SOC06009 2017 Introduction to Sociology

General Details

Full Title
Introduction to Sociology
Transcript Title
Introduction to Sociology
85 %
Subject Area
SOC - Sociology
SOCS - Social Sciences
06 - NFQ Level 6
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2017 - Full Academic Year 2017-18
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Dr. Jacqueline O'Toole
Programme Membership
SG_HJOIN_H08 201700 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Humanities in Joint Majors: Sociology and Politics SG_HJOIN_H08 201900 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Humanities in Joint Majors: Sociology and Politics SG_HJOIN_H08 202100 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Humanities in Joint Majors: Sociology and Politics

The module is an introduction to sociology with a focus on Irish society. One main task of sociology is to explain the social world in which we live. In doing this, it becomes more difficult for us to take for granted that things are as they are and less easy to assume that things could ever be different. To do this, we examine the society in which we live now, but also at the very different ways in which human beings have organised their lives together, elsewhere and in the past. This can give us an understanding not only of the perceived strangeness of other people's ways but of the strangeness of ourselves. This module challenges students to confront some of their deeply held views within a sociological context and to engage in a dual process of reflective and interactive learning. The basic perspectives and methods of sociology will be explained and aspects of Irish society will be explored from a sociological perspective.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Discuss the role of the sociologist both as an observer of social life and as offering a social commentary


Outline the development of sociology as a distinct discipline


Describe a number of the main sociological theories and concepts


Evaluate key sociological debates


Identify and select one of the specific areas to present on in class

Teaching and Learning Strategies

The teaching and learning is based on the notion of a shared experience approach to learning, peer support and guidance from the lecturer.

Module Assessment Strategies

There are two components to the assessment:

  • Class Presentation
  • Terminal Exam

Repeat Assessments

Repeat requirements are dependent on failed component(s).



Indicative Syllabus

1. An invitation to Sociology: Thinking Sociologically

        • the emergence of sociology as a distinct academic discipline: what is sociology
        • the sociological imagination
        • the main theoretical perspectives in sociology
        • culture, society, socialisation and the individual

2. Groups, Networks and Social Institutions

        • institutions have been defined as a 'fairly stable cluster or norms, values, statuses and roles...centered on some social need'
        • two main institutions in Irish society and their influence on our own lives: family and education

3. Social Stratification, Social Inequality and Power

        • explain the contemporary approach to an analysis of social stratification based on the classical Marxist and Weberian approaches
        • conceptualising social class and gender as forms of stratification
        • poverty in Ireland


Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
40 %
End of Semester / Year Formal Exam
60 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Presentation Continuous Assessment Individual Project 40 % OnGoing 1,4,5

End of Semester / Year Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Exam Final Exam Closed Book Exam 60 % End of Semester 2,3

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Flat Classroom Lecture 2 Weekly 2.00
Tutorial Flat Classroom Tutorial 1 Weekly 1.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 3.00 Hours

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

Essential Reading

Macionis, J. and K. Plummer (2012) Sociology: A Global Introduction. UK: Pearson/Prentice Hall. 5th edition.

McIntrye, L.J. (2005) The Practical Skeptic, Core Concepts in Sociology. Boston: McGraw Hill

Share, P., M. Corcoran and B Conway (2012) A Sociology of Ireland. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan. 4th edition

Supplementary Reading

Berger, P. (1966) Invitation to Sociology. London: Penguin

Bilton, T., Bonnett, K., Jones, P., Lawson, T., Skinner, D., Stanworth, M. and Webster, A. (2002) Introductory Sociology. London: Palgrave Macmillan. 4th edition

Bauman, Z. (1990) Thinking Sociologically. UK: Blackwell.

Giddens, A. and P. Sutton (2013) Sociology. UK: Polity Press. 7th edition.

Haralambos, M and M. Holborn (2008) Sociology: Themes and Perspectives. London: Collins Educational. 7th edition.

McDonald, B. (2014) An Introduction to Sociology in Ireland. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan, 3rd edition.

May, V. (ed.) (2011) Sociology of Personal Life. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

O' Connor, P. (1998) Emerging Voices: Women in Contemporary Irish Society. Dublin: IPA.

Scott, S. (2009) Making Sense of Everyday Life. London: Polity.

Other Resources

Irish Journal of Sociology


Additional Information