• Class Number 5747
  • Term Code 3260
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr James Chouinard
    • Dr James Chouinard
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/07/2022
  • Class End Date 28/10/2022
  • Census Date 31/08/2022
  • Last Date to Enrol 01/08/2022
SELT Survey Results

Sociology studies society, and the social relations and experiences that comprise its structure. This involves utilising specific research methods and conceptual frameworks to analyse expressions of power, modes of resistance and dynamics of social change. But it also entails applying knowledge, aptitudes and critical thought derived from this field of study to impact positively on the nature and arrangement of contemporary social life in a global era.  Sociologists are interested in not only interpreting social patterns, but in using this insight to transform society. This is what  doing 'public sociology'  is all about. In this advanced course students will be  introduced to the notions of 'public sociology', 'action research' and 'social movements', and will explore the diverse practices that comprise each of these political and substantive projects. They will be shown the distinct ways in which sociologists have  contributed to public and policy understandings of - and responses to - key social issues such as climate change, poverty, gender relations, crime and security . Students will also be exposed to different sites of sociological engagement such as  education, research, media engagement, employment, policy lobbying, action research, protest, performance and NGO participation and the different tools required to participate in these arenas.  
A key facet of this course is to develop students' comprehension of the professional 'identity' and 'project' of the sociologist, and to provide tangible resources that will enable them to influence specific social matters. The course will encompass a range of activities that explore the concepts of 'impact' and 'empowerment'. It will also equip students with the analytical and practical skills required for engaging meaningfully in the structure and representation of social events.

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. Recognise the contemporary significance that is applied to 'impact' and 'outreach' in the social sciences and to appreciate the history and diversity of sociological contributions to public affairs.
  2. Understand the meaning, nature, importance and limitations of 'public sociology', 'action research', 'empowerment' and 'social movements' as each concept applies to the task of transforming society and emancipating marginalised groups.
  3. Identify key mediums, tools and opportunities that can be exploited to transform sociological knowledge into meaningful engagement with particular social issues.
  4. Utilise various channels to transmit sociological ideas into the public arena and to evaluate their affect on social perceptions and practices.
  5. Comprehend how sociologists working on contrasting research topics disseminate insights to different stakeholders and audiences thus maintaining the credibility and relevance of the discipline while extending its influence.

Staff Feedback

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

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

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.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Explaining the course and establishing expectations. Discuss the philosophy of public sociology.
2 This lecture week will place emphasis on critical rebuttals to Michael Burawoy’s public sociology proposal. We will also discuss other relevant debates within the discourse of public sociology.
3 This lecture week will discuss pedagogy as a public sociology.
4 This week we’ll discuss podcasting and public discourse. We’ll also get to speak with two experts who are academics operating a popular podcast about activism and sex work.
5 Project Pitches
6 Student lecture week This week will discuss public sociology initiatives not necessarily directed by research programs. We’ll address the sociological potential of art and popular culture.
7 Student lecture week This lecture week will discuss the nature and content of Community Action Research.
8 Student lecture week This week we’ll discuss some of the debates on and implications of open access publishing
9 Student lecture week This week we discuss what it means to write effectively for a public audience.
10 Student lecture week This week we’ll discuss how social media can inform public engagement.
11 Student lecture week This week we’ll discuss the intersection between public sociology and social movement activity.
12 Project presentations

Tutorial Registration

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Learning Outcomes
Participation 10 % * 1-5
Project Pitch 25 % 22/08/2022 1-5
Group Presentations 40 % 28/10/2022 1-5
Exam/ Reflective Paper 25 % 05/11/2022 1-5

* 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 Academic Integrity . 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: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1-5


Details of the task: Students are expected to participate actively and professionally in all tutorials. They are also expected to maintain consistent and commensurate engagement with the group assignments. Lastly, students are required to add at least two comments about the lecture to the Wattle forum section each week. The comments can be remarks or questions meant to facilitate further conversation or requests for clarification.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 22/08/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1-5

Project Pitch

Details of task: Students will present an oral (video recorded) and written “pitch” for a public sociology project. Students will write a 1-page (no more than 750 words) pitch in which they describe an idea for a public sociology project that can be completed during the course of the semester. Students will present their idea in a 3-minute oral pitch to the class. Groups will vote on their favorite pitch and spend the remainder of the semester implementing the idea. 

The pitch must identify:

A problem and its sociological relevance

A solution and its sociological relevance

Key stakeholders (publics, helpers, gatekeepers, etc)

Concrete steps for completing the prospect in time

Possible challenges

Assessment Task 3

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 28/10/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1-5

Group Presentations

Part 1: Each group will be responsible for constructing a single hour long lecture pertaining to public sociology. The lecture week and topic will be assigned during the tutorial hour the second week of the semester. The lecture should include a brief synopsis of the assigned topic reading(s) as well as an overview of any additional research that bolsters the lecture points. Students should identify and explain fundamental concepts as well as provide examples and visual aids where necessary. 

Part 2:  Each group must design, implement and present a public sociology project. The presentation must be approximately 20-minutes long. 

Tell the class:

1. what you did, 

2. how you did it,

3. how the project changed, 

4. how you incorporated sociological knowledge, 

5. and what, if any, continuations we might see of your project in the future.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 05/11/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1-5

Exam/ Reflective Paper

Sociologically informed reflection essay. During the examination period, you will be asked to write a reflection piece about your group project. This reflection paper will need to include relevant sociological literature (at least seven scholarly sources). The assessment will be worth 25 points. You will find the paper instructions via the above link.

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

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission not permitted. If submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.
  • Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

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.

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.

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

Dr James Chouinard

Friday 17:00 18:00
Friday 17:00 18:00
Dr James Chouinard

Research Interests

Dr James Chouinard

Friday 17:00 18:00
Friday 17:00 18:00

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