• Offered by School of Sociology
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Sociology
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Maria Hynes
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2023
    See Future Offerings

Sociological debates in recent decades have reinvigorated the question of the relevance of sociological knowledge. In debates around ‘Public Sociology’, for example, it has been suggested that sociology has surrendered its original mission of positively transforming society. In this course, we will critically engage with such debates, exploring the status of sociological knowledge with respect to the past, present, and future. We will explore the colonial assumptions underpinning the dominant model of sociology’s public (moral) mission. How might we think about progressive change when the very idea of progress is a product of histories of dominance and violence? How is sociology’s sense of itself as a scientific representation of the empirical present challenged by the production of so-called big data? How might we think about our future role in social transformation in view of the increasing popularity of new, transdisciplinary models of problem solving? What are the differences between social transformation and social innovation?


These more conceptual questions will be explored through a series of practical exercises, aimed at familiarising students with the complexities of forming and addressing problems. The course will encompass a range of activities that explore the concepts of ‘social transformation’, 'impact' ‘engagement’, 'empowerment' and ‘innovation.’ It will also equip students with the analytical and practical skills required for engaging meaningfully in the nature and representation of social events and issues.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Critically engage with debates on the relationship between sociological knowledge and social transformation.
  2. Develop a critical understanding of the complexities of 'sociological relevance' in view of histories of colonisation and racial capitalism
  3. Identify key modes of thinking, media, tools and opportunities that can be exploited to transform sociological knowledge into meaningful engagement with specific social issues
  4. Utilise diverse modes of communication for non-sociological audiences and co-producers of knowledge
  5. Understand the problem of social transformation through collaborative learning and peer engagement

Indicative Assessment

  1. Tutorial participation (10) [LO 2,5]
  2. Group Presentation (20 minute oral presentation) (25) [LO 3,4,5]
  3. Group Video Production (10 minute video) (25) [LO 3,4,5]
  4. Reflective Exercise (2000 words) (40) [LO 1,2,3]

The ANU uses 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. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


130 hours of total student learning time made up from:

a) 36 hours of workshops and workshop-like activities

b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 12 units of 2000 level Sociology (SOCY) courses, or with permission of the convenor.

Prescribed Texts

No prescribed text

Preliminary Reading

Readings will be available on Wattle

Assumed Knowledge

Students taking this course are expected to have an advanced grasp of introductory sociology (equivalent to SOCY1002 and SOCY1004), sociological research methods (SOCY2038 or SOCY2043) and sociological theory (SOCY2040 or SOCY2161).


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2023 $3960
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2023 $5100
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
5663 24 Jul 2023 31 Jul 2023 31 Aug 2023 27 Oct 2023 In Person View

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