Consumption and Everyday Life

Course code SOCA3666Units 10Level 3000Faculty of Education and ArtsSchool of Humanities and Social Science

This course will engage with key ideas and theories of consumption and consumer culture. Drawing on contemporary theories of culture and everyday life the course will cover the diverse ways in which consumerism is analysed in contemporary social sciences. Aspects that may be covered include; theories of the consumer; identity and manufacturing choice; anthropological analysis of material culture; Globalization, McDonaldization and Disneyization; commodification of the body; commodification of nature; the politics and ethics of consumerism; the spaces and sites of consumption; the environmental and waste aspects of consumer culture; and symbolic aspects of consumer culture. The course will help students develop a better understanding of the how recent social change from a 'production' to a 'consumption' society has implications for social relations and their own reflexive identity.

Not available in 2015

Previously offered in 2014
ObjectivesUpon successful completion students will be able to demonstrate:
1. An understanding of sociological approaches to consumption and consumer culture.
2. An understanding of the interplay between cultural discourses of consumption, power and the construction and maintenance of identity.
3. An understanding of the political and environmental implications of consumer culture.
4. Skills in critical analysis and evaluation of a range of sociological theories, perspectives and research.
5. A reflexive understand of how the students' own identity, opinions and tastes are created by and reflected in consumer culture.
ContentThe course will introduce students to the key issues in consumerism and consumer culture. It will explore social, cultural, political and economic factors, as well as promoting a reflexive understanding of the individual's relationship to broader social structures.
Replacing Course(s)SOCA2360 Sociology of Sex
Industrial Experience0
Assumed Knowledge40 units of study at 1000 level. It is advisable for students to undertake sufficient study in entry level SOCA courses to develop a robust understanding of the field of sociology before they undertake advanced courses.
Modes of DeliveryFlexible Delivery / Student Centred Learning
Internal Mode
Teaching MethodsEmail Discussion Group
Self Directed Learning
Assessment Items
Essays / Written AssignmentsMajor Essay, 2000 words (40%)

Reflexive Analysis, 1000 words (20%)

Weekly research exercise (10%)
Examination: Take Home1000 words (20%)
Group/tutorial participation and contribution(10%)
Contact HoursSelf Directed Learning: for 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Email Discussion Group: for 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Lecture: for 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term