SO4007 - Biography, Identity and Everyday Life

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What will I learn on this module?

1. You will develop skills in critical and reflective thinking.

2. You will learn how to analyse individuals' biographies, or 'life stories', as part of the sociological study of society

3. You will develop a critical, analytical and theoretical understanding of how the life course of individuals is influenced by work and employment experiences and social, economic, historical and political processes and contexts.

4. You will develop a range of practical and theoretical sociological skills associated with gathering data in an ethical manner, combining information from different sources and presenting it in written formats.

How will I learn on this module?

Lectures will be used to provide a broad overview of the key themes and theories which underpin the sociological imagination, changes to the way in which work and employment has changed and is changing and theories pertaining to this. Seminars will be used to clarify and discuss key issues raised in lectures in depth, utilising case studies and students’ experience as well as related reading.

The module will be supported by Blackboard on online reading lists in order to encourage students’ independent use of learning materials.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Students will be supported by the teaching team through seminars and Blackboard, supplemented by one to one tutorials and email. All students will be given contact details and office hours for the teaching team to enable them to book tutorials and ask questions by email.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding
1. Demonstrate an understanding of, and ability to apply, key sociological concepts, theories and methods regarding qualitative research, biographical methods and the sociology of work.
2. Demonstrate an understanding of the interaction between social and economic policies, the lived experience of work, and workers' individual and collective agency.

Intellectual / Professional skills and abilities
1. The ability to identify and comment upon historical and contemporary social issues relating to work.
2. The ability to identify, select and critically engage through independent study with a broad range of academic sources relating to work, qualitative research and biographical methods.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA)
1. Appreciate the diversity of contemporary experiences of work and one's own position.

How will I be assessed?

a Summative assessment and rationale for tasks

A) Semester two: a 1,000 word photo essay that includes up to three images taken by the student. The essay will use the images to explore the concepts of identity, biography and everyday life, by offering a sociological understanding of ‘the everyday’
B) Semester two: 2,000 word assignment which critically addresses changes in the nature and experience of work and the sociological approach to the study of work.

These two assessment exercises focus on the tools of analysis developed in the module and provide an opportunity for students to display their understanding of the subject, develop and practice key sociological and transferable skills and reflect on the changing world in which they live.

b. Additional formative assessment – detail of process and rationale

Regularly in seminars to help students assess their progress.





Module abstract

Please find details of this module in the other sections provided.

Course info

UCAS Code L300

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Social Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

Fee Information

Module Information

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