Sociology and Criminology

Sociology of Fun

Module code: L4063B
Level 6
30 credits in spring semester
Teaching method: Lecture, Seminar
Assessment modes: Coursework

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.

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