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Module Details for Introduction to Sociology SOU11011/SOU11013 (Part 1 MT)

Module Code


Module Name

Introduction to Sociology

Module Short Title

ECTS weighting


Semester/term taught

Michaelmas Term

Contact Hours


Learning Outcomes


Module Learning Aims


Module Content

This module introduces students to the discipline of Sociology. Sociology enables us to understand and critically explore the social world in which we live. The module introduces students to the distinctive questions that sociologists ask about human society and the theories, concepts and analytical tools used in the search for answers. Students are encouraged to develop a ‘sociological imagination’ in order to understand the inter-relationships and dependencies between the individual, society and wider global processes.
The first term of the module explores why we need a sociological approach to the explanation of human behaviour and the historical emergence of sociology as a way of understanding key issues in social life. It then examines core sociological processes such as how social norms shape behaviour, the structure of social networks and the roles of social capital, social conformism and group identity. The module also examines issues of social stratification and inequality and the role of educational reproduction in this plus the dynamics of social movements and collective action. The module provides an introduction

to the nature of explanation in sociology as well as the methods which sociologists use to gather data and analyse their data.
The second term of the module applies different sociological concepts to empirical research using both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Topics covered include patterns of migration, demographic transformation and its relationship to change in the nature of occupations, family form and gender roles. The module will also examine the consequences of these changes for social inequalities. In addition, the module will examine some of the policy responses to these changes and how they vary across different countries in Europe and North America. Special attention is given to the rapid social, demographic and cultural changes that have occurred in the Irish society in recent decades.

Assessment Details

MCQ Term Test