Introduction to Social Inquiry
Area of Study
Communication, Gender Studies, International Communications, Mass Communications, Multicultural Studies, Sociology
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.
Recommended U.S. Semester Credits5
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units7
Hours & Credits
OverviewDescriptionHow do we understand the structure and changing nature of the social world? This subject provides an introduction to key ideas in social and political thought which enable the critical interpretation of social life. It focuses on concepts such as gender, race and social class, and explores how they can be applied to understand society and the life-paths of individual social actors. As a core activity of the subject, students undertake their own empirical biographic or 'life-story' analysis as a vehicle through which to begin to develop their social research skills and to concretely explore the ways the social structures explored shape the possibilities of individual agency.Subject objectivesa. Explain key concepts of the social sciencesb. Appreciate different standpoints, viewpoints and frameworks for understanding the social worldc. Analyse their own beliefs, assumptions and expectationsd. Collaborate to organise and present informatione. Critically apply theory and mobilise empirical data for social analysisTeaching and learning strategiesThe subject consists of a weekly lecture and tutorial. Core texts are reproduced in a subject reader; additional resources are available online and in the UTS library. The lectures engage students with key concepts and methods while in the tutorials students evaluate theoretical claims through discussion and analysis of student projects. Tutorials involve students in a variety of activities, including individual and group presentations, discussion groups and formal debates. Online debates support and extend these tutorial activities.ContentThe subject comprises two main parts: Part 1 ? up to Week 6 - introduces students to some of the key concepts in the social sciences, including gender, race, and social class. In Part 2, in Weeks 7, 9 and 10, students will be asked to consider familiar institutions and common lifetime experiences which are influence by all three concepts: gender, race AND class ? as well, perhaps, as other pressures. This is often identified as a condition of ?intersectionality?, in which not one factor (or position) but an interaction of factors will shape the experiences of people or the workings of institutions. For Assignments 2 and 3, students will each conduct a biographical interview, that is, an individual life story, then transcribe it and finally analyse it using the concepts introduced in Part 1, operating in the ?intersectional? conditions identified in Part 2.AssessmentAssessment task 1: Reading JournalWeight: 30%Length:1500 wordsCriteria:Timeliness of submission of entriesRelevance of the arguments identified for discussionDepth of discussion of the chosen argumentsClarity of writingAccuracy of referencingSensitivity to multiple perspectives, including Indigenous worldviewsAssessment task 2: Transcription and focused biographyObjective(s):b and dWeight: 20%Length:Transcription length will vary with interview structure. Bibliography (list of relevant readings) should be between 1 and 2 pages.Criteria:Respectful interviewer interactions with interviewee.Effective Interviewer encouragement for interviewee to speakTechnical: Inclusion of biographical information, inclusion of time markers.Relevance of readings to interviewee?s life story.Assessment task 3: Interview AnalysisObjective(s):a, c and eWeight: 50%Length:The ESSAY should be no longer than 2500 wordsCriteria:Coherence of analytical narrativeDepth of analysisClarity of writingSuccinctness of writing
Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.
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.