Introduction to Social Theory

Griffith University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Introduction to Social Theory

  • Host University

    Griffith University

  • Location

    Gold Coast, Australia

  • Area of Study

    Health Science, Sociology, Theology

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    This course requires additional faculty approval for entry.

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    Course Description
    This course provides an introduction to the contemporary debates in the social sciences and their relevance to social interventions in the health and human services arena. The social sciences provide human services practitioners with theoretical and methodological frameworks for professional practice. Frameworks, informed by the discipline of sociology, connect important concepts such as class, race, sex and age to social inequalities. This course is intended to expose students to the wider social and cultural context in which health and human services operate, including an understanding of culture, globalisation, environmental sustainability and issues surrounding disadvantage.

    Course Introduction
    In order to change society, or even to participate effectively in it, some understanding of how society works is essential. Social Theory provides the theoretical underpinnings for the discipline of sociology and also includes many of the central ideas found in anthropology, politics, education, social psychology, international relations, cultural studies, social work and human services. At the broadest level, social or sociological theory increases our understanding of society by elucidating social inequality, difference and change.

    Course Aims
    Introduction to Social Theory (1014HSV) begins with the importance of social theory, its relevance to the world around us and its applicability to health and human services approaches. Students will explore the foundations of modern social theory and their applications to key social issues through three key paradigms underpinning sociological thought: Functionalism, Conflict Theory and Symbolic Interactionism. Students will examine social inequalities such as class, race/ethnicity, sex/gender and age in the first few weeks of this course followed by the exploration of major social institutions such as the social consturction of crime/deviance, education & employment, health/illness, marriage & religion. In the final weeks of this course, students will examine themes of inequality on a global scale including globalisation & economics, cultures & subcultures and environmental movements & sustainability.

    Learning Outcomes
    After successfully completing this course you should be able to:
    1 Understand the three key theoretical paradigms that explain social inequality and social change.
    2 Understand of the nature of social inequalities and the issues associated with social change.
    3 Understand social theory approaches to society's problems and their relevance to professional human services practice.
    4 Deploy research skills to identify and access appropriate resources such as academic literature.
    5 Engage in critical analysis of social theories in relation to social issues and to personally reflect on their application and relevance to a developing human services practitioner.
    6 Apply and test theoretical understandings through various assessment criteria.

    Assessment Plan
    Portfolio - evidence - Comprehension and Analysis Tasks 60%/60
    Exam - selected response - Examination 40%/40

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.