Contemporary Sociological Theory

Subject SOCI30001 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 2, Parkville - 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: 1 x 1.5 hour lecture and 1 x 1 hour tutorial per week.
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: Completion of 37.5 points of level two subjects in Sociology and enrolment in the Bachelor of Arts or Graduate Diploma in Arts. Bachelor of Arts Students should endeavour to take the capstone subject in their final semester of study after the completion of 25 points of third year.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: 1st & 2nd Year Sociology
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 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 for purchase from the University Bookshop.

  • Contested Knowledge. Social Theory Today (Steven Seidman) Blackwell, 2008, 4th edn
Recommended Texts:


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.

This Capstone subject is a compulsory requirement for the completion of a Sociology major for students commencing the BA from 2008 onwards.

166-300 Contemporary Sociological Theory is not available as a Breadth subject.

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Arts
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: European Studies
Sociology Major

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