledge and understanding of key characteristics and trends in the contemporary experience of youth in relation to a selected range of topics, and the causes and effects of these trends. Student presentations contribute to the first key transferable skill, ie skills in group working and oral presentation.

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Critical commentary 30%
Essay  (3000 words) 70%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Share this module Share this on Facebook Share this on Google+ Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×