The first term will build on some of the key concerns of sociology that you have encountered already and will introduce a range of approaches to understanding our (post)-modern, globalized and multicultural world. These lectures will introduce a range of substantive problems, theories, arguments and examples which are important for developing an understanding of contemporary society. It will look at some of the key contemporary theorists such as Foucault and Bourdieu, as well as some of the key topics such as Modernity, Post-modernity, Feminisms, and new forms of capitalism.
The second term looks at why some philosophical knowledge is vital for our understanding and practice of sociology. It introduces some of the theoretical and conceptual concerns and problems which influence all sociological research and thinking. The aim is to stimulate and deepen a reflective awareness of what it is to do sociology and why it is worth doing. The module examines a number of different philosophical approaches to sociology, including the relationship between the social and the natural sciences; it also covers the various 'interpretative' approaches to sociology, and whether sociology can be seen as an 'emancipatory' science. We also examine contemporary feminist, post-colonial and post-structuralist approaches to knowledge - claims and how to justify them.