SO9C1-20 State of Art of Sociology
This module seeks to introduce students to some of the major debates about how theorising and empirical research should be done, through examples of how it is being done. It seeks to situate this against the background of the sociological tradition and to give students a sense of where there is continuity, discontinuity, progress and/or decline.
To introduce students to the latest developments in Sociology and related disciplines. To embed an awareness of current and ongoing debates in Sociology and a critical understanding of the possibilities of the discipline in terms of empirical research, theoretical developments, and methodological innovations.
This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.
This module will introduce students to current developments and debates in the field of sociology, linking this to the older traditions and currents of the discipline. Students will appreciate both the possibilities and the limits of Sociology as a discipline, through engagement with a wide range of approaches (in terms of methodology, empirical focus and theoretical approach), to develop their own interests in specific areas of work (in preparation for the dissertation) and to relate these specific interests to other sociological approaches. The two hour session will be broken down into a one hour lecture and one hour seminar devoted to key readings.
Summative assessment will be by a 4,000 word essay in which students must demonstrate their engagement with some of the debates that have beer presented to them. They may choose a specific field of interest from those that have been presented (or beyond) but their coursework will focus on the development of independent critical analysis of debates both within this specific area, and its links to broader fields of social science.
The precise curriculum will vary from year to year, depending on the avaiiability of inciivicival academic staff. An indicative term may look something like the following:
The Craft of Sociology: State of the Art or State of Science?
Theorising, or skill and clumsiness in the use of concepts
Spies and Cannibals: the perils of ethnography
What makes your case so special?
What's new in comparative sociology?
Rationality, relativism and postcolonial studies
Writing well and writing badly
By the end of the module, students should be able to:
- (1)Demonstrate knowledge of recent debates in Sociology and their relationship to longer-standing traditions in the discipline.
- (2)Demonstrate critical analysis of the current state of Sociology as a discipline in a specific area of specialism.
- (3)Relate aspects of methodological, empirical and theoretical traditions and innovations in Sociology to one another, and to a specific area of interest.
- (4)Apply analytical skill to relate a specific area of sociological interest (research, theory, and/or method) to broader developments in Sociology and beyond.
Indicative reading list
Allert, T. 2010. The Hitler Salute. London: Picador
Axelrod, R. ‘The live and let live system in trench warfare’, in Michael Hechter and Christine Horne (eds) Theories of Social Order
Back, L and Puwar, N (2012) Live Methods, Wiley-Blackwell.
Becker, H. 2014. ‘Black Boxes’, in What about Mozart, What About Murder?: Reasoning from Cases. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Cohen, R.L., Hughes, C. and Lampard, R. (2011) 'The methodological impact of feminism: A
troubling issue for Sociology?' Sociology 45 (4), 570 — 586
Gane, N and Back, I (2012) 'C. Wright Mills 50 Years On: The Promise and Craft of Sociology
Revisited' . Theory, Culture and Society, 23, 7/8, 2012, pp.399-421
Hacking, I. 1999. ‘Why ask What?’ in The Social Construction of What?. Harvard University Press.
Hinterberger, A (2012) Publics and Populations: The Politics of Ancestry and Exchange in Genome
Science. Science as Culture, 21(4): S28- 549 (2012)
Mah, A. f2012) Industrial Ruination, Community and Place: Landscapes and Legacies of Urban
Decline , Toronto: University of Toronto Press
Pettinger, L (2013) 'Market moralities in the field of commercial sex', Journal fo Cultural Economy,
Sahlins, M. 1998. How Natives Think.
Skocpol, T. 'Explaining Revolutions’ in Social Revolutions in the Modern World
Todd, E. 2015. Who is Charlie?
Verdery, K. 2018. My Life as a Spy
Wieder, D.L. 1974. ‘Telling the Code’ in R. Turner (ed) Ethnomethodology
Subject specific skills
Capacity to understand contemporary social issues and sociological responses to those issues, and to situate issues and their response in relation to the history of the discipline.
Capacity to understand and apply theoretical ideas to empirical problems.
Enhanced analytic abilities in the application of sociological ideas to real-world situations.
Oral and written communication skills; critical thinking and analytic reasoning.
|Seminars||9 sessions of 2 hours (9%)|
|Private study||182 hours (91%)|
Private study description
reading and researching for weekly seminars. Preparation for assessment.
No further costs have been identified for this module.
You do not need to pass all assessment components to pass the module.
Students can register for this module without taking any assessment.
Assessment group A1
|4000 word Essay||100%|
Feedback on assessment
Marking is via the Tabula system and students receive written, electronic feedback through the system.
This module is Core for:
- Year 1 of TIMA-L981 Postgraduate Social Science Research
TSOA-L3PD Postgraduate Taught Sociology
- Year 1 of L3PD Sociology
- Year 1 of L3PD Sociology
This module is Option list A for:
- Year 1 of TSOS-L313 Postgraduate Quantitative Social Research
TSOA-L3PW Postgraduate Taught Social Inequalities and Research Methods
- Year 1 of L3PW Social Inequalities and Research Methods
- Year 2 of L3PW Social Inequalities and Research Methods
- Year 1 of TSOA-L3PE Postgraduate Taught Social Research
TSOA-L3P8 Postgraduate Taught Social and Political Thought
- Year 1 of L3P8 Social and Political Thought
- Year 1 of L3P8 Social and Political Thought
This module is Option list C for:
TPOS-M9PE Double MA in Politics and International Studies (with NTU Singapore)
- Year 1 of M91B International Political Economy (Double Degree - NTU)
- Year 1 of M91C International Politics and East Asia (Double Degree - NTU)
- Year 1 of M91D International Politics and Europe (Double Degree - NTU)
- Year 2 of M91B International Political Economy (Double Degree - NTU)
- Year 2 of M91C International Politics and East Asia (Double Degree - NTU)
TPOS-M9PP Double MA in Politics and International Studies (with Universität Konstanz, Germany)
- Year 1 of M92B International Political Economy (Double Degree - Konstanz)
- Year 1 of M92C International Politics and East Asia (Double Degree - Konstanz)
- Year 1 of M92D International Politics and Europe (Double Degree - Konstanz)
- Year 1 of M92E International Relations (Double Degree - Konstanz)
- Year 1 of M92G International Security (Double Degree - Konstanz)
- Year 1 of M92H Public Policy (Double Degree - Konstanz)
- Year 2 of M92D International Politics and Europe (Double Degree - Konstanz)
- Year 2 of M92K Political and Legal Theory (Double Degree - Konstanz)
- Year 2 of TPOS-M9PT MA in International Development
TPOS-M9PU MA in Research in Politics and International Studies
- Year 1 of M9PU Research in Politics and International Studies
- Year 2 of M9PU Research in Politics and International Studies
TPOS-M9PY Postgraduate Politics and International Studies: Big Data and Quantitative Methods
- Year 1 of M9PY Politics and International Studies: Big Data and Quantitative Methods
- Year 2 of M9PY Politics and International Studies: Big Data and Quantitative Methods
- Year 1 of TWSA-M9P7 Postgraduate Taught Gender and International Development
- Year 2 of TPOS-M1P8 Postgraduate Taught International Politics and East Asia
- Year 2 of TPOS-M9PS Postgraduate Taught Political and Legal Theory
- Year 2 of TPOS-M9PQ Postgraduate Taught United States Foreign Policy