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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedNot offered in 2011
Coordinator(s)Alan Petersen


Previously coded SCY2151


This unit will examine sociological perspectives on the body. It will explore such questions as, how can we account for recent academic and popular interest in the body? What contributions have sociologists made to understanding the body? How might the study of the body help illuminate long standing debates in sociology, such as the structure/agency debate? How 'natural' is the body, and does it make sense to speak of a natural body? It will explore the impact of recent technological developments (e.g. genetics, cloning, nanotechnologies) and body modification practices, on how we view the body and it will assess the implications for identity.


At the end of this module, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of recent developments in the sociology of the body
  2. Offer a critical assessment of the contributions of different sociological theories to our understanding of the body in contemporary society
  3. Critically evaluate evidence pertaining to the impact of technological developments and body modification practices on views of the body and on identity.

In addition, third year students will be expected to:
  1. Demonstrate strong analytical skills in assessing the impact of sociological theories on our understanding of the body in contemporary society
  2. Demonstrate extensive reading and comprehension of the literature pertaining to the sociological study of the body.


Written work (3,500 words, in total): 80%
In-class test (1 hour): 20%

Contact hours

One 2-hour seminar per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study



A first-year sequence in Sociology or permission