Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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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, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedGippsland First semester 2012 (Day)
Gippsland First semester 2012 (Off-campus)
Coordinator(s)Nicholas Osbaldiston


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)

Nicholas Osbaldiston

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