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The subject examines major approaches and debates within contemporary sociological theory, and the different research directions that emerge from these approaches. Beginning with an overview of the classical foundations of sociological theory, the subject explores contemporary sociological theories which engage with questions of power, social order, and conflict. The subject also examines contemporary sociological approaches to critical issues including globalization, individualization, and identity. As the subject proceeds, we will examine how researchers construct, evaluate and modify theory to respond to transformations in social relations and practices. In this way, it will become evident that sociological theory is in a constant process of interaction with everyday social structures, relations and experiences. Students will complete the subject with knowledge of key approaches and debates in contemporary sociological theory, and with the capacity to use sociological theory to construct social research questions.
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of this subject students should:
- Understand key debates and problems within contemporary sociological theory;
- Demonstrate a detailed knowledge of contemporary sociological theory in its social, historical and world context, including its principal concepts and theories;
- Demonstrate an ability to critically assess major traditions within contemporary sociological theory;
- Demonstrate an ability to apply sociological theories, concepts and evidence to sociological questions within complex and changing social contexts;
- Demonstrate an ability to develop arguments by using evidence, evaluating competing explanations, and drawing conclusions;
- Communicate sociological principles and knowledge effectively using appropriate formats both oral and written.
Last updated: 18 December 2020