Faculty of Arts


Issues and Themes in Sociology

Please note: this is archived course information from 2019 for SOCIOL 100.


This course introduces sociology as a way of seeing and understanding the social world. Using the "sociological imagination" we investigate how society forms us as individuals and we in turn act collectively to construct and maintain the societies in which we live.

Topics include family, sexuality, religion, work, technology, mass media and emotions as well as the sociological concepts of class, ethnicity and nationalism, power, identity and globalisation. Students are introduced to the pleasures of understanding the social contexts in which we make our lives through examples drawn from many different societies and cultures. At the same time we explore why sociological analyses and common sense ideas about society are often quite different from each other. 

Course Objectives

At the end of this course you should:

  • Know how to recognise a sociological argument
  • Know how to recognise a sociological analysis
  • Understand the sociological imagination
  • Understand why sociological and commonsense ideas about society may not always align
  • Understand some of the main ideas and issues in present day sociology

Reading and Coursework

To achieve the course objectives listed above you will need to:

  • Attend lectures
  • Attend tutorials each week, which begin in week two
  • Read and understand all of the assigned chapters in the course textbook
  • Complete a small online assessment
  • Sit an in-class test (make-up tests are typically not offered)
  • Write a research-based socio-autobiography
  • Sit an examination of 100 multiple choice questions

View the course syllabus

Availability 2019

Semester 1


Coordinator(s) Associate Professor Steve Matthewman


Matthewman, West-Newman & Curtis eds. (2013). Being Sociological, Palgrave Macmillan. It is sold in the University Book Shop and is required reading. The book has a companion website: http://www.palgrave.com/sociology/matthewman


Coursework and exam


SOCIOL 100: 15.0 points

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