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This unit examines the position and experiences of young people in contemporary society, and challenges some of the negative discourses that surround 'youth'. It provides an analysis of the social construction of 'youth' and highlights diversity through an examination of youth subcultures. The aims of the unit are: (1) to provide an overview of the ways in which key social structures shape the opportunities available to young people, while also exploring young people's expressions of agency; (2) to examine social division and difference among youth, and (3) to evaluate the role of public policy and legislation in shaping the varied experiences and opportunities available to young people.

Summary 2021

Unit name Sociology of Youth
Unit code HGA377
Credit points 12.5
Faculty/School College of Arts, Law and Education
School of Social Sciences
Discipline Sociology and Criminology

Dr Nicholas Hookway

Teaching staff

Dr Nicholas Hookway

Level Advanced
Available as student elective? Yes
Breadth Unit? No



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Learning Outcomes

  1. Understand and critically evaluate the key concepts and issues relating to the sociology of youth.
  2. Use and synthesise relevant sociological theory, empirical data and policy paradigms to critically examine young peoples positions and experiences in society.
  3. Articulate the relative importance of structure and agency in shaping young peoples experiences and life opportunities.
  4. Communicate your ideas in written and verbal form, using appropriate sociological language and concepts.
  5. Identify and articulate your own position on key debates on the position of young people in society.




25 points at introductory level in any discipline in any faculty

Mutual Exclusions

You cannot enrol in this unit as well as the following:

HGE246, HGE346, HSP209, HSP309


Teaching Pattern

On campus: 1 hour lecture (or equivalent) weekly; 1.5 hour workshop (or equivalent) weekly

Off campus: 1 hour lectures (or equivalent) weekly – recorded and live broadcast; weekly online discussion forums; two optional online webinars


Task 1: 3 x 10 multiple-choice quizzes, 15 minutes each (20%)

Task 2: Take-home exam, 3000 words (35%)

Task 3: Discussion board contribution (10%)

Task 4: Essay, 3000 words (35%)

TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



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