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The University of Southampton
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SOCI1014 Foundations in Social and Anthropological Theory

Module Overview

The module introduces you to key thinkers and their contributions to social and anthropological theory. Different theories are introduced in their historical context highlighting the particular issues their proponents initially sought to grapple with and explain at the time they were writing. We consider the broad conceptual questions these theories address; questions of power, socialisation, knowledge, identity, and the relationship between structure and agency. We highlight the relevance of theory to the world we inhabit today. Pre-requisite for SOCI2031

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Syllabus

The module introduces you to key thinkers and their contributions to social and anthropological theory. Different theories are introduced in their historical context highlighting the particular issues their proponents initially sought to grapple with and explain at the time they were writing. The module follows the chronological development of social theory over the course of 150 years. It begins with the classical theories of Karl Marx, Max Weber and Emile Durkheim in the late 19th and early 20th century and traces a course through the modern theorists Talcott Parsons, Erving Goffman and Michel Foucault writing in the mid-20th century, to the contemporary social theory of Edward Said, Sylvia Walby and Anthony Giddens. In the process we consider the broad conceptual questions these theories address; questions of power, socialisation, knowledge, identity, and the relationship between structure and agency. We highlight the relevance of theory to the world we inhabit today. The ideas you will get to hear about on this module form the foundations of many of the topics you will study over the course of your degree. Finally, as a core first year module for a number of programmes in SSPC we aim to help you develop skills that you will make use of in your time at university and beyond. On this module that means reading and understanding social theory in books and articles, being able to discuss and talk about theoretical ideas and being able to write about social theory in a clear and critical way. These objectives define the module aims and learning outcomes.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

This module is based around 11 lectures and 9 seminars for each seminar group.

TypeHours
Independent Study128
Teaching22
Total study time150

Assessment

Assessment Strategy

The module is assessed by a mid-term reading comprehension test (30%) and a 2000 word essay (60%) and seminar participation and discussion activities (10%).

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2000 words) 60%
Mid-term reading  (30 minutes) 30%
Seminar Participation 10%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Essay 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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