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Unit information: Thinking Sociologically in 2019/20

Please note: Due to alternative arrangements for teaching and assessment in place from 18 March 2020 to mitigate against the restrictions in place due to COVID-19, information shown for 2019/20 may not always be accurate.

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Thinking Sociologically
Unit code SOCI10004
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Sealy
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


This unit will introduce students to what it means to view the world from a sociological perspective. Through a series of contemporary case studies, the unit will discuss the relationship between sociology and the modern world. It will provide an overview of sociology's central debates (culture and nature, individual and society) and discuss its more recent developments (such as postmodernism and the cultural turn). The aim of the unit is to encourage the development of students' own 'sociological imagination'.


  • To introduce students to the discipline of Sociology
  • To discuss what makes sociological knowledge distinctive
  • To familiarise students with key debates within the discipline
  • To develop students’ capacity for sociological analysis

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the unit, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate awareness of the historical emergence of sociology (1)
  • Contrast sociological work with other forms of discourse (2)
  • Critically engage with sociological writing (3)

Teaching details

2 hours of lectures and 1 hour seminar.

Assessment Details

1500 word essay for formative development:

Summative assessment: 2000 word essay (assessing LOs 1, 2 and 3)

Reading and References

  • Z Bauman and T May, 2001, Thinking Sociologically, Oxford: Blackwell.
  • R Jenkins, 2002, Foundations of Sociology, Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.
  • N Abercrombie, 2004, Sociology, Cambridge: Polity.