1 x 1-hour lecture weekly
1 x 1-hour tutorial weekly
Course context
Associated major: Sociology

Bachelor of Social Work; Bachelor of Psychology (Honours)
Topic description
Issues in Sociology is designed to introduce students to the sociological study of society. Sociology focuses on the systematic understanding of social interaction, social organisation, social institutions, and social change. Major themes in sociological thinking include the interplay between the individual and society, how society is both stable and changing, the causes and consequences of social inequality, and the social construction of human life. Understanding sociology helps discover and explain social patterns and see how such patterns change over time and in different settings. By making vivid the social basis of everyday life, sociology also develops critical thinking by revealing the social structures and processes that shape diverse forms of human life.
Educational aims
This topic aims to:
  • introduce sociological perspectives on social problems and moral issues of the contemporary era
  • examine the social processes and structures through which modern societies and contemporary culture is produced, reproduced and transformed
  • provide opportunities for the further development of skills, such as:
    • critical analysis
    • constructing a logical argument
    • referencing
    • self-directed and independent learning
    • encourage constructive and informed participation in tutorials
Expected learning outcomes
On successful completion of this topic students should be able to:
  • Show the relevance and reality of structural factors in social life
  • Place an issue in a larger social context (identify systemic elements; identify stakeholders; list unintended consequences)
  • Debunk individualistic explanations of social behaviour and identify social patterns
  • Identify and offer explanations for social inequality
  • Transform a topic of interest into a researchable, sociological question
  • Describe the elements of the scientific method in the social sciences
  • Distinguish levels of analysis
  • Show awareness of probabilities and contingencies
  • Describe the tension between the generalisation and stereotyping; social forces and determinism
  • Appreciate the role of human agency in social change