1 x 2-hour seminar weekly
1 1 first year topic in American Studies
1a 1 first year topic in Development Studies
1b 1 first year topic in Asian Studies
1c 1 first year topic in History
1d 1 first year topic in International Relations
1e 1 first year topic in Politcal Studies
1f 1 first year topic in Sociology
1g 1 first year topic in Social Work & Social Admin
1h 1 first year topic in Women's Studies
2 EDUC1120 - Teaching and Educational Contexts
2a DRAM1002 - Drama 1B: Bodies of Work
2b SCME1001 - Media and Society
2c SCME1002 - Convergence Cultures
2d ENGL1101 - Approaches to Literature
2e JUSS1000 - An Introduction to Justice and Society
2f LEGL1101 - Australian Justice System
2g LEGL1102 - Contentious Justice Issues
2h CRIM1101 - Crime and Criminology
2i CRIM1102 - Criminal Justice System
2j PSYC1101 - Psychology 1A
2k PSYC1102 - Psychology 1B
2l DSRS1201 - Perspectives on Disability and Rehabilitation
2m DSRS1209 - Human Diversity
2n HLTH1003 - Legal and Ethical Aspects of Health Care
2o ENVH1702 - Our Environment, Our Health
2p HLPE1541 - Social Determinants of Health
2q NURS1003 - Psychosocial Perspectives of Health Care
2r LEGL1201 - Law in Australian Society
Must Satisfy: (((1 or 1a or 1b or 1c or 1d or 1e or 1f or 1g or 1h)) or ((2 or 2a or 2b or 2c or 2d or 2e or 2f or 2g or 2h or 2i or 2j or 2k or 2l or 2m or 2n or 2o or 2p or 2q or 2r)))
Enrolment not permitted
SOCI3016 has been successfully completed
Topic description
What is Intimacy? This is a term used with such frequency in modern social life that its meaning is taken for granted - sex, love, family, relationships, friends, children. However, what if we were to question our assumptions about intimacy? Intimate life, the relations of intimacy, and the meanings that define it have changed dramatically over time and in different historical eras. Meanings about intimacy also differ according to our gendered, raced and class histories, and are connected to broader structures of power - some forms of intimacy are valued and privileged, while others are pathologised and marginalised.

This topic throws the concept intimacy of up in the air. In the first module, we examine how meanings and relations around intimacy are differently constructed in different historical eras, and how relations of intimacy shape our ideas of 'self' and 'others' in different ways. In the second module, we move to look at intimacy and power, and explore this through the lens of gender, race, class and ability. Through the modules, we will look to sociological theories and debates, case studies and real life contemporary examples.
Educational aims
This topic has four aims:
  • Explore the ways in which meanings and relations of intimacy have changed over time in the Anglophone West, and examine how patterns of social life in different historical epochs construct the relations of intimacy between 'selves 'and 'others' in different ways.
  • Unpack how relations of intimacy differ amongst different social groups, dependent on gender, race, and class.
  • Examine how meanings and relations of intimacy are connected to broader structures of power - some forms, relations and frameworks of intimacy are valued over others.
  • Engage with real life 'intimate controversies' and case studies to tease out the different meanings, forms of identity and self -construction, and social and historical shifts.
  • Provide opportunities for students to take lead roles in facilitating class discussion.
Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will have demonstrated your ability to:
  • Demonstrate an understanding that intimacy is socially constructed by drawing on key academics texts, debates in the literature and real life examples.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how historical shifts in the Anglophone West reshaped relations of intimacy
  • Critically assess and analyse the ways in which intimacy is connected to power, and how race, class and gender relations shape which intimacies are valued and which are marginalised.
  • Undertake the necessary preparation to lead, facilitate and engage in class activities.