Self and Society (SCLG2612)


The nature of human subjectivity has fascinated and drawn the attention of thinkers from many different fields. While the questions, ‘who are we?’ and ‘how do we become individual?’ are often asked, the ways of answering these questions constantly change. In this unit, the discursive construction of the self will be examined in the light of the political, technological and social changes that constantly influence the meanings and histories of self, subjectivity and identity. The unit will explore questions such as whether there is a human 'nature' which precedes or exists beyond society; whether historical circumstances determine human emotional response; whether new forms of technology and modes of communication influence self-knowledge; whether consumerism and materialism commodify identity; whether the roles played in everyday life and the management of social interactions produce or conceal who we are. The unit begins with commonsensical views on identity and proceeds to deconstruct them.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


1x2hr lecture/week, 1x1hr tutorial/week


Tutorial participation (10%) and 1500wd Take-home exercise (30%) and 3000wd Research essay (60%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules


12 Junior credit points from Sociology



Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.