Social Bodies


Course Description

  • Course Name

    Social Bodies

  • Host University


  • Location

    Sydney, Australia

  • Area of Study

    Gender Studies, International Relations, International Studies, Sociology

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    This subject unravels the body as the key site through which the reproduction of social structures and norms are secured and contested. The socio-biological matter of the body is interrogated, including an examination of habitual body competencies and feeling-states. The subject questions the 'geography closest in', setting in train a progressively broadening consideration of how body-formation is intimately linked to the formation of culture and states.
    Subject objectives
    a. Understand and evaluate key concepts within social and cultural theory
    b. Critically engage with academic texts
    c. Utilise theoretical concepts verbally and in written work
    d. Apply theoretical concepts with sophistication
    Teaching and learning strategies
    This subject involves formal and exploratory teaching and learning strategies. Lectures will be formal and will introduce the key theoretical ideas for each week. Tutorials will be informal and largely student-led, including weekly sharing by students of theorised observations of everyday body practices and sensations. Tutorials and assessment will focus on the critical extension of theoretical material and on developing students? academic speaking and writing voices.
    In this subject we interrogate how cultural history and social discipline are given material shape through the human body. We examine the body as a shifting effect or outcome of social and political inequalities and biological fragilities and also celebrate its remarkable aliveness and awareness. Acknowledging that divergent forces come to bear on the body at different life cycle stages, we ground our investigation into the nature, culture and competency of the body in key moments ? birth, childhood, ageing and death ? in which the social, biological, cultural and ethical muddle surrounding embodiment is thrown into sharpened relief.
    We begin with an examination of the maternal body and the sexualisation of children?s bodies. We encounter the suffering bodies of those who are excluded and oppressed, such as survivors of homelessness, of forced migration, and of political violence and torture. We critically engage the idea of the ?abnormal? body ? with a focus on disabled, aged, diseased and surgically-altered bodies. Finally, we confront death and ask again about the substance of the body.
    Assessment task 1: Reading/Writing Journal ? Part 1
    a, b, c and d
    Weight: 40%
    Clarity of conceptual exposition offered
    Depth of reflection on set readings
    Clarity of scholarly argument produced?
    Capacity to appropriately evidence scholarly argument
    Assessment task 2: Reading/Writing Journal ? Part 2
    a, b, c and d
    Weight: 40%
    Clarity of conceptual exposition offered?
    Depth of reflection on set readings?
    Clarity of scholarly argument produced?
    Capacity to appropriately evidence scholarly argument
    Assessment task 3: Body Reflection
    a and c
    Weight: 20%
    Clarity of scholarly argument produced
    Depth of reflection on theoretical themes
    Capacity to appropriately evidence scholarly argument

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.