• Class Number 2042
  • Term Code 3030
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr James Chouinard
    • Dr Jenny Davis
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 24/02/2020
  • Class End Date 05/06/2020
  • Census Date 08/05/2020
  • Last Date to Enrol 02/03/2020
    • Fiona Navilly
    • Jessie Liu
    • Susannah French
SELT Survey Results

This course introduces students to the key facets of the sociological imagination: a distinctive way of thinking about self and society. We will explore the complex relationship that exists between the individual and the wider society in which s/he is embedded. We will look at how people experience social life very differently as a consequence of where they live and what identity they embody and choose (or are obliged) to present. This means observing how social factors like sex, gender, age, race, ethnicity, sexuality, disability, health and socioeconomic status mediate the treatment people receive from institutions and organisations and operate to shape their everyday experiences.

We will contemplate how exposure to culture socialises individuals into adopting particular values, sentiments and belief systems, perceptions and understandings of the social world that inform the way people behave in various contexts. This focus invites us to think about the diverse forms of power that operate in society, in terms of who has privileged access to 'the truth' and to constructing and disseminating this knowledge, and who is marginalised or excluded from the process, and what factors account for this asymmetry.

 Overall, the course will provide a greater understanding of:
1. what sociology is (and does) and what makes it unique when compared to other disciplines like anthropology and psychology;
2. what types of questions sociologists ask, what research approaches they adopt and what kinds of social behaviour, events and problems they analyse;
3. how sociological knowledge impacts on society.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
1. Exercise the 'sociological imagination' by reflecting on the way that everyday life is organised in accordance with social forces (ranging from work and leisure experiences to domestic and personal life);
2. Question 'taken-for-granted' assumptions of how the social world functions and is structured;
3. Appreciate a wide range of theoretical perspectives and begin to use these to explain the nature of modern institutions and their impacts on the roles and identities individuals perform;
4. Evaluate the key methods used by sociologists to draw inferences about social life, including the use of census data, statistical samples and analysis, participant observation and interviews;
5. Think sociologically, read critically, source credible information and develop a logical argument that is supported by appropriate evidence.

Required Resources

“Inside Social Life” 8th Edition. Edited by Spencer E. Cahill, Kent Sandstrom and Carissa Froyum.

Additional readings will be available via links on the syllabus or PDF’s on Wattle

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • Individual written feedback
  • Informal feedback on discussion contributions during the tutorials
  • Verbal feedback as a group throughout the semester.

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

The information provided is a preliminary Class Outline. A finalised version will be available on Wattle and will be accessible after enrolling in this course. All updates, changes and further information will be uploaded on the course Wattle site and will not be updated on Programs and Courses throughout the semester. Any questions or concerns should be directed to the Course Convenor.

Referencing requirements: Students may select a reference style for their assignments. References must be consistent and conform to the standards of the selected style. 

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Sociological Mindfulness and the Sociological Imagination No Assessments
2 Social Construction of Reality Written Questions Participation
3 Reading and Appraising Academic Research (public holiday, no lecture) Written Questions Participation
4 Research Skills Participation Topic Selection
5 The Nature of the Self Written Questions Participation Precis and Analysis
6 Accomplishing Identity Written Questions Participation
7 Research Essay Workshops (public holiday, no lecture) Participation
8 The Body and Embodiment Written Questions Participation Research Essay
9 Affect and Emotion Written Questions Participation
10 Debates in Mental Health Written Questions Participation
11 Contesting Inequalities Written Questions Participation
12 Review Participation

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Learning Outcomes
Precis and Analysis 15 % 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Research Essay 30 % 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Synthesis Exam 45 % 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Participation (written questions and participation) 10 % 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 15 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Precis and Analysis

Students will select a topic from the course. The topic can be an extension of something we read, inspired by a theoretical orientation, or an offshoot of a topic we cover. Students will find 3 academic sources pertaining to their topic of choice. Students will summarize each source in ~200 words (600 words total) and include an analysis of how the sources compare and contrast (100-200 words). The analysis will conclude with a research question. Include full formatted bibliography using the bibliographic style of your choice. 

Assessment Rubrics

Word limit (where applicable): 750

Value: 15%

Presentation requirements: Typed document with formatted bibliography. Turn in using Turnitin.

Estimated return date: 9999-01-01 

Assessment Task 2

Value: 30 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Research Essay

Students will extend the topic from their precis and analysis by finding at least four additional academic sources (7 or more sources in total). The research essay directly builds on the precis and analysis. Students will collate all 7 sources and construct a coherent essay that addresses the research question laid out in the Precis and Analysis. Essays should be ~2000 words. 

Assessment Rubrics

Word limit (where applicable): 2000

Value: 30%

Presentation requirements: Typed document with formatted bibliography. Turn in using Turnitin.

Estimated return date: 9999-01-01 

Assessment Task 3

Value: 45 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Synthesis Exam

The final exam will be take home. Students will be given a series of critical questions pertaining to course material. They will be asked to interconnect ideas from the course and apply those ideas to novel examples. Questions will be released after the final lecture of the semester.

Assessment Rubrics

Word limit (where applicable): 1,500

Value: 45%

Presentation requirements: Typed document turned in on Turnitin.

Estimated return date: 9999-01-01 

Assessment Task 4

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Participation (written questions and participation)

Each class period students will be assigned readings. Those readings are to be completed before class. Students should be prepared to comment on readings during the lecture period. For tutorial, students will come prepared with a minimum of 3 written questions. The 3 questions must include at least one reference to the readings and at least one reference to the lecture. Students may not turn in questions electronically. Questions must be handed to the tutor at the time of the tutorial. Tutors will collect written questions and use them to inform students' participation grade. *If students have a documented and excused absence they may turn in their questions electronically.

Assessment Rubrics

Word limit (where applicable): 3 questions (no word limit). A set of questions is due at each tutorial.

Value: 10%

Presentation requirements: typed or hand written questions plus active participation during tutorials. Questions should include student name and UNI ID.

Estimated return date: End of semester

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with.

The Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

Students will turn in a hard copy of written questions at the end of each tutorial. 

Late Submission

Late assignments will receive a 5% penalty for each day past the due date.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Graded work will be returned electronically through the Wattle site. 

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Students may not resubmit assignments without explicit permission from the convenor. 

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr James Chouinard

Research Interests

Internet and society, status and stigma, self and identity, social psychology

Dr James Chouinard

Monday 13:00 15:00
Dr Jenny Davis

Research Interests

Dr Jenny Davis

Fiona Navilly

Research Interests

Fiona Navilly

Jessie Liu

Research Interests

Jessie Liu

Susannah French

Research Interests

Susannah French

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions