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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Sociology

Undergraduate Course: Topics in Social Theory (SCIL10087)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course is intended to allow students to deepen their understanding of theoretical debates, issues and key thinkers, as well as helping them to develop a critical perspective on existing approaches. Students taking the course will both build up their skills as theorists and gain knowledge that will help them to understand and contribute to wider debates in sociology.

Course description The course is aimed at students interested in improving their understanding of theoretical approaches to the social world. Students will engage with a selection of important thinkers, issues and debates and relate critically to them. The aim is for students to be able to identify different theoretical issues and currents of thought and come to an informed view about theoretical controversies. This will contribute to a better understanding of debates in sociology insofar as sociological investigations into a wide range of areas (e.g. culture, gender, and/or class) draw on theoretical concepts.

According to the given convenor's interests, the course could be organized in different ways in different years, such that it may focus on key concepts, key thinkers or key issues and debates. However, in all cases the aim is to allow students to read about, and participate in, theoretical discussions
The course will run as a combination of lecture and seminars. Usually, the two-hour sessions will be evenly split between lecture and seminar discussion with students, but this may vary depending on the topic.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  25
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 1500-2000-word short assignment: 30% of the mark.
3,000-3500 word long essay: 70% of the mark.
Feedback Essays will be returned with feedback within 15 working days of submission
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. understand, in a deep way, conceptual and theoretical debates in the social sciences
  2. debate issues using concepts discussed in the course
  3. write accurately and convincingly about theoretical debates and thinkers
  4. not just understand critical appraisals made by others, but offer their own critical appraisals.
Reading List
Butler, J., 2006. Precarious life: The powers of mourning and violence. Verso.
Bourdieu, P. 1986. "The Forms of Capital" in J. Richardson (ed.) Handbook of Theory of Research for the Sociology of Education, New York: Greenwood
Foucault, Michel. 1978. "Method" in The Will to Knowledge: The History of Sexuality Volume 1, Penguin: London, pp.92-102
Latour, B., 2004. Why has critique run out of steam? From matters of fact to matters of concern. Critical inquiry, 30(2), pp.225-248.
Mignolo, W.D., 2009. "Epistemic disobedience, independent thought and decolonial freedom", Theory, Culture & Society, 26(7-8), pp.159-181.

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Critical thinking
Comprehension of texts
Ability to write in a clear and well-structured way
Ability to develop arguments
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Stephen Kemp
Tel: (0131 6)50 3978
Course secretaryMr Ewen Miller
Tel: (0131 6)50 3925
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