Identity is all about how we present ourselves to ourselves and to others. Choose a cultural practice of self-presentation that takes place in a particular location or cultural setting (for example, going to a party, having a job interview, setting up a Facebook profile) and explain what this practice says about the self and its relationship to society.
You must answer ONE of the following questions:
1. Identity is all about how we present ourselves to ourselves and to others. Choose a cultural
practice of self-presentation that takes place in a particular location or cultural setting (for
example, going to a party, having a job interview, setting up a Facebook profile) and
explain what this practice says about the self and its relationship to society.
2. Choose and describe a situation in your everyday life (for example, standing in a queue,
going to the doctor, having a family meal). What social processes, social structures,
categories and relations can you identify within this situation? Can you identify the exercise
of power, or the existence of inequality in this apparently banal and everyday scenario?
3. Body maintenance or modification is a set of everyday practices related specifically to
consumer culture. Argue for or against this statement with reference to some distinctive
practices of body maintenance or body modification.
4. Gender is ‘cultural all the way down’. Explain this statement utilising concepts and theories
covered in this unit and 1-2 examples from everyday life (for example, shopping, dressing
& grooming, playing sports or computer games, working).
5. Identify and describe a specific youth subculture (either contemporary or historical).
Explore any collective issues and/or problems addressed by this subculture and how these
are expressed through the everyday activities and/or style of its members.
Guide to this assessment:
Select one of the above questions for your essay. In order to answer the selected question, you will
need to draw upon one or more of the theoretical and conceptual frameworks and topic areas that
are covered in this unit up to and including Week 7. These include gender, the self, the routines of
everyday life, the body and youth subcultures.
DO NOT type the essay question out – simply identify your essay with the question number you
You need to undertake independent research that is directly relevant to the question and
theoretical/conceptual framework you are employing. Please refer to the readings set in the Reader
and in the Further Readings supplied in the Learning Guide and in the Week-to-Week program as
well as other relevant academic sources.
A minimum of six relevant academic resources is required. At least three of these must come from
outside the essential reading in the unit reader.
The word length for this essay is 1500 words. This includes a tolerance for 10% over or above. In
other words, your essay must be between 1350 words and 1650 words in length.
All quotations MUST be in quotation marks with page number references, using the referencing
system specified in this unit’s student learning guide, which is APA. All material that is not your
own MUST be referenced.
The following advice is provided to help you in this assessment task. Please read this carefully:
1. Choose a question that interests you.
2. Ensure that your essay answers the question/s asked employing a relevant concepts and
definitions covered in the unit.
3. Begin to explore your theoretical framework broadly. In order to do this, it may be a good
idea to read a chapter or two in an introductory Sociology textbook. You will find
introductory sociology texts at 301 in the library and you can use the contents page or index
to quickly identify your theoretical or substantive area. Introductory Cultural Studies texts
can be found in the 306s.
4. Now that you have a good basic idea of the theoretical framework, you can start to refine
your search, in order to identify appropriate, relevant, targeted sources. You should limit
yourself to the university’s library and databases in order to ensure that you are using
appropriate scholarly resources. Look for resources that relate directly to your chosen
question and theoretical framework/s. You will find the library’s website really useful here.
If you insert some relevant search terms into the ‘search resources’ box on the library
homepage, and tick ‘journals and more’ you will find a range of journal articles that address
your topic. Some will be more relevant than others and you can refine your search further
by inserting more relevant search terms. Discard resources that draw on inappropriate
disciplinary understandings – ie, Psychology journals, management journals and so on are
not appropriate for this unit. Do not use them. Generally, your resources will be
published in the areas of sociology, cultural studies, and anthropology/ethnography.
5. Read, refine your approach, search for more relevant resources, read some more, take notes
(making sure that you record all bibliographic details, including page numbers) and begin to
assemble your response to the question.
6. Ensure that you have written concisely and clearly and that your writing conforms to the
Literacy Minimum Standard as described in the Learning Guide.
7. If you are still confused, ask your tutor or unit co-ordinator to clarify your confusion. It is
your responsibility to ensure that you understand the requirements of the assessment task.
Ensure that your essay answers the question/s asked, that you have employed course concepts and
definitions, that it is the appropriate length, is properly researched and referenced, and is
accompanied by a list of references at the end of the essay.