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    Extends students’ understanding of sociological approaches to the self by examining postmodern ideas about the subject, emphasising contradictory impulses for individuality or free will and social conformity.

    Students will undertake a more thorough examination than that offered in SOCI 213 of the tension between notions of perceived agency in self-construction and the impact upon those perceptions of cultural conventions and social practices that regulate the self. In SOCI 313 more emphasis will be placed upon the apparent socio-cultural paradox existing between perceived notions of individuality and free will on the one hand and forces for conformity on the other hand.

    By examining the self in its socio-cultural context this paper 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 advance their discipline-based skills by exploring specific case studies drawn from the recent socio-political and cultural history of Aotearoa New Zealand. These case studies are: the Internet as a site of self-construction, social change advertising, and social media. In addition, students will be given the opportunity to identify one case study of their own choosing for further detailed study.

    About this paper

    Paper title The Subject in Postmodern Society
    Subject Sociology
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $981.75
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    18 200-level ANTH, CRIM, GEND or SOCI points or 54 200-level Arts points
    SOCI 303
    Schedule C
    Arts and Music

    Teaching staff

    Course Co-ordinator: Dr Lesley Procter

    Paper Structure
    This paper is 100% internally assessed.

    To be advised.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Lifelong learning, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Information literacy, Research.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes
    Students who successfully complete the paper will have achieved the following learning outcomes:
    • A critical understanding of the way self and identity are produced and reproduced through contemporary social and cultural processes
    • An awareness of the specific socio-cultural features of post-modernity
    • An understanding of the tensions generated within post-modernity between the perceived free will of individuals and the impact upon the individual of social practices and structures that seek to regulate and control
    • An awareness of the cultural diversity of contemporary society
    SOCI 313 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
    SOCI 313 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 313 will mean that students will have met these standards to at least an advanced level.


    Semester 1

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    L1 Wednesday 09:00-10:50 9-13, 15-22
    Thursday 10:00-10:50 9-13, 15-16, 18-22
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