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Unit of study_

SCLG3601: Contemporary Sociological Theory

Semester 2, 2020 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

This unit provides a detailed introduction to key social theorists whose ideas are being used extensively in contemporary sociological theory and research. These theorists include: Irving Goffman, Michel Foucault and Pierre Bourdieu. A particular focus is on approaches to human action in its various structural and cultural contexts, the possibilities and limits of human agency, and questions of social change.

Unit details and rules

Unit code SCLG3601
Academic unit
Credit points 6
Prohibitions
? 
SCLG3002
Prerequisites
? 
12 Senior credit points in Sociology
Corequisites
? 
None
Assumed knowledge
? 

None

Available to study abroad and exchange students

No

Teaching staff

Coordinator Jennifer Wilkinson, jennifer.wilkinson@sydney.edu.au
Lecturer(s) Jennifer Wilkinson, jennifer.wilkinson@sydney.edu.au
Tutor(s) Jennifer Wilkinson, jennifer.wilkinson@sydney.edu.au
Type Description Weight Due Length
Presentation group assignment Group Presentation (filmed)
15% Ongoing 10 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Small continuous assessment Weekly Discussion Boards
Written analysis and discussion of texts.
20% Ongoing 1000 words in total
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO3 LO2
Participation Class participation
Weekly lecture summaries and Discussion Board
10% Ongoing N/A
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment Research Essay
55% Week 12
Due date: 20 Nov 2020 at 23:00
3000 wd
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
group assignment = group assignment ?

Assessment summary

  • Group oral presentation: Group oral presentations will be filmed and uploaded onto discussion boards. They will involve groups of 3 to 4 people. Your group will be asked to present a critical analysis of 3-4 texts. You will be required to present the author's key arguments. conceptual approach, and contribution to the existing literature. You will also be required to relate the text to contermporary issues and to provide your own assessment of the validity of the author's arguments.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a High distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a Distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range

Description

High distinction

85 - 100

 

Distinction

75 - 84

 

Credit

65 - 74

 

Pass

50 - 64

 

Fail

0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

 

For more information see sydney.edu.au/students/guide-to-grades

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 What is social theory Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 02 Individuality or individualism Germanic and Romanic traditions Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 03 Is happiness a selfish pleasure:the nature and the limits of liberal utility Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 04 Beyond self interest - friendship and the sociological case for happiness Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 05 Heroic individualism , Romanticism and Everyday life Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 06 Solitude privacy and the concept of an inner life Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 07 Mid semester evaluation Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 08 An inner life that's shared :Concepts of intimacy Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 09 The culture of Narcissism Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 10 Sexiness, post-feminism and the problem of agency- explaing empowerment in neo-liberal societies Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 11 More than Human families, relationality, animals and personal life Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 12 Course evaluation and reflection Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4

Attendance and class requirements

  • Attendance: According to Faculty Board Resolutions, students in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences are expected to attend 90% of their classes. If you attend less than 50% of classes, regardless of the reasons, you may be referred to the Examiner’s Board. The Examiner’s Board will decide whether you should pass or fail the unit of study if your attendance falls below this threshold.
  • Lecture recording: Most lectures (in recording-equipped venues) will be recorded and may be made available to students on the LMS. However, you should not rely on lecture recording to substitute your classroom learning experience.
  • Preparation: Students should commit to spend approximately three hours’ preparation time (reading, studying, homework, essays, etc.) for every hour of scheduled instruction.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

Weekly readings as outlined in Canvas will be available through E-Reserve 

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. demonstrate an advanced general understanding of key concepts and debates in contemporary sociological theory and a detailed familiarity with at least one
  • LO2. demonstrate a detailed grasp of the relationships between different bodies of theory as well as the ability to critically compare and contrast them with each other
  • LO3. analyse the ways in which key theoretical concepts are and can be mobilised in particular programs of social research, identifying the strengths and weaknesses of any given concept in relation to a particular research problem
  • LO4. communicate effectively your understanding of these sociological concepts and the questions they raise, both orally and in writing.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities
GQ1 GQ2 GQ3 GQ4 GQ5 GQ6 GQ7 GQ8 GQ9

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

No changes have been made since this unit was last offered

Disclaimer

The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.