Love, Sex and Friendship - 2017

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 3
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2016: SP1 , SP4
  • Availability for 2017: Sem1 , Sem2
  • Assessment: Assignment 1 (20%) , Assignment 2 (20%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2017 Fees
Domestic 798.00
HECS 793.00
International 1,048.00

This unit was previously known as SOCX315 The Intimate Sphere: Love, Friendship and Family.

Warning: SOCX315 Love, Sex and Friendship looks at the dark side of intimacy including 'various forms of violence, abuse and neglect'. Students are asked to discuss, with their class online, their life experiences.

Our relations with intimate others are governed by a quite distinctive set of norms. We do not normally think it is appropriate to adopt the strategic attitude of the actor in commercial settings, nor do we adopt the impartial disinterest of the actor in public life.

How did the intimate sphere become carved out as a specific domain in modern social life and what has been said about the distinctiveness of its governing expectations?

This unit examines a range of accounts of special love, friendship and familial relations. In addition, what are the present realities that confront these relations?

It is anticipated that students will obtain a broad knowledge of classical and contemporary literature in the sociology of intimacy.

At the completion of this unit students will:

  1. have obtained a broad knowledge of classical and contemporary literature in the sociology of intimacy
  2. have developed skills in interpretive reading and critical thinking as well as an improved competence in essay writing.
  • Assignment 1 (20%)
  • Assignment 2 (20%)
  • Assignment 3 (40%)
  • Online Discussion (20%)

Equivalent units

You cannot enrol in this unit if you have successfully completed any of the following unit(s) because they are considered academically equivalent:

  • SGY360 — The Intimate Sphere: Love, Friendship and Family

You must complete Level 1 and 2 studies in Sociology before starting this unit.

  • Broadband access — Students are required to have regular access to a computer and the internet. Mobile devices alone are not sufficient.

This unit addresses the following topics.

2The making of the intimate sphere
3Remaking of the intimate sphere 1: detraditionalisation & individualisation
4Remaking of the intimate sphere: authenticity & expert knowledge
5Passionate love in history
6Love as art, love as religion
7A brief history of friendship
8Contemporary friendships
9The family in history & contemporary society
10Childhood: history & present dilemmas
11Parents, children & the transformation of intimacy
12The dark side of intimacy
13Review: reflections on intimacy, love, friendship & family

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online Quizzes/Tests
  • Online assignment submission
  • Standard Media

Online materials

  • Resources and Links

This unit is a core requirement in the following courses:

This unit is part of a major, minor, stream or specialisation in the following courses:

This unit is an approved elective in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.

Textbook information for this unit is currently being updated and will be available soon. Please check back regularly for updates. Alternatively, visit the The Co-op website and enter the unit details to search for available textbooks.

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