Understanding the Social World

Griffith University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Understanding the Social World

  • Host University

    Griffith University

  • Location

    Gold Coast, Australia

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • 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 introduces students to the social sciences in a fresh local context, both in terms of the theories social scientists use to explain Australian society and the ways in which those theories have an impact on social life.
    Course Introduction
    Sociology is a diverse field of study – the study of how society is organised and experienced. Sociologists focus on issues of stratification in society (such as class, gender and ethnicity) and the social structures that shape people’s lives (including, for example, religion, education and family). This involves considering how people’s lived experiences are influenced by their backgrounds, but it also involves exploring how, despite the many inequalities and prejudices that abound in social life, people can be agents of social change. Sociology tackles local issues and global problems. By studying sociology you will learn to think about the world - and your place in that world - with a ‘sociological imagination’. The ‘sociological imagination’ has broad application in all forms of employment, as well as in everyday life more generally.

    As an introduction to Sociology, this course provides you with the tools (sociological paradigms) to think critically about Australian society and the assumptions and prejudices held by many of its people. The course introduces you to a broad spectrum of social theory and emphasises critical analysis of common sense theories that seek to explain the human experience. The course poses a series of questions, including: How is one’s sense of self shaped by gender and social class? What kinds of institutions hold our society together? How are social conventions and rules transmitted from one generation to the next?

    Course Aims
    Understanding the Social World aims to provide you with the foundational knowledge that underpins all courses in the Sociology major in the Bachelor of Arts. In particular, it aims to provide you with an opportunity to develop some of the core skills and knowledge that are central to the work of Sociologists, including an understanding of social issues, basic research skills, written and oral communication skills, a capacity for reflection, and the ability to work independently and in groups. This will enable you to build on these skills, and develop higher order skills and capacities, in the more advanced second and third level Sociology courses that follow on from 1007LHS, as well as in related social science majors including, for example, Criminal Justice, Indigenous Studies, Islam-West Relations, Politics and International Studies, and Security Studies.

    The course introduces you to theories that help explain the social forces that shape everyday life. You will develop skills in understanding and analysing a range of concepts, theories and perspectives on social life. A core aim is to foster a critical and interpretive understanding of the dynamic relationship between the individual and society; a skill that will underpin successful completion of more advanced social science courses. A deeper knowledge and understanding of the social forces that structure daily life will help you reflect on your place in society and the ways in which this knowledge might provide you with greater agency in your personal and professional interactions with social institutions.

    Learning Outcomes
    After successfully completing this course you should be able to:
    1. Describe the basic principles of three sociological paradigms used to explain the social world.
    2. Compare three sociological paradigms and explain their similarities and differences.
    3. Apply sociological theory to an examination of social issues.
    4. Analyse the importance of the "sociological imagination" in understanding the social world.

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.