Faculty of Arts

Skip to content | Change text size

print version

Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedGippsland First semester 2011 (Day)
Gippsland First semester 2011 (Off-campus)
Coordinator(s)Dr Vaughan Higgins


This unit examines the different theories which sociologists use to make sense of the social world. We explore the classical works of the founding fathers (Durkheim, Marx and Weber) and the ongoing legacies of each. The unit also engages with contemporary perspectives and considers how sociologists grapple with important sociological issues such as power, meaning, inequality and social change.


On successful completion of this unit students will have:

  1. Acquired a broad understanding of classical and contemporary sociological theories;
  2. The capacity to identify, and differentiate between, different sociological theories and concepts;
  3. The capacity to critically analyse the merits and limitations of different sociological approaches;
  4. Gained skills in the written presentation of an argument, including the ways in which sociologists incorporate and acknowledge the ideas of other writers.

Students studying the unit at third level will have:
  1. Gained experience in applying sociological theory to current social issues.


Short essay (1000 words) 25%
Long essay (1500 words) 35%
Research Project (2000 words): 40%

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Vaughan Higgins

Contact hours

One x 2 hr seminar/week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study



Two second level sociology units


ATS2855, GSC3201, GSC3202, SCY3815, SCY3816