Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Sociology of Youth and Community - Key Perspectives

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Youth and Community Studies

DESCRIPTION This study-unit shall provide in-depth and critical examination of the key concepts that have vied for prominence in the sociology of youth from the discipline’s rise in the context of the post-war years to the present day. Emphasis shall also be made on charting the impact of sociology’s foundational works and theorists on different strands of thought in the sociology of youth. More specially, the study-unit shall focus on the concept of youth culture and youth subculture, and the dialogue between youth cultural and youth subculture theorists. In the process, diverse contributors and schools of thought such as the cultural deviance perspective and the Contemporary Centre of Cultural Studies (Birmingham, UK) shall be discussed and appraised. In conclusion, detailed reference shall be made to post-modern theories of youth and the concepts that this corpus of knowledge has forwarded in an attempt to supplant the dominance of the post-war subculture concept.

Study-unit Aims:

This study-unit is aimed at:

a. Building course participants' familiarisation with the sociological understanding of the domain of youth and the community;

b. assisting participants to reflect upon a number of contemporary issues that converge on the world of youth and the community through a critically-informed orientation;

c. introducing participants to the salient concepts that inform the sociological analysis of youth and youth related trends and processes;

d. assisting participants towards building a deeper appreciation of the rich diversity of forms that youth work may take in contemporary society.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

a. identify contemporary youth trends in Maltese society and abroad;
b. understand and apply basic sociological concepts that inform the area;
c. recognise the intimate ties of emancipatory youth work and the youth culture domain;
d. understand how contemporary youth culture trends are related to wider, macro social processes.

2. Skills (including transferable [generic] skills):
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

a. critically engage with the related subject matter;
b. construct and apply sociological theorems on the domain of youth and the community;
c. reflect upon personal experiences in the field through the gloss of sociological theories on youth and community; and
d. distinguish between common sense and popularistic notions on youth culture and the sociological and cultural studies perspectives that are central to the academic treatise of the subject matter.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:
(availability at the Library or otherwise is indicated against each entry)

Bennet, A., and K.Kahn-Harris. (Edition.). 2004. After Subculture: Critical Studies in Contemporary Youth Culture. Basingstoke, Hampshire and New York: Palgrave Macmillan. (available)

Brake, M. (1985). Comparative Youth Culture: The Sociology of Youth Culture and Youth Subculture in America, Britain and Canada. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. (available)

Cohen, A.K. (1955). Delinquent Boys: The Culture of the Gang. Chicago: Free Press. (available)

Cohen, S. (1993). Folk Devils and Moral Panics: The Creation of the Mods and Rockers. Oxford, England: Blackwell Publishers. First published 1972. (available)

Gelder, K. and S. Thornton. (eds.) (1997). The Subcultures Reader. London: Routledge. (available)

Hebdige, D. (1979). Subculture: The Meaning of Style. London and New York: Routledge. (available)

Jenks, C. (2005). Subculture: The Fragmentation of the Social. London: Sage. (available)

Muggleton, D. 2000. Inside Subculture: The Postmodern Meaning of Style. Oxford: Berg. (available)

Redhead, S. (1997). Subcultures to Clubcultures: An Introduction to Popular Cultural Studies. Oxford: Blackwell. (available)

Willis, P. (1978a). Learning to Labour: How Working Class Kids Get Working Class Jobs. London: Saxon House. (available)

Willis, P. (1978b). Profane Culture. Boston, MA: Routledge and Kegan Paul. (available)



Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM1 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Maria Pisani

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.