• Class Number 4114
  • Term Code 3430
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Maria Hynes
    • Dr Maria Hynes
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 19/02/2024
  • Class End Date 24/05/2024
  • Census Date 05/04/2024
  • Last Date to Enrol 26/02/2024
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 they are 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:

  1. develop and practice ways of making sense of everyday experience (ranging from abstract to familiar, from social structure to self and environment, including emotion, sensibility, body, stigma, othering);
  2. identify and analyse a given culture’s understanding of what is real, true, just, necessary, or inevitable about the world;
  3. articulate key theoretical perspectives on individual experience and identities in relation to social institutions such as family, economy, education and government amidst processes of decolonisation;
  4. develop skills and capacities to appraise sociological research methods based on principles from the philosophy of the social sciences; and
  5. communicate evidence-based arguments that connect theoretical insights to lived experiences.

Research-Led Teaching

While the course is an introductory unit that covers foundational areas of sociological enquiry, it is also informed by my interest in the changing place of art in contemporary culture, theories of blackness and research into the changing shape of power and resistance.

Field Trips


Additional Course Costs


Examination Material or equipment

There is no examination in SOCY1002

Required Resources

All material will be available to students via Wattle

As above

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). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Other Information

Please refer to the following regarding the use of Generative AI: ChatGPT and other forms of generative AI

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1  This week will give you an introduction to the course and also to the discipline of Sociology. No reading required prior to the first tutorial, which will be introductory in nature
2 Students will be introduced to some of the central tenets of Sociological ways of knowing. What is a 'social fact?' And what does it mean to exercise a 'sociological imagination'? Read required readings prior to the scheduled tutorial hour (available on Wattle)
3 We will consider more critically the narrative that has conventionally been provided of Sociology's origins. What are the ways in which sociological practices of knowing, for all their liberatory potentials, have been implicated with practices of colonialism? Read required readings prior to the scheduled tutorial hour (available on Wattle)
4 This is the first lecture in the more thematic part of the course and its theme is Work. We consider the difference between the more industrial context that preoccupied early sociological enquiry and contemporary forms of work. Read required readings prior to the scheduled tutorial hour (available on Wattle)
5 The theme of this lecture is Selfhood. We consider what it means, from a sociological (as opposed to psychological) perspective to be considered a 'self.' Read required readings prior to the scheduled tutorial hour (available on Wattle)
6 The theme of Culture is one that sociologists have explored from a variety of perspectives. In showing how Sociology relates to, and differs from, the discipline of Cultural Studies, we will focus on the problem of what it means to belong to a 'consumer society.' Read required readings prior to the scheduled tutorial hour (available on Wattle)
7 The theme for this week is Bodies. We will explore Sociology's response to the materiality of bodies and its involvement with the science of desire. We will explore bodies as sites of desire and power. Read required readings prior to the scheduled tutorial hour (available on Wattle)
8 The theme of Power has been at the heart of Sociology since Marx's analysis of class society. With the changing character of power relations, sociologists have had to develop and deploy new theories of power, as we will explore this week. Read required readings prior to the scheduled tutorial hour (available on Wattle)
9 This week explores the theme ofTechnology , with an emphasis on the challenge it presents to human-centred paradigms. We look at the claim that technology is more than a tool used by human beings but, rather, changes the very meaning of what it is to be human. Read required readings prior to the scheduled tutorial hour (available on Wattle)
10 At a time of anthropogenic climate change, the relationship between human and non-human nature presents new challenges, not simply to the way we do things but to the way we think about ourselves in the world. We explore this under the theme of Our Place in the World. Read required readings prior to the scheduled tutorial hour (available on Wattle)
11 Since the start of the course, we have sought to critically analyse sociology's foundational claims and assumptions. In this lecture we look at what it might mean to move beyond the image of social life that rests on histories of whiteness and colonisation. Read required readings prior to the scheduled tutorial hour (available on Wattle)
12 We will pull the course together this week, discussing where we have come as well as considering what Sociology can offer to an analysis of our present. This tutorial will be focused on the final piece of assessment. No prior reading is required

Tutorial Registration

Tutorial registration via course Wattle page.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Sociological Observation Exercise 20 % 11/03/2024 25/03/2024 1,2
Research essay 35 % 29/04/2024 13/05/2024 1,2,3,4,5
Synoptic Exercise 35 % 03/06/2024 27/06/2024 1,2,3,4,5
Seminar 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 Integrity 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 Skills 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.


Tutorials are an integral part of the course. Participating in a tutorial involves reading the required reading and using this reading to inform your contribution to class discussion. Tutorials will involve a mixture of formats (small & large discussion, diverse activities) to involve all students to participate. Students have diverse needs and learning styles and you are asked to be sensitive to this in your interactions with others in class.



Assessment Task 1

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 11/03/2024
Return of Assessment: 25/03/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1,2

Sociological Observation Exercise

750-800 words in total (20%). Learning Outcomes 1 & 2

The Sociological Observation Exercise has two parts:


Part 1 is a short (600 word) Sociological Observation, which will give you practice in thinking sociologically and will assess your sense of what is distinct about sociological ways of thinking, knowing and doing. You will, firstly, need to choose an aspect of your contemporary world that you find sociologically interesting. It can be anything – just something you have seen or noticed that you think sociology can help us to analyse. You will then undertake to observe your chosen phenomenon in a sociological manner. You will not be expected to know what ‘sociological observation’ is prior to the first block of the course, but the early lectures and tutorials will give you the tools to engage in this kind of observation. An example of this kind of observation will be made available on Wattle in preparation for this exercise and you will discuss the exercise in tutorials.


Part 2 involves making a Padlet (bulletin board post) that you will share with the rest of the class. Your post will include an image that represents or evokes the phenomenon that you analysed in Part 1. You will also provide a brief summary (100 - 150 words) of your sociological observation – this does not need to cover all its aspects but should indicate the kinds of questions you sought to raise in your observation. The post will be anonymised so that you can read each other’s posts without authors being identifiable. We will also discuss this task at length in tutorials.


ObservationSociological ObservationCritical AnalysisPresentation

Demonstrates an enquiring mind and an attempt to enquire into that which might otherwise be taken for granted

Demonstrates an understanding of specifically sociological forms and practices of observation

Demonstrates skills of enquiry, including critical forms of questioning and ways of challenging commonsense

Parts 1 & 2 demonstrate efforts to achieve clarity of expression and to present ideas in a logical manner. Part 2 demonstrates striving for brevity & the ability to relate the chosen image to textual content

Assessment Task 2

Value: 35 %
Due Date: 29/04/2024
Return of Assessment: 13/05/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Research essay

1500 words (35%) Learning Outcomes 1-5

The Research Essay is one of the basics of an education in the social sciences. It is an opportunity to pursue an area of interest related to the course and to develop your skills as a researcher. It is also an opportunity to show how your thinking on your chosen topic has been informed by the materials, themes and discussions in SOCY1002. While you do not have to draw on resources provided in the course, the essay should clearly be one that shows that you have done this course! While you may draw on journalistic sources, this is an exercise in scholarly research and will involve you reading and incorporating insights from scholarly books and article. Questions for this assessment task will be made available by Week 4.


Research Strategies:

In your search for relevant references for your paper, the following are some useful places to try:

- The references provided in the course schedule posted on Wattle (listed as ‘suggested readings’ under lecture summaries)

- Databases, which can be accessed via the ANU library homepage – click on ‘E-Resources and Databases’ to access a range of useful databases. In particular, the ‘Arts and Humanities Citation Index’ (web science) and the ‘International Bibliography of the Social Sciences’ should provide relevant material, which you can then seek to access through our library

- Google Scholar

- Journal browsing – you can often find specific articles and get a sense of relevant debates by simply browsing the tables of contents of journals and following up anything that looks interesting. The following journals would be especially relevant: Sociology; Journal of Sociology; British Journal of Sociology; Theory, Culture and Society; Body and Society; Sociological Review; Sociological Theory; American Journal of Sociology; Social Analysis.

- Browsing the bibliographies of any especially relevant articles that you find – who has the author read to inform their argument?


You will be assessed on your ability to research a chosen topic, to synthesise your research materials and to present a sustained argument. You will also be assessed on your capacity to express and organise your ideas, to enable them to come across as clearly as possible. Apart from presenting an informed and polished paper, you should think critically about the claims you make and encounter. Refer rubric.


Research SkillsArgumentation Critical analysisExpressionOrganisationAcknowledgment

Demonstrates an ability to find scholarly sources relevant to chosen topic

Demonstrates an ability to present a sustained argument that is informed by research and careful reading of texts

Demonstrates a critical approach to the claims made by self and others

Demonstrates effort to communicate ideas with maximum clarity

Demonstrates an effort to present ideas logically and in the form of a coherent, unfolding argument. Uses organisational devices, such as paragraphs, structure (Intro, Body, Conclusion) to maximise clarity and coherence

Demonstrates an understanding of, and commitment to, scholarly practices of acknowledging the sources of ideas

Assessment Task 3

Value: 35 %
Due Date: 03/06/2024
Return of Assessment: 27/06/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Synoptic Exercise

1800 words (35%). Involves short answer & short essay questions. Learning outcomes 1-5 .

This exercise assesses your learning over the duration of the semester and your participation throughout the semester in lectures and tutorials. While your understanding will have developed over the course of the semester, we will also use the last week of lectures and tutorials to refresh your memory about the different ideas we have covered in the course.

The Synoptic Exercise involves responding to questions and prompts, with responses that range from 200 to 800 words, as indicated in the instructions. The questions and instructions for the exercise will be made available on Wattle at the start of the last week of semester. You will have two weeks to complete the paper.

The idea is not to parrot course ideas, but to demonstrate your understanding in your own words. We know that your thinking will be informed by lectures and tutorials so you do not need to reference these. However, if you refer to any of the readings we have covered in the course, you must provide full reference details in a Reference list. While it is not a research exercise, in the event that you do make claims about the world that need to be supported with evidence, you should indicate the sources you have drawn on in the Reference list (for example, if I made the claim that under-employment was a significant phenomenon on Australia, I would need to provide evidence to support this & provide full details of the source).


ParticipationUnderstandingInformed ThinkingCritical ThinkingPresentationAcknowledgment of Ideas

Demonstrates consistent participation throughout the semester in lectures and tutorials

Demonstrates an understanding of key themes and ideas covered in SOCY1002

Demonstrates that thinking has been informed by readings used in the course

Demonstrates an ability to think critically and to move beyond commonsense ways of thinking

Demonstrates an ability to write in clear language and to organise ideas logically

Demonstrates an awareness of scholarly practices of recognising where ideas and evidence come from

Assessment Task 4

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

Seminar participation

(10%) Learning Outcomes 1-5

Tutorials are an integral part of the course and this assessment item assesses the extent and depth of your participation in them. Participating in a tutorial involves reading the required reading and using this reading to inform your contribution to class discussion. Tutorials will involve a mixture of formats (small & large discussion, diverse activities) to involve all students to participate in them fairly.



Demonstrates evidence of having read assigned material

Demonstrates evidence of having engaged with prescribed reading material

Demonstrates efforts to contribute to class discussion appropriate to specific needs & learning styles

Demonstrates sensitivity to the dynamics of the classroom and the needs of other students

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

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 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

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

Returning Assignments

Assignments will be returned via Wattle with feedback provided, as indicated by student preference.

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 Maria Hynes

Research Interests

Social theory; art and artscience; black social life; power and resistance

Dr Maria Hynes

Wednesday 11:00 13:00
Wednesday 11:00 13:00
Dr Maria Hynes

Research Interests

Dr Maria Hynes

Wednesday 11:00 13:00
Wednesday 11:00 13:00

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