Sociology of Fun (L4063B)

30 credits, Level 6

Spring teaching

This module will introduce you to the idea of a sociology of fun. Fun will be treated as a key component of modern social relations. This is a completely new area of sociological enquiry, so you will be involved in social science as it is being developed.

Whilst there is a large literature on well-being, psychological and physical health and leisure, there is almost no social scientific literature on experiences of fun. Early work on `fun morality' had disappeared by the end of the 1950s as concerns about the longer term implications of good health, well-being and happiness came to dominate writing on the positive and negative aspects of our socio-emotional lives.

The module will address a central theme - that the under representation of fun in literature is because of a social representation of it as frivolous and fleeting.  Through the module this is counterpoised with data illustrating the importance placed on fun by people in a variety of settings.

Here, fun will be presented as something distinct from well-being and happiness, due to the temporal impermanence of the phenomenal experience. You’ll examine how it resonates through the telling and re-telling of the experience of having fun - which in itself stimulates fun.


33%: Lecture
67%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 33 hours of contact time and about 267 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2023/24. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: