Introducing Sociology (Hillcroft Campus, Surbiton)

In this introduction we will learn about the ideas that underpin sociology as a discipline and how sociologists study human groups, institutions, and social life in modern societies. This will include the study of social institutions and systems such as the family, the educational system, and economic systems that form a society?s social structure.

Course Content

By the end of the course, you should be able to:

· Compare, Contrast and Evaluate the key ideas and concepts used by sociologists.
· Compare, Contrast and Evaluate different approaches to doing sociological research
· Give a sociological explanation of the different institutions and systems that structure society.

The classes will be discussion-based, allowing participants to explore, debate, and (inevitably) disagree. Disagreement is acceptable and actively encouraged. Be prepared to have your preconceptions challenged. Your tutor will assess your progress through your class participation, in conjunction with your own self-assessment of your progress.

Outline: Week:

1. Introduction to ideas and concepts
What is sociology? What are social structures and processes? What is society?

2. Sociological research
What is data? Quantitative or qualitative analysis? Methods for sourcing data?

3. The Family
What is the difference between the family and the household?
Different forms of the family. Demographic changes and the impact on the family. Critical views of the family. Is the family on the decline?

4. Education
The role education plays in society. A historical view of education. Who is educated and where?
Can equality in education be achieved?

5. Crime
The difference between deviance and crime. Crime as a social issue. Who are the victims of crime?
Policy solutions.

6. Mass media
Mass media: traditional and new. Mass media and ownership. New media: who uses it and why?
Media regulations. The impact on mass media on those who use it.

7. Power and Politics
Political systems. Citizenship and participation. Democracy. Voting behaviour
The state and the welfare state.

8. Social inequality
What is social class? The class structure of Britain. Ethnicity, Age, Gender. Age and inequality
Poverty in a modern economy

9. Health and Illness
Health, illness, and disease. The medical or social model of health? Medicine as a form of social control.
Inequalities in Health Social policy and health.

10. Religion
Sociological theories of religion. Secularisation. Religion, social groups and social structures.
Religion and globalisation.

Entry Requirements

To be eligible for this course you must be 19 or over on 31st August prior to the course start date.

No previous knowledge is required.

First Class Requirements

A notebook and pen, and student number.

Attendance Requirements

It is important to attend each class as ideas already covered will be built on and debated, allowing you to switch between different ideas and thinkers. However, there will be a recap at the beginning of each lesson and slides of all lessons will be sent out to all students.

Assessment Methods

The initial assessment will be made on the first day by each individual student against the learning objectives for the course. Throughout the course the tutor will then use formative assessments (including performance during group work, quizzes, Q and A, or set homework) to capture progress.

Further Study Options

You could take further philosophy courses at RHCC. Other courses which may be relevant would be any course in the Humanities and Social Sciences with an emphasis on theory and debate. For example, Anthropology, Psychology, Economics, History etc.

Additional Information

You will need a notebook, a pen, and an open mind. Your tutor may also recommend further reading, but the course does not require the purchase of any more materials. We will also make course materials and other resources available to you.