SOC06013 2017 Sociology of Everyday Life
This module introduces students to the study of everyday life from a sociological perspective. Taking as its starting point C.Wright Mills assertion that personal troubles are public issues, the aim of this module is to uncover and unpack aspects of everyday life to examine them anew. Everyday life refers to the commonplace, ordinary, familiar and generally taken-for-granted world of people's lives. Everyday life is infused with relations of power, order and regulation - theoretical concerns central to sociology. The everyday is central to the understanding of identities, agency and social life. For sociologists, analyses of everyday life recognise the ordinary and the mundane, and the routines attached to social relations and social practices. In doing so the ordinary is taken seriously as a category of analysis. Sociologists illustrate that in everyday life social relations, experiences and practices are rarely straightforwardly mundane, ordinary and routine. Explorations of aspects of everyday life provide insight into how people perform, reproduce and challenge social life. Studies of everyday life make the strange, familiar.
On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;
Explain the main theoretical underpinnings of the sociology of everyday life
Examine how micro-level practices relate to macro-level patterns
Outline how sociologists research everyday life
Analyse key areas of everyday life, including food and eating, leisure, the body, emotions, home and homeliness, leisure, consumption and work
Develop a deeper knowledge of one key area of everyday life
Teaching and Learning Strategies
Teaching and learning is interactive, peer-based and delivered in a group format.
Module Assessment Strategies
Class Presentation, based on personal reflection/time use, and Essay focused on a specific aspect of everyday life
The aim of the module is to develop in students the ability to critique taken for granted assumptions about everyday life in contemporary societies, including Ireland. There are three main topic areas covered in the module.
Theorising everyday life
- Introduction to classic theorists of everyday life, including Erving Goffman, C. Wright Mills, Henry Lefebvre and contemporary theorists, such as Ann Phoenix, Sue Scott, Elizabeth Silva and Tony Bennett.
- Theorising the mundane and the ordinary
- Theorising the self
Researching Everyday life
- Classic studies of the everyday: to examine the methodologies deployed
- Narratives of the Everyday
- An exploration of the methods that can be used to reveal and interrogate the everyday, eg statistics, documentary analysis, ethnography, visual analysis, &c
Living Everyday Life
- Classic thematic foci of the sociology of everyday life: Emotions, Home and Homeliness, Time, Eating and Drinking, Leisure, Consumption, Health, Work
Coursework & Assessment Breakdown
|Title||Type||Form||Percent||Week||Learning Outcomes Assessed|
|1||Class Presentation||Continuous Assessment||Assessment||40 %||Week 6||1,2,3|
|2||Essay||Continuous Assessment||Written Report||60 %||End of Semester||4,5|
Full Time Mode Workload
Chin, E. (2016) My life with things: The consumer diaries. Durham NC: Duke UP
Goffman, E. (1959) The presentation of self in everyday life. New York: Double-day Anchor.
Kalekin-Fishman, D. (2013) ‘Sociology of everyday life’. Current Sociology, 61(5-6): 714-732.
Lefebvre, H. (2016)  Everyday life in the modern world. UK: Bloomsbury Academic.
McGinnity, F., H. Russell, J. Williams & S. Blackwell (2005) Time-use in Ireland 2005: Survey report. Dublin: ESRI.
Miller, D. (2008) The comfort of things. Oxford: Polity.
Miller, D. (2010) Stuff. Oxford: Polity.
Nettleton, S. and Watson, J. (eds.) (1998) The body in everyday life. London: Routledge.
Phoenix, A. (2013) ‘Analysing narrative contexts’ in M. Andrews, C. Squire, M. Tamboukou (2013) (eds.) Doing narrative research. London: Sage, 2nd edition.
Ralph, D., J. Gray & R. Geraghty (2016) Family rhythms: The changing textures of family life in Ireland. Manchester: Manchester UP.
Scott, S. (2009) Making sense of everyday life. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Scott, M. and Lyman, S. (1968) ‘Accounts’. American Sociological Review, 33(1) 46-62.
Share, P., Corcoran, M. and Conway, B. (2012) Sociology of Ireland. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan. 4th edition.
Shove, E., Watson, M., Hand, M. & Ingram, J. (2007) The design of everyday life. Oxford: Berg.
Silva, E. and Bennett, T. (2004) Contemporary culture and everyday life. London: Routledge.
Smart, B. (2010) Consumer society: Critical issues and environmental consequences. London: Sage.
https://www.maynoothuniversity.ie/iqda [Irish qualitative data archive]