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.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Critically engage with debates on the relationship between sociological knowledge and social transformation.
- Develop a critical understanding of the complexities of 'sociological relevance' in view of histories of colonisation and racial capitalism
- Identify key modes of thinking, media, tools and opportunities that can be exploited to transform sociological knowledge into meaningful engagement with specific social issues
- Utilise diverse modes of communication for non-sociological audiences and co-producers of knowledge
- Understand the problem of social transformation through collaborative learning and peer engagement
- Tutorial participation (10) [LO 2,5]
- Group Presentation (20 minute oral presentation) (25) [LO 3,4,5]
- Group Video Production (10 minute video) (25) [LO 3,4,5]
- Reflective Exercise (2000 words) (40) [LO 1,2,3]
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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.
Requisite and Incompatibility
No prescribed text
Readings will be available on Wattle
Assumed KnowledgeStudents 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.
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Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links
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