Over the years, I have taught a range of undergraduate and postgraduate modules including on gender relations, family life, ageing and later life, and qualitative research. I have supervised undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations on a wide range of topics.
My current modules include
Sociology: A Beginner’s Guide
This module introduces students to the sociological perspective and, through its focus on sociological theory, provides a basis for more advanced study of sociological theory in later modules. It begins with a consideration of the development of sociology in the context of modernity and the range of issues and themes this gave rise to. We then consider the distinctive approaches to the study of the social world offered by Marx, by Durkheim and by Weber as well as more recent approaches including structural functionalism, and ethnomethodology. The distinctiveness of the sociological imagination is further explored through a consideration of the personal and social uses of sociology as a discipline.
Ageing, Death and the Life Course
Our physical existence is finite, and from the moment of our birth, to the moment of our death, we grow older. This module explores how the processes of growing up, growing older and dying are socially and culturally organised, especially in contemporary Western society. Sociologically, age is a complex meshing of bodily ageing, stage in life course and location in historical time. We consider evidence on the ways our age shapes our individual identities, and our access to power and material resources. We examine the impact ageing and age relationships have upon the various institutions of society, including paid work, culture and the welfare state. Topics may include:
- childhood and power relations,
- youth transitions,
- youth cultures and social change,
- controlling body age (through ‘body maintenance’ and ‘body refurbishment’),
- the ageing population and the ‘demographic time bomb’,
- the ‘mask’ of old age,
- the social significance of death and dying.