Subject details

  • Topics
    • Sociology and Modernity
    • Capitalism and Industrialisation
    • Democracy and Equality
    • Political Power and Bureaucracy
    • Religions and Belief Systems
    • Science and Technology
    • Identity
  • Study resources
    • Instructional Methods
      • Disscusion forum/Discussion Board
      • E-Portfolios
      • Embedded Multimedia
      • Online Quizzes/Tests
      • Online assignment submission
      • Podcasting/Leacture capture
      • Standard Media
      • Web links
    • Online Materials
      • Resources and Links

By the end of this subject it is anticipated you should be able to:

  1. identify the distinguishing figures, topics and texts of Social Theory and Sociology as a field of study and investigate its points of connection and disconnection in contemporary society
  2. explain the origin, characteristics and complexity of modern societies
  3. articulate a coherent, developed account of what it means to live in modern societies
  4. analyse and assess a variety of texts (print, oral, film, multimedia) and data sources critically within their historical, social and discursive contexts
  • Assignment 1 - Writing Exercise 1 (20%)
  • Assignment 2 - Writing Exercise 2 (30%)
  • Assignment 3 - Writing Exercise 3 (30%)
  • Assignment 4 - Participation (20%)

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a subject

Entry Requirements

Equivalent Subjects

You cannot enrol in this unit if you have successfully completed any of the following subject(s) because they are considered academically equivalent:

  • MAQ-SGYX222

You are recommended to have completed the following subjects(s) or have equivalent knowledge before starting this unit:

Special requirements

No special requirements

This subject was previously known as SGYX222 Sociological Theories of Modernity.

What characterises modern societies? This degree is an invitation to get to know some of the great theorists in Sociology and to learn what they have to say about modernity and modern societies.  It explores the bold character of Sociology as it struggles to make sense of the modern world.

Modernity is characterised by a number of specific developments like democracy, capitalism, industrialism, nationalism, individualism and bureaucratisation. These are partly antagonistic, partly complementary, tendencies. In this subject we will be examining these diverse trends through the prism of a range of theories of modern society. We consider from among the following: Marx, Nietzsche, Weber, Durkheim, The Frankfurt School and Foucault. None we suggest has the key but we hope also to put each to use to find a matrix of illuminations into tendencies and potentials.

One of the core subjects in our undergraduate program, SOCX222 is designed to help you grapple with some of the major theoretical tributaries of the discipline. It reconstructs some of the main episodes in sociology’s efforts to achieve an understanding of the distinctive character and likely prospects of modern societies. SOCX222 traces the different ways in which some major theorists of modernity have analysed intersecting axes of modern development.  The subject will demonstrate how much we still owe to these thinkers as well as considering their respective shortcomings.

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