This module will look at some of the key terms, issues and debates within social theory. Key terms and concepts will be introduced via selected theories, theoretical issues and the ideas of specific writers who have attempted to explain social phenomena, and in so doing have contributed to the development of languages of inquiry and analysis of social worlds.
Aims and Objectives
Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:
- Deal more effectively with abstract concepts and theoretical debates.
- Write and develop theoretical arguments and positions.
- Develop understanding of the theoretical frameworks that inform work in the social science disciplines (Sociology and Anthropology, but also Criminology)
- Analyse the contributions made by these approaches to debates concerning the nature of social worlds and the social and cultural phenomena that occur in them.
- Identify and outline the principal theoretical approaches and key theoretical concepts used in the social theoretical examination of social life.
- Critically evaluate the contributions made by selected social theories to our understanding of social life
- Analyse arguments and make judgements about their theoretical consistency.
Block 1 Introduction and Macro Social Theories (functionalism, Parsons).
Block 2: Micro- social analysis and its problems (Social constructionism & Symbolic Interactionism,; Weber, Mead; Becker; Cooley & Goffman)
Block 3: Social Theory & Methodology (Schutz, Geertz, Garfinkle)
Block 4: Applied Social Theory. We will examine in detail a series of theories to explain current social phenomena and how theoretical arguments inform research within the sub-fields of criminology,
anthropology, psychological studies, and sociology. (Topics: Body, Power, Communication, Gender, Speciesism, Consumption/AI).
Learning and Teaching
Teaching and learning methods
- Seminar work (discussion & feedback group)
- Writing surgery
|Total study time||150|
Resources & Reading list
Crow, G (2005). The Art of Sociological Argument. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
May, Y & Powell, J (2008). Situating Social Theory. Buckingham: OU Press.
This is how we’ll formally assess what you have learned in this module.
This is how we’ll assess you if you don’t meet the criteria to pass this module.
Repeat type: Internal & External