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Sociology and Theoretical Perspectives

By scampacon Sep 07, 2013 1324 Words


COURSE TITLE: Introduction to Sociology

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This foundational course introduces students to the nature of sociology, the development of the discipline (both internationally and within the Caribbean). It focuses on career options for sociology students, introduces sociological perspectives and how these can be used in everyday life, as well as how these various perspectives guide sociological research and analysis. Students will also be introduced to the concept of culture and its uses as an analytical instrument in the study of society and Caribbean socio-cultural diversity will also be examined. Social institutions such as the family, education and religion will also be an integral part of this course. Students will also be exposed to the study of social stratification and inequality and how the daily lives of Caribbean people are affected by these concepts.

PREREQUISITES: Students wishing to take this course must have a grade 1 or 2 pass in the following CXC subjects – Social Studies, Caribbean History, English A, and English Literature.

ORGANIZATION: This is an introductory course expected to span fifteen (15) teaching weeks and consists of seven (7) units. Students will be continually assessed through coursework and a group research project.

PURPOSE OF THE COURSE: This course is mainly designed for students who want to pursue further studies in the Social Sciences. Generally, however, by taking this course, students will be able to understand their place in society, and even understand the reasons for our current social reality. As a social science subject it draws on and relates to other subject areas thereby enabling students to make connections with the various other subjects they might be pursuing. At the end of this course students should have a better understanding of and appreciation for their society, and many having qualified would have a wide range of career options.


Unit 1: Sociology as a Discipline
Unit 2: Theoretical perspectives
Unit 3: Culture and Identity
Unit 4: Research Methods
Unit 5: Social Institutions
Unit 6: Social Stratification
Unit 7: Social Control


Unit 1: Sociology as a discipline

Unit Objectives: (3 hours)
At the end of this Unit the student will be able to:
1. Outline the development of Sociology as a discipline
2. Identify the factors contributing to the emergence of Sociology as a discipline in Europe and the Caribbean

Unit 2: Theoretical Perspectives

Unit Objectives:(4.5 hours)
At the end of this Unit the student will be able to:
1. Identify the founding fathers of Sociology
2. Identify and explain the different theoretical perspectives (functionalism, conflict and interactionist theories)

Unit 3: Culture and Identity

Unit Objectives: (3 hours)
At the end of this Unit the student will be able to:
1. Define culture
2. Identify and define the elements of culture
3. Identify and define the characteristics of culture

Unit 4: Research Methods

Unit Objectives: (4.5 hours)
At the end of this unit, the student will be able to:
1. Define Positivism and Interpretivism
2. Identify the methods used in Quantitative and Quantitative research 3. Identify the main methods of sampling

Unit 5: Social Institutions: Family, Education, Religion

Unit Objectives: Family (4.5 hours)
At the end of this Unit the student will be able to:
1. Define family
2. Identify the family types and structures in the Caribbean 3. Identify and explain the theoretical perspectives used to understand family life

Unit Objectives: Religion(4.5 hours)
At the end of this Unit the student will be able to:
1. Define Religion and the types of belief systems
2. Identify and explain the theoretical perspectives used to explain religion 3. Explain the concept of Secularization

Unit Objectives: Education(3 hours)
At the end of this Unit the student will be able to:
1. Define Education
2. Identify and explain the theoretical perspectives used to explain education 3. Trace the development of education in the Caribbean

Unit 6: Social Stratification and Social Mobility

Unit Objectives: (4.5 hours)
At the end of this unit, students will be able to:
1. Identify and define the main concepts of Stratification 2. Assess Social equality and social mobility in the Caribbean 3. Identify and discuss the theoretical perspectives on Stratification

Unit 7: Social Control and Deviance

Unit Objectives: (4.5 hours)
At the end of this unit students will be able to:
1. Understand how order is maintained in society
2. Have a descriptive and critical understanding of the forms of social control with particular reference to the Caribbean 3. Identify and explain the theoretical perspectives used to explain crime and deviance

GOALS/AIMS: This course aims to:
* Develop an understanding of the basic concepts and principles of sociology; * Develop an understanding of the main classical and contemporary sociological perspectives in both mainstream and Caribbean sociology; * To allow students to use research methods used by sociologists; * To encourage students to appreciate the dynamics of Caribbean society by focusing on socio-cultural continuity and change, diversity and similarity, consensus and conflict; * Develop a sense of personal and cultural identity, patriotism, moral responsibility and social commitment, as Caribbean citizens.

GENERAL OBJECTIVES: On completion of this course, students should: 1. Have an understanding of the fundamental concepts in sociology 2. Be able to conduct social investigation using research techniques 3. Appreciate the cultural diversity of the Caribbean.

* Students will be given six (6) assignments for this course during the term – three of which would be small short answer in class paper and pencil tests; one take home essay and one in class essay; one group project. Each short answer in class test would be worth 10 marks each; each essay will be marked out of 25 and the project carries 20 marks. A total of 100 marks for terms work – 40% of which goes towards the final mark. At the end of the course there will be an exam with twenty (20) multiple choice questions (1 mark each), three short answer questions (10 marks each) and two essays (25 marks each) (total of 100 marks). The final mark will be a combination of 40% terms work (40 marks), and 60% exam mark (60 marks). The final exam will be approximately two and a half hours long. Usual time allowed for essays 40 minutes each; short answers 10 minutes each and multiple choice 1 minute each. * Assessments will be both summative and formative.

* The take home essay would be submitted on the 4th week, in class essay week 8. Short answer tests will be given at the end of week two, week six and week ten. The project will be submitted at the end of week 15.

* Lectures
* Discussions
* Role play
* Group work
* Case method

* Texts
* Sociology Themes and Perspectives
* Caribbean Sociology: Introductory readings
* Hand Book of Social Science Research: A comprehensive Guide for Students * Ethnic Minorities in the Caribbean
* Sociology for Caribbean Students
* Research Methods for the Inexperienced Researcher
* Journals and other readings
* Government reports and statistics

Week| Topic| Duration|
1.| Sociology as a DisciplineEmergence of Sociology Founding fathers of Sociology| 3 hours| 2. | Macro perspectivesClass Test #1| 3 hours|
3. | Micro PerspectivesIntroduction to Culture| 1 ½ hours1 ½ hours| 4. | Elements and characteristics of CultureVincentian cultureTake home essay due| 1 ½ hours1 ½ hours| 5. | Positivism and InterpretivismSociology as a ScienceSampling| 1 ½ hours1 ½ hours| 6.| Methods of data collection and factors influencing choiceClass Test #2| 1 ½ hours1 ½ hours| 7.| Introduction to FamilyTheories of the Family| 1 ½ hours1 ½ hours| 8.| Introduction to ReligionTheories of Religion| 1 ½ hours1 ½ hours| 9.| SecularizationIntroduction to Education| 1 ½ hours1 ½ hours| 10.| Class Test #3Introduction to Social Stratification| 1 ½ hours1 ½ hours| 11.| Theories of Social StratificationIssues of Equality and Mobility| 1 ½ hours1 ½ hours| 12.| Theories of Crime and DevianceMethods of social control| 1 ½ hours1 ½ hours| 13.| In class essay | 1 ½ hours|

14. | Group Project Wrap up and Submission| 3 hours|
15. | REVIEW| 3 hours|

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