Sociology and Criminology

Sociology of Fun (Aut)

Module code: L4093A
Level 6
30 credits in autumn semester
Teaching method: Lecture, Seminar
Assessment modes: Coursework

This module introduces you to the idea of a sociology of fun, where fun will be treated as a key component of modern social relations. This is a completely new area of sociological enquiry – 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 – addressed in the module – there is almost no social scientific literature on experiences of fun. Early work on 'fun morality' disappeared by the end of the 1950s, as concerns about the longer term implications of good health, well-being and (more recently) happiness – related to discourses of the productive worker – came to dominate writing on the positive and negative aspects of our socio-emotional lives.

This module addresses a central theme – that the under representation of fun in literature is because of a social representation of it as frivolous and fleeting. Throughout the module this is counterpoised with data illustrating the importance placed on fun by a variety of 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. But fun resonates through the telling and re-telling of the experience of having fun – which in itself stimulates fun.

Module learning outcomes

  • Understand how to apply observations to new ways of thinking about things
  • Critically evaluate established sociological writing
  • Be able to analyse and evaluate contemporary research outputs
  • Be confident in evaluating new and challenging material
  • Enhance dissemination skills, in particular writing for a variety of audiences