Sociology A/T

Sociology is the study of how individuals and groups think, feel, and behave. Students will develop an understanding of themselves and others by exploring the roles and interactions between individuals and society.

Students will also develop their knowledge and understanding of theories, concepts and perspectives to explain behaviour. They analyse the nature and purpose of Sociology and develop insights into types of behaviour across a range of contexts in society.

This course enables students to understand how individuals function within different contexts. Such knowledge has the potential to empower and enhance individual abilities and facilitate awareness of the human condition, along with tolerance and respect for others.

Units

Unit 1: Constructing Identity

In Unit 1, students study the ways people define themselves and their relationships with others. The electives provide students with opportunities to study the myriad ways that society classifies and categorises people at an individual and small group level, and how individuals can be constrained and empowered through their identification with such labels.

Content

Culture/Popular culture

This unit explores issues of how a person’s sexuality and gender identity relate to their individual identity. Students studying this unit will learn about how concepts of sexuality and gender identity are defined, how this has changed over time, and how a person’s sexuality and gender identity shape their life.

Subculture and Family

This unit explores how race and ethnicity influence societies and their populations. Students studying this unit will learn about sociological approaches to race and ethnicity in the past, present and future context.

Unit 2: Understanding Difference

This unit explores social issues that lend themselves to activism and debate: issues of equality, justice and fairness on a social scale. The electives provide students with opportunities to explore all sides of these issues, to develop the skills and acquire the information to make informed decisions about issues that affect them.

Content

Gender Identity

This unit explores issues of how a person’s sexuality and gender identity relate to their individual identity. Students studying this unit will learn about how concepts of sexuality and gender identity are defined, how this has changed over time, and how a person’s sexuality and gender identity shape their life.

Race and Ethnicity

This unit explores how race and ethnicity influence societies and their populations. Students studying this unit will learn about sociological approaches to race and ethnicity in the past, present and future context.

Unit 3: Applying Sociology

This unit explores all levels of culture: the ideas, institutions and practices that define the ways we communicate and interact with each other. The electives in this unit provide students with opportunities to study the ways that ideas shape social life.

Content

Crime and Deviance

This unit explores the nature of deviance and theories of criminal behaviour. Students will learn about how certain behaviours are designated as ‘deviant’ or ‘criminal’, theories of why people commit deviant acts, the role of the justice system, and contemporary issues such as crime fighting, the justice system and incarceration.

Economic Inequality

This unit explores the role of the news media in a modern society through different sociological lenses. Students studying this unit will learn about the influence of news media, issues with the media’s role in society and the relationship the news media has with institutions.

Social science/VIU

Unit 4: Structure and Agency

This unit explores the superstructure of society: the social institutions and systems that determine the structure of society on a macro level, and in turn influence life on a micro level. The electives in this unit provide students with opportunities to study the ‘big picture’ of society, and explore the ways in which their lives are shaped by forces outside of their control.

Content

Politics and Media

This unit explores concepts of power and the role of the media in society. Students studying this unit will learn about theories of where power comes from, how it can be used and abused, and the role of the state in distributing and managing power.

Religion and cults

This unit explores the major world religions and the role that religion plays in society. Students studying this unit will learn the core beliefs of the major world religions, how different theories of religion apply to them, and about the impact of religion on the modern world.

Frontiers in sociology