SOC388 Sociology of Everyday Life Syllabus

University of Toronto, Fall 2016


About This Course

The idea that our income, power, level of education, or health are at least partly a product of societal forces is by now not new to us. We are cognizant of the social forces that shape our lives at the macro level. We are less aware of the social forces that shape ordinary aspects of our everyday lives: how we think, how we present ourselves and interact with others, how we see ourselves, and how we experience daily events and even our emotions. In this course we will examine sociological perspectives to reflect on two questions: 1) how are the seemingly individual and/or psychological aspects of our lives shaped by society? and 2) how do we contribute to maintaining or changing the social order within social groups, communities, and society? The examination of the processes through which individuals and society define each other leads us to focus on micro-sociological perspectives. These perspectives shed light on the everyday processes whereby individuals come to understand themselves and their worlds, and form their thoughts, emotions and behavior. The theories and concepts we will study will show us how, through daily interactions, individuals incorporate particular ways of thinking, feeling, and acting. These perspectives will also help us understand the everyday ways through which actors contribute to maintaining (or challenge) the social order through their patterned behavior.