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Semester 1

Sociology 2a: Thinking Sociologically (SCIL08012)







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Course Summary

The aim of Sociology 2a is twofold: firstly, to introduce students to some of the core theoretical debates that frame sociological investigation; and, secondly, to develop students knowledge of key substantive areas within sociology in a theoretically-informed way. It is important for students to gain an understanding of theoretical debates because much sociological research and thinking is contextualized in a theoretical way. The course is a progression from year 1, where sociological topics and concepts are introduced without priority being given to theoretical issues. It complements the new Sociology 2b which focuses more on issues of method in sociological research. It will also provide appropriate preparation for Honours level sociology, where theoretical questions are looked at in a more advanced way in the Social Theory course.

Course Description

The course will introduce students to core theoretical debates in Sociology and illustrate these by reference to case studies. Typically the course will begin by introducing students to key debates in social theory. This unit will consider the significance of issues of agency, social stratification and social change in contemporary social life. The second Unit will offer a detailed discussion of inequality in social life. It will question how privileges are reproduced and reinforced and highlight the intersectional nature of social inequality. The third unit will ask why structures of inequality persist and how they can be changed by focussing on social movements in a global context. It will conclude by discussing theories of power. Finally, the last unit will look at some of the classic theorists of society especially Marx and Weber and their analyses of capitalism. The unit will draw on contemporary cases to illustrate the contemporary relevance and insights of these thinkers.

Assessment Information

Written Exam 0%, Coursework 90%, Practical Exam 10%

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