Generations: Childhood, Adulthood, Old Age - 2016

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Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 2
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2016: SP3 , SP4
  • Assessment: Assignment 2 (30%) , Assignment 3 (30%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2016 Fees
Domestic 782.00
HECS 782.00
International 1,032.00

This unit was previously known as SGY290 Generations: Childhood, Adulthood, Old Age.

This unit focuses on important changes in the life course over the generations; those institutional arrangements that accompany us from the cradle to the grave including the imaginary aspects of what a 'good life' ought to be. At a time when labels such as Gen Y and Baby Boomers are often marshalled to alert us to differences and the potential conflict between the generations, it is particularly relevant to address a key sociological question: How does social change intersect with human biography? This unit critically engages with the social constructedness of childhood, youth, adulthood and old age and considers the most important conceptual innovations and research findings in the sociology of the life course.

At the completion of this unit students will:

  1. increase their capacity to think sociologically, to see the big picture
  2. become familiar with key concepts in sociology and learn to apply them in everyday life
  3. appreciate the importance of history in social research
  4. develop writing, research and analytical skills
  5. learn to carefully consider their opinions
  6. learn to communicate their ideas clearly
  7. learn to contextualise individual lives - their own and those of others.
  • Assignment 2 (30%)
  • Assignment 3 (30%)
  • Online Discussion — Online participation (20%)
  • Presentation (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:

  • SGY290 — Generations: Childhood, Adulthood, Old Age

Recommended prerequisites

You are recommended to have completed the following unit(s) or have equivalent knowledge 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.

1Introduction and welcome
2Friendships, generations and the life course
3Feminist waves
4Generations at work
5Stolen generations
6Old age: work, leisure and care
7Adulthood and coming of age
8Youth and moral panics
9Childhoods old and new
10Generations and sociology
11Documenting the life course
12The life course in sociology

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online assignment submission
  • Standard Media
  • Web links
  • Wikis

Online materials

  • Resources and Links

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.
This unit does not have a prescribed textbook(s).

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