Substantive Topics in the Sociology of Consumption SOCIO4057

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2 (Alternate Years)
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course should highlight the contested nature of modern forms of consumption and demonstrate the historically specific and ideological nature of concepts such as 'addiction' and 'risk'


20 contact hours over the course of a single semester. This will normally consist of 2 hours per week and may be a combination of lectures and seminars/workshops.

Requirements of Entry

Mandatory Entry Requirements

Entry to Honours Sociology requires a grade point average of 12 (Grade C) over Sociology 2A and Sociology 2B as a first attempt.

Excluded Courses





3 Hour, 2 question exam, 1,500 words each. Students will be able to choose from a range of questions.

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

The course forms part of the Department's Honours programme and its aims embody the intentions of this programme. The principle aim is to build on some of the central themes of Level 1 and 2 modules and provide students with a sound knowledge and critical understanding of the sociological study of consumption. More specifically, the module aims to:

■ highlight the contested nature of modern forms of consumption;

■ demonstrate the historically specific and ideological nature of concepts such as 'addiction' and 'risk'

■ Enable students to enhance their transferable and inter-personal skills, particularly in communication, time management, individual and group research work, and critical appraisal of consumption-related issues.

■ Enable students to develop a wide range of skills that will meet the demands of the modern labour market.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of the course, you should be able to:

■ recognise the contested and ideological nature of modern understandings of consumption;

■ critically assess distinctions between different forms of consumption

■ synthesise a variety of interdisciplinary approaches in a broadly sociological critique of modern consumer behaviour;

■ Understand the employment and policy implications of consumer behaviour in the broader social world beyond academia.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examination) of the course's summative assessment.