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    An introduction to the historical development of ideas about ‘self’. Identifies tensions between perceived agency and cultural conventions or social practices which regulate the self.

    SOCI 213 will introduce students to the historical development of ideas about "self", tracing the shift from a subject defined as a rational, autonomous agent to one for whom reality is at least partially socially constructed. Students will examine the tension between notions of perceived agency in self-construction and the impact upon those perceptions of cultural conventions and social practices, which regulate the self. By examining the self in its socio-cultural context, SOCI 213 will provide students with the tools to critically analyse the personal self and social identities as poles in a continuum of possible subjectivities. Students will examine these issues by using case studies, such as youth culture(s), social media and alcohol advertising.

    About this paper

    Paper title Concepts of the Self
    Subject Sociology
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $981.75
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    (SOCI 101 or SOCI 102 or SOCI 103) or 54 points
    Schedule C
    Arts and Music

    Teaching staff
    Course Co-ordinator: Dr Lesley Procter
    Paper Structure
    The paper is 100% internally assessed.
    To be advised.
    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Lifelong learning, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Information literacy.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes
    By the end of the paper students will have achieved the following learning outcomes:
    • A critical understanding of the way self and identity are produced and reproduced through social and cultural processes
    • An awareness of historical shifts in how Western societies understand the self
    • An understanding of the tensions between perceived agency and the impact of social practices and structures that seek to regulate subjectivity
    • An awareness of the value of an interdisciplinary approach to knowledge about the self
    SOCI 213 students will acquire the following habits of lifelong learning:
    • An ability to situate socio-cultural phenomena within an appropriate range of contexts
    • A willingness to integrate theoretical constructs and personal experience of the socio-cultural milieu in which one is situated
    • Habits of independent, versatile thought
    SOCI 213 will provide students with opportunities to acquire the following specific and generic skills:
    • Critical-thinking skills
    • The ability to communicate information and concepts effectively both orally and in written forms
    • Research skills in both traditional and technological contexts
    Assessment in this paper is specifically tied to the ANZIIL Information Literacy Standards at both a conceptual and practical level. Successful completion of SOCI 213 will mean that students will have met these standards to at least an intermediate level.


    Semester 2

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Wednesday 09:00-10:50 29-35, 37-42
    Thursday 10:00-10:50 29-35, 37-42
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