Understanding Society

Subject SOCI10001 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 1 (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: 35 Contact Hours: 2 x one hour lectures and 1 x one hour tutorial per week for 12 weeks. No tutorials in Week 1.
Total Time Commitment:

Total of 170 hours

Prerequisites: None
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 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: http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/


Dr Barbara Barbosa Neves



Subject Overview:

This subject explores our contemporary society through sociological perspectives. Students will be encouraged to develop what C Wright-Mills describes as a 'sociological imagination', which seeks to understand the ways in which our identities are formed by social structures and historical patterns. Society in the 21st century is shaped by global flows of people, culture and finance, potentially challenging national sovereignty. New technologies are redefining who we are, work patterns are continually changing, and new social problems are emerging. In this context selfhood is in a process of rapid and uncertain transformation and categories such as gender, class and the family are becoming unstable, leading to new and difficult-to-chart experiences and new forms of inequality. This subject critically examines these changes using a number of key concepts including social change, power and conflict, inequality, identity, risk, individualisation, and networks. Drawing on these key concepts, the subject closely examines the relationship between the individual, the collective and key social institutions in the context of seeking to understand the complex and dynamic nature of human society.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this subject students should:

  • Demonstrate a sociological understanding of the nature of social relationships and institutions, patterns of social diversity and inequality, and processes that underpin social change and stability;
  • Have an introductory knowledge of the main approaches in classical and contemporary sociology and their development in particular social, historical and world contexts;
  • Demonstrate an introductory ability to apply sociological theories, concepts and evidence to sociological questions within complex and changing social contexts;
  • Communicate sociological principles and knowledge effectively in written format;
  • Demonstrate an introductory ability to develop arguments by using evidence, evaluating competing explanations, and drawing conclusions.

  • A short essay of 1000 words (25%) due early-semester.
  • A research essay of 2,000 words (50%) due late-semester.
  • A take-home test of 1000 words (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.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

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

Available as a Breadth subject to non-Bachelor of Arts students.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Graduate Certificate in Arts - Sociology
Graduate Diploma in Arts - Sociology
Related Breadth Track(s): Sociology

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