Contemporary Sociological Theory

Subject 166-300 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 1, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1.5-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment: 2.5 contact hours/week , 6 additional hours/week. Total of 8.5 hours per week.
Prerequisites: 25 points of Level 1 Sociology and 37.5 points of Level 2 Sociology (including 166-081 or 166-086 or 191-004).
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
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 Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr Tim Marjoribanks


Dr. Tim Marjoribanks
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.
  • understand key debates and problems within contemporary sociological theory;
  • be able to critically analyse ways sociological theory is used to construct research questions and to analyse contemporary social relations empirically;
  • be able to critically assess major traditions within contemporary sociological theory;
  • be able to use sociological theory to explore dimensions of contemporary social life.
Assessment: A written essay of 1000 words 25% (due in first half of semester), a take home test of 1000 words 25% (due mid-semester), and a written essay of 2000 words 50% (due during the examination period)
Prescribed Texts: A subject reader will be available.
  • Contested Knowledge. Social Theory Today (Steven Seidman) Blackwell, 2004, 3rd edn
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • be able to apply research skills and critical methods to a field of inquiry;
  • be able to develop persuasive arguments on a given topic;
  • be able to communicate oral and written arguments and ideas effectively and articulately.

Formerly available as 166-300. Students who have completed 166-300 are not eligible to enrol in this subject.

This subject is a compulsory requirement for the completion of a Sociology major for students who commenced the BA in 2008.

Contemporary Sociological Theory is not available as a Breadth subject.

Related Course(s): Diploma in Arts (Sociology)
Master of Global Media Communication
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Sociology
Sociology Major

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