Contemporary Sociological Theory

Subject SOCI30001 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 30 contact hours: 1 x 1.5 hour lecture and 1 x 1 hour tutorial per week for 12 weeks.
Total Time Commitment:

Total of 170 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Sociology at Levels 1 & 2

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Dr Ben Gook


Subject Overview:

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.

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.

  • A research essay of 1000 words (25%) due mid-semester.
  • A research essay of 2000 words (50%) due at the end of semester.
  • A take-home test (25%) due in the examination period.

Hurdle requirement: Students must attend a minimum of 75% of tutorials in order to pass this subject. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject. Regular participation in tutorials is required.

Note: Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per working day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked.

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available.

Recommended Texts:

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

SOCI30001 Contemporary Sociological Theory is available as a Breadth subject to non-Bachelor of Arts students.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Anthropology
European Studies
Graduate Certificate in Arts - Social Theory
Graduate Certificate in Arts - Sociology
Graduate Diploma in Arts - Anthropology
Graduate Diploma in Arts - Sociology
Social Theory

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