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SCY3816 - Interpretation and Meaning in Sociology

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Dr Vaughan Higgins


Gippsland First semester 2007 (Day)
Gippsland First semester 2007 (Off-campus)
Singapore First semester 2007 (Off-campus)


This unit explores those research traditions in sociology that respond to positivist or critical perspectives. A range of approaches is examined including interpretivism, social constructionism, post-structuralism, and variants of feminist thought. Particular emphasis is given in the unit to the ways in which sociologists apply these approaches to make sense of contemporary social issues.


On successful completion of this unit students, will have acquired:

  1. A broad understanding of those research approaches that respond to positivist or critical sociological perspectives;
  2. The capacity to identify, and differentiate between, different theories and concepts;
  3. The capacity to critically analyze the merits and limitations of different sociological approaches;
  4. Experience in identifying the epistemological and methodological issues associated with particular theories;
  5. Skills in the written presentation of an argument, including the ways in which sociologists incorporate and acknowledge the ideas of other writers.


Article Review (1000 words): 25%
Essay (1,500 words): 35%
Examination (2 hours): 40%

Contact hours

2 hours (1 x 2 hour seminar) per week


Two second-year sociology units