Module code: SOC1038

Module Overview

Within this module we will begin to explore 20th century sociological thinkers and how they offer key perspectives that inform our understanding of everyday life (Cf. Scott 2009).  This involves exploring ideas of social order (Parsons and his critics) and rituals and routines (Chicago school, Strauss Goffman, ethnomethodology). We conclude the module with a discussion of critical issues including feminism. 

Module provider


Module Leader

EVERGETI Venetia (Sociology)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 127

Lecture Hours: 12

Tutorial Hours: 011

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:


1.      Introduction to the Hobbsian ‘problem of order’

2.      Chicago School of Sociology; first generation, symbolic interactionism, Goffman, Strauss

3.      Parsons and his critics (Habermas, C W Mills)

4.      Ethnomethodology

5.      Critical Issues and Feminism

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Examination 2 HOUR SEEN EXAM 100

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate that they have developed an understanding of these core thinkers and can ‘think critically/reflect’ with this knowledge. 

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

·         One seen exam (2 hour)

Formative assessment and feedback

Students are encouraged to submit a 2 sided plan prior to the Easter break.  They then receive one-to-one oral feedback on this plan. Feedback takes the form of ‘what comments would likely be had they produced this in the seen exam’.

Module aims

  • To introduce students to the ‘problem of order' and to encourage them to consider this a key issue in all societies
  • To introduce students to key 20th century sociological theorists – and especially their work on ‘social order and social change'
  • To encourage students to think critically – both about these theories and 21st century/contemporary societies

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Have developed an initial understanding of some key aspects of contemporary sociological theory, laying the groundwork for further study in this area K
2 Have a good understanding of the types of questions and issues which concerned sociology/sociological theory in the 20th century K
3 Be able to (critically) apply theory to their own sociological work KCT
4 Be familiar and comfortable with the notion of ‘thinking sociologically KCP

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to: introduce students to core ideas from 20th century sociological theory and encourage them to think about how these help us to ‘think sociologically’ about our everyday lives.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Weekly lectures (1 hour per lecture x11 weeks + a revision session)

  • Weekly tutorials (1 hour per week) where ideas are explored in a more informal setting

  • The provision of core readings on SurreyLearn (1 per week)

  • An open door policy

  • At the end of each week, students are ecouraged to reflect on their notes from lectures, tutorials, readings and notes about how they link.  They are encouraged to ‘drop-in’ at the end of the week if things are unclear.


Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: SOC1038

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Sociology BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Criminology and Sociology BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2020/1 academic year.