The module will provide an introduction to theories and themes in sociological social psychology, particularly those that relate to the self and social interaction. It will highlight a number of theoretical approaches that link the wider social structure to the individual personality and conduct. Although the content of the module is somewhat flexible, it provides an overview of the principal theoretical approaches to social psychology and how they may be applied to the understanding of social life. These may include, inter alia:

* field theory, balance theory and the theory of cognitive dissonance

* collective psychology and group dynamics

* developmental psychologies of Piaget and Kohlberg

* Marxist social psychology of Vygotsky and Luria

* psychoanalytic theories of Freud and the Freudians (e.g. Klein, Chodorow
* symbolic interactionism from James and Mead through to Goffman and to the more recent work of Hochschild and Ken Plummer

* perspectives on social interaction which investigate the interconnections between social structure and individual conduct (ethnomethodology and conversation analysis)

In the Autumn Term, the main themes from these approaches will be raised in the lectures, which will also explore the relationships among the various approaches. The classes will concentrate on applications of these theories, giving attention to cognitive, emotional and interactional issues, including language acquisition, morality, self-presentation, conformity, suggestibility, and identity. The Spring Term will be devoted to a more in-depth exploration into one or more of the approaches.