Culture and the Everyday (P3085)

15 credits, Level 4

Spring teaching

Everyday life is something we take for granted. The phrase tends to refer to the ordinary and unremarkable, to the bedrock activities constitutive of how we live but which are often regarded as tedious or a chore.

This module opens up this notion offering an understanding of the everyday as simultaneously ordinary and extraordinary, localised and tied into the bigger dynamics of capitalism and globalisation.

Introducing you to the interdisciplinary perspectives of cultural studies, you explore everyday life through a series of case studies. These may include:

  • dressing or exercising the body
  • food
  • car culture
  • going green
  • love
  • living through media
  • shopping.

Each case study variously explores the historical development of everyday life, its textures and experiences, hardships and highs.

If the emphasis is so-called modern everyday life in the rich 'north', you are encouraged to understand the ways our everyday life is tied to and impacts on the everyday lives of those in the much poorer 'south'.

Emphasis is placed on the ways in which everyday life practices may be conservative (reproducing gender relations for example) or utopian in their creativity, suggesting other ways of living beyond the constraints of neo-liberalism capitalism. What happens in the everyday - its struggles, its changes - is integral to a bigger global politics.

This module gives you opportunity to reflect on your own lives and those of others. It encourages you to develop an 'anthropological' eye and feel for the details of everyday life, to collect media and other material that speaks about everyday life, and above all to be self-reflective and critical about the specificity of your own ways of doing things.

Assessment is through an illustrated Learning Diary, which allows you to demonstrate your creative as well as academic skills.

Teaching and assessment

We’re currently reviewing teaching and assessment of our modules in light of the COVID-19 situation. We’ll publish the latest information as soon as possible.

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 33 hours of contact time and about 117 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

This module is running in the academic year 2021/22. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. However, we are constantly looking to improve and enhance our courses. There may be changes to modules in response to student demand or feedback, changes to staff expertise or updates to our curriculum. We may also need to make changes in response to COVID-19. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: