Contemporary Social Problems

Subject SOCI90004 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

April, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 18-Apr-2016 to 27-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 26-Apr-2016
Census Date 06-May-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 03-Jun-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 contact hours: 4 hours of seminars per week in Weeks 7 - 12 of Semester 1.
Total Time Commitment:

Total of 170 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Sociology at Undergraduate level

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 Jens Zinn


Subject Overview:

This subject focues on social problems in a sociological perspective. The aim of the subject is to give students a good understanding of the social dimension of social problems as well as insights into the social construction and negotiation of social problems. A number of different approaches and ways to see social problems will be introduced to sharpen the awareness of the influence of specific worldviews of our selection, understanding and responses to social problems. On this basis a number of recent social problems and a shift in understanding and dealing with social problems will be discussed.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this subject students should:

  • Have a knowledge of contemporary social problem;
  • Have an ability to use theoretical models to consider social processes at work in contemporary social problems;
  • Have an ability to critically consider the ways social policy constructs our understanding of contemporary social problems.
  • A literature review of 1000 words (20%) due during the teaching period.
  • A research essay of 4000 words (80%) due during the examination period.

Hurdle requirement: Students must attend a minimum of 80% of classes in order to pass this subject. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

Reading material will be made available online via the subject's LMS site.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • research skills, through the competent use of library and other information sources, and the definition of areas of inquiry and methods of research.
  • an understanding of the social, ethical and cultural contexts of research.
  • critical thinking and analysis skills, through recommended reading, essay writing, and seminar discussion, and by determining the strength of an argument.
  • skills in written and oral communication, time management and planning, and group work, through completion of course requirements.
  • the capacity to think in theoretical terms, through class requirements and engagement with theories and methods of the social sciences.
  • the capacity to think creatively, through course work and course discussion, and by critical analysis of competing arguments.

SOCI90004 Contemporary Social Problems is a compulsory subject in the Master of Social Policy.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 100 Point Master of Social Policy
150 Point Master of Social Policy
200 Point Master of Social Policy
Governance, Policy and Markets
Graduate Certificate in Arts (Advanced) - Sociology
Graduate Diploma of Arts (Advanced) - Sociology
PC-ARTS Sociology
PD-ARTS Sociology
Tailored Specialisation
Tailored Specialisation

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