GSSA 2020 - Social Theory in Action
North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2015
General Course Information
Course Code GSSA 2020 Course Social Theory in Action Coordinating Unit Gender Studies and Social Analysis Term Semester 1 Level Undergraduate Location/s North Terrace Campus Units 3 Contact Up to 3 hours per week Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y Prerequisites At least 12 units of level 1 Arts courses Incompatible GWSI 2020 Course Description This course introduces students to the ways that social scientists explain (theorise) the social world. We use a range of contemporary critical social theories to understand and explain current local and global issues (for example, urban graffiti, youth suicide, childhood obesity, politics of space and place, and commodification of sex). The teaching environment uses fieldtrips, interactive problem based activities and e-learning strategies to ground theoretical concepts in everyday life. This course attracts students from different disciplinary backgrounds and builds knowledge, skill development and professional practice.
Course Coordinator: Dr Pam Papadelos
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
Course Learning OutcomesAt the successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
1 Understand social theory, critical reading and analytical writing 2 Be able to locate, access and evaluate a range of resources available to support critical research and writing 3 Apply social theory to critical discussions relating to society on a local and global scale 4 Be able to confidently engage with social theory in the real world 5 Demonstrate a critical approach to ethical issues in the context of public discourses about contemporary issues and debates 6 Be able to prepare and deliver coherent and logically argued written texts
University Graduate Attributes
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:
University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s) Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1,3,4,5 The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1,2,6 An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 4,5,6 Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 3,5.6 A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 6 A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 3,4,5 A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 4,5 An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 3,5
Required ResourcesReadings can be accessed electronically through MyUni.
Recommended ResourcesOther Useful Books and Resources:
Anderson, N. & Schlunke, K. (2008) Cultural theory in Everyday Practice Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Best, S. (2003) A Beginner’s Guide to Social Theory, London: Sage
Connell, R. (2007) Southern Theory: The Global Dynamics of Knowledge in Social Science. Sydney: Allen and Unwin.
Germov, J & Poole, M. (2007). eds.Public sociology: An introduction to Australian society. Allen & Unwin.
Jones P, Bradbury L and S Boutillier (2011) Introducing Social Theory (2nd Ed). Cambridge: Polity
Inglis D (2012) An Invitation to Social Theory Cambridge: Polity.
Seidman, S. (2008) Contested Knowledge: Social Theory Today Fourth Edition Oxford: Blackwell.
Sim S,Van Loon S & D Cryan (2009) Introducing Critical Theory : A Graphic Guide London: Icon Books. Avaialble on-line:http://site.ebrary.com.proxy.library.adelaide.edu.au/lib/adelaide//docDetail.action?docID=10484258Elliot, A. (2009) Contemporary Social Theory: An Introduction. London: Routledge.
Turner, B. (2000) The New Blackwell Companion to Social Theory. Oxford: Wiley: Blackwell.
Crotty,M. (2003) The Foundations of Social Research: Meaning and Perspective in the Research Process. St Leonards, NSW : Allen &Unwin [available as e-link via the BSL]Harrington, A. (2005) Modern Social Theory: An Introduction. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching ModesThis course is designed to develop a student-centred approach to the learning environment and create a critical thinking ethos. You will see this style of learning in the presentation of material, the ways in which you are asked to read and engage with spaces, and most importantly, your own engagement with the development of your assignments. This may sound overwhelming at first, as it is quite different to being given set essay questions. We have three field trips in this course which will create opportunities for you to connect with and make sense of your learning. Your fieldwork experiences work as the basis for developing understandings of conceptual and theoretical issues, and you will develop these into theoretical essays. We provide guidance with how to plan and structure your assignments, but the content and application of theory is in your hands. We believe that this personal integration of knowledge and its connection with broader social theory frameworks allows you to drive the analysis, and is at the heart of the best assessment practices.
Working collaboratively is also an important part of this course and it is expected that you will have read and taken notes on the set texts, and prepared for weekly tasks. We have in-class exercises that will help you understand the readings, and provide spaces and opportunities for you to discuss ideas, raise questions and learn from each other.
As social theory can sometimes seem ‘abstract’ we will also have the familiar lectures and seminars to facilitate your learning. Lectures will introduce new theoretical ideas in historical and contemporary contexts, highlighting the uses and relevance of social theory to contemporary issues of understanding social structures, relations and praxis. We will emphasize critical dialogue, problem-posing and the sociological imagination.
The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.
1 x 3-hour seminar (or equivalent) per week 36 hours per semester 3 x 3-hour fieldwork excursions 9 hours per semester 5 hours reading per week 60 hours per semester 2 hours research per week 24 hours per semester 2 hours assignment preparation per week 24 hours per semester 1 x 3-hour take home paper 3 hours per semester TOTAL WORKLOAD 156 hours per semester
Learning Activities SummaryIntroduction to the course
Agency and structure
Disciplinary society – Foucault meets Jamie Oliver
The modern city, space and gender
Risk culture and everyday resistance
Theorising consumption and cosmopolitan desire
Preparing for take-home paper
The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:
- Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
- Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
- Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
- Assessment must maintain academic standards.
Assessment Task Task Type Weighting Learning Outcome Small group activities (online and in class) Formative and Summative 30% 1-7 2 x 1000 word fieldwork assignments Formative and Summative 30% 1-7 1500 word take home paper Formative and Summative 40% 1-7
Assessment Related RequirementsAll students are required to complete all assessment tasks to be eligible to pass this course.
Assessment DetailConduct of Classes
The following principles of conduct for staff and students have been adopted by the Gender Studies and Social Analysis discipline.
Active and appropriate participation; based on preparation for the lectures and seminars. You should try to make your own contributions succinct and pertinent to the seminar activities for that week; try to speak neither too much or not at all (the 'object is dialogue not monologue'); try to build on and/or respond to the contributions of others.
Valuing diversity of experiences and contribution of other students – listening attentively to the contributions of others, considering how you frame your own responses, especially if they are critical (comment on aspects of the argument and do not criticise the characteristics of the person), and employ self-critique (use the contributions of others to ask questions about your own perspectives and assumptions).
Consultative decision-making, particularly in relation to changes in subject content and assessment from those described in the study guide.
SubmissionYour assignments in this course must be submitted ONLINE via the relevant MyUni course site (under the Assignment tab).
Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:
M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme) Grade Mark Description FNS Fail No Submission F 1-49 Fail P 50-64 Pass C 65-74 Credit D 75-84 Distinction HD 85-100 High Distinction CN Continuing NFE No Formal Examination RP Result Pending
Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.
Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.
Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.
The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.
SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.
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This section contains links to relevant assessment-related policies and guidelines - all university policies.
- Academic Credit Arrangement Policy
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- Academic Progress by Coursework Students Policy
- Assessment for Coursework Programs
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- Modified Arrangements for Coursework Assessment
- Student Experience of Learning and Teaching Policy
- Student Grievance Resolution Process
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