Print Email Download

Paid Writing Services

More Free Content

Get Your Own Essay

Order Now

Instant Price

Search for an Essay

Introduction to Sociology

This module will present an overview of some of the different debates in sociology. Students will read significant texts on these debates, and learn through a written assessment. The module will also serve as a foundation for a more specialised treatment within Level 2 and 3 Modules. The course introduces students to the key themes of modern sociology and social analysis. Some of the themes that will be covered are: how sociologists study society, social class, inequality, work, feminism, postmodernism, the state, and globalisation.


The module provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, qualities, skills and other attributes in the following areas:

Knowledge and Understanding

* understand core sociological theories, concepts and argument

* understand the relationship between social change, culture and society

* critically evaluate key sociological themes and issues

* assess competing claims of knowledge around what constitutes and regulates ‘the social'

Cognitive (thinking) Skills

* learn to think sociologically

* summarize core sociological concepts

* evaluate critically theories and contrast and compare them

Transferable Skills

* Analytical skills

* Effective Communication

* Enquiry and Research

* Logical Argument

* Independent Judgement

* Relate to Wider Context

Useful Web Sites for General Use

Please Note:

If you find a website but are unsure of its academic status (e.g. if you are unsure whether you should use it in a piece of coursework) please ask for advice from the module convenor. Avoid using websites like Wikipedia in coursework assignments as these are not vetted by the academic community.

Web sites for sociologists

Social Science Information Gateway (SOSIG)

SocioSite (Albert Benschop)

Sociological Research Online

A Sociological Tour through Cyberspace (Michael C. Kearl)

Encarta Online Sociology



The Guardian

News and Newspapers Online (a listing of online newspapers throughout the world)

For ‘alternative' news sources try:


Trade Union Congress

Confederation of British Industry


Office of National Statistics (British Government)



Ten Downing Street

Dictionaries / encyclopaedias

Online dictionary of the social sciences

Encyclopaedia Britannica

Module Outline

Term 1

[1] 29th Sept - Introduction
[2] 6th Oct - Sociology, structure and agency
[3] 13th Oct - Capitalism and modernity
[4] 20th Oct - Postmodernism

[5] 27th Oct - Social class

[6] 3rd Nov - Poverty, welfare and social exclusion

[7] 10th Nov ***READING WEEK***

[8] 17th Nov - Work and society

[9] 24th Nov - Feminism and patriarchy

[10] 1st Dec - The state and power
[11] 8th Dec - Knowledge and belief
[12] 15th Dec - Do societies now exist beyond society?

Lecture Sessions

Lecture sessions are given by the module convenor John Roberts.


Lectures offer a framework and guide to the literature and to key issues. Remember - reading is a crucial part of studying for the module. You should be spending about 5 hours a week reading/preparing work for your each lecture session. Get into a good habit early and do not leave things until the last minute: schedule your work.

The main textbook for the module is:

Tony Bilton et al (2002) Introductory Sociology, Palgrave.

Other textbooks that are useful include:

Abercrombie, N. and Warde, A. (eds) (2000) Contemporary British Society, Cambridge: Polity.

Browning, G., Halcli, A. and Webster, F. (2000) Understanding Contemporary Society, Sage

Fulcher, J. and Scott, J. (2007) Sociology, third edition, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Giddens, A. (2009) Sociology, sixth edition, Polity.

Jenks, C. (1998) Core Sociological Dichotomies, Sage.

Macionis, J. and Plummer, K. (2008) Sociology: A Global Introduction, fourth edition, Pearson.

Matthewman, S. et al. (2007) Being Sociological, Palgrave.

Woodward, K. (2009) Social Sciences: The Big Issues, Routledge. Assessment

This module is assessed by two pieces of coursework:

· one sociological review of a newspaper article (1000 words)

· one essay (1500 words)

Coursework titles will be distributed during Term 1 and will be based on topics covered in Term 1.

The submission deadline for the newspaper review is Monday 16th November.

The submission deadline for the essay is Thursday 7th Jan.

All coursework must be submitted to the essay box outside the Undergraduate Office (MJ103) and must also be submitted electronically via u-link.

More information about coursework will be given during Term 1.

Pass Grade

The minimum pass grade for this module is 40%.

This module has been designated as a core module for both Single Hons Sociology and for Combined Hons Sociology and Media. This means that if you take either of these degree programmes and fail to achieve 40% or above on Introduction to Sociology then you will be asked to withdraw from your studies.

Module Outline in Detail

Week 1 Introduction

This lecture simply outlines the main topics to be looked at in the module.

Week 2 Sociology, structure and agency

This session outlines the distinctive attributes of sociology as an academic discipline. In particular we will see that sociologists attempt to go beyond purely ‘commonsense' understandings of the world in order to understand the impact that wider social processes have upon human action. For example, we will look at the relationship between social structures and people and ask to what extent our actions are wholly determined by social structures or to what extent we have freedom of choice in the social world.

Main Reading:

T. Bilton et al. (2002) Introductory Sociology, chapters 1, 17 & 18.

Supplementary Reading:

R. Cohen and P. Kennedy (2000) Global Sociology, chapter 1.

J. Fulcher and J. Scott (2003) Sociology third edition, chapter 1.

J. Macionis and K. Plummer (2002) Sociology: A Global Introduction, chapters 1 and 2.

Other Suggested Reading:

Baert, P. (1998) Social Theory in the Twentieth Century, Polity.

Bhaskar, R. (1989) Reclaiming Reality, Verso, chpts. 5 and 6.

Bottomore, T. (1971) Sociology: A Guide to Problems and Literature, Allen and Unwin, 2nd edition, part 1.

Bottomore, T. (1975) Sociology as Social Criticism, Allen and Unwin, part 1.

Craib, I. (1994) Modern Social Theory, Harvester Wheatsheaf.

Craib, I. (1997) Classical Social Theory, Sage.

Delanty, G. (1999) Social Theory in a Changing World, Polity.

Giddens, A. and J. H. Turner (1987) Social Theory Today, Polity.

Harris, D. (2003) Teaching Yourself Social Theory, Sage.

Layder, D. (1994) Understanding Social Theory, Sage.

Law, J. and Urry, J. (2004) ‘Enacting the Social', Economy and Society 33(3): 390-410.

Mouzelis, N. (1995) Sociological Theory: What Went Wrong? Routledge.

Ritzer, G. (2000) The Blackwell Companion to Major Social Theorists, Blackwell.

Ritzer, G. and D. Goodman (2004) Sociological Theory, MacGraw-Hill.

Ritzer, G and B. Smart (eds) (2001) Handbook of Social Theory, Sage.

Stones, R. (1996) Sociological Reasoning: Towards a Past-Modern Sociology, Macmillan, chpt. 1.

Stones, R. (ed.) (1998) Key Sociological Thinkers, Macmillan.

Turner, B.S. (1996) The Blackwell Companion to Social Theory, Blackwell.

Week 3 Capitalism and modernity

Sociology arose as an academic discipline through the emergence of modern industrial societies. This lecture will therefore situate sociology as an academic discipline within some of the key attributes of ‘modernity'. In particular we will look at the different ways in which ‘rationality' and ‘culture' came to be defined in modern societies and how these different meanings were often mediated through struggles amongst various social classes and groups.

Main Reading

T. Bilton et al. (2002) Introductory Sociology, chapter 2

Other suggested reading:

Adorno, T. (2001) The Culture Industry, Routledge.

Barker, Chris (2000) Cultural Studies, Sage.

Bennett, T. et al. (eds.) New Keywords, Blackwell.

Bratich, J.Z. et al. (eds) (2003) Foucault, Cultural Studies and Governmentality, SUNY Press.

Bourdieu, P. (1984) Distinction, Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Calhoun, C. (ed.) (1993) Bourdieu: Critical Perspectives, Polity.

Callinicos, A. (2007) Social Theory: A Historical Introduction, Polity.

Craib, I. (1992) Modern Social Theory, chpt. 16.

Cutting, G. (ed.) (1994) The Cambridge Companion to Foucault, Cambridge University Press.

Delanty, G. (2000) Modernity and Postmodernity, Sage.

During, S. (ed.) (2007) The Cultural Studies Reader, Routledge.

Fowler, B. (ed.) (2000) Reading Bourdieu on Society and Culture, Blackwell.

Foucault, M. (1991) ‘What is Enlightenment' in P. Rabinow (ed.) The Foucault Reader, Penguin.

Grossberg, L. et al. (eds) (1992) Cultural Studies, Routledge.

Hall, S. and Gieben, B. (eds) (1992) Formations of Modernity, Polity.

Hetherington, K. (1997) The Badlands of Modernity. Routledge.

Jenkins, R. (1992) Pierre Bourdieu, Routledge.

McGuigan, J. (1999) Modernity and Postmodern Culture. Open University Press.

Sayer, D. (1991) Capitalism and Modernity. Routledge.

Shoemaker, R. (1987) ‘The London “Mob” in the Early Eighteenth Century', The Journal of British Studies 26(3): 273-304.

Storey, J. (ed.) (1996) What is Cultural Studies? Arnold.

Swartz, D. (1997) Culture and Power: The Sociology of Pierre Bourdieu, University of Chicago Press.

Wacquant, L.J.D (1998) ‘Pierre Bourdieu' in R. Stones (ed) Key Sociological Thinkers, Macmillan.

Williams, R. (1988) Keywords, Fontana.

Wood, E.M. (2002) The Origin of Capitalism, Verso.

Week 4 Postmodernism

In this lecture we will look at debates around the terms ‘postmodernity' and ‘postmodernism'. In particular we will assess the claims that we now live in a postmodern society and the impact that postmodernism may have on our daily lives. We will also explore how the supposed transition to a postmodern society is connected to new ways in which people consume goods.

Main Reading:

T. Bilton et al. (2002) Introductory Sociology, chapter 19.

Other Suggested Reading:

Barker, C. (2000) Cultural Studies, Sage.

Best, S. (2003) A Beginner's Guide to Social Theory, Sage.

Cahoone, L. E. (ed) From Modernism to Postmodernism, Blackwell.

Clarke, D. B. et al. (eds) (2003) The Consumption Reader, Routledge.

Corrigan, P. (1997) The Sociology of Consumption, Sage.

Craib, I. (1994) Modern Social Theory, chapter 14.

Delanty, G. (1999) Social Theory in a Changing World, Polity.

Docherty, T. (ed) (1993) Postmodernism: A Reader, Harvester Wheatsheaf.

Eagleton, T. (1996) The Illusions of Postmodernism, Blackwell.

Hall, S. and Gieben, B. (eds) (1992) Formations of Modernity, Polity.

Harvey, D. (1990) The Condition of Postmodernity, Basil Blackwell

Hearn, J. and Roseneil, S. (eds) (1999) Consuming Cultures, Palgrave.

Keat, R. (ed) (1993) The Authority of the Consumer, Routledge.

Malpas, S. (ed) (2001) Postmodern Debates, Palgrave.

McGuigan, J. (1999) Modernity and Postmodern Culture, Open University Press.

Malpas, S. (2005) The Postmodern, Routledge.

Miles, S. (2004) Consuming Cities, Palgrave.

Nicholson, L. (ed) (2002) The Politics of Postmodernism, Routledge.

Nicholson, L. and Seidman, S. (eds) (1995) Social Postmodernism, Cambridge University Press.

Paterson, M. (2006) Consumption and Everyday Life, Routledge.

The Polity Reader in Social Theory (1994), Polity.

Ritzer, G. (1997) Postmodern Social Theory, McGraw-Hill.

Sarup, M. (1993) An Introductory Guide to Post-structuralism and Postmodernism, Harvester Wheatsheaf.

Sim, S. (1998) The Icon Critical Dictionary of Postmodern Thought, Icon.

Sim, S. (ed) (2005) The Routledge Companion to Postmodernism, Routledge.

Thomas, H. and Walsh, D.F. (1998) ‘Modernity/Postmodernity' in C. Jenks (ed) Core Sociological Dichotomies.

Tomlinson, A. (ed) (1990) Consumption, Identity and Style, Routledge.

Woods, T. (1999) Beginning Postmodernism, Manchester University Press.

Week 5 Social class

In this lecture we look at ideas around stratification. Specifically, the lecture examines the changing class structure in the UK as well as the changing cultural representation of social class.

Main Reading:

T. Bilton et al. (2002) Introductory Sociology, chapter 5.

Supplementary reading:

Abercrombie, N. and Warde, A. (eds) (2000) Contemporary British Society, Cambridge: Polity (see the chapter on social class).

J. Fulcher and J. Scott (2003) Sociology third edition, chapter 19.

Other Suggested Reading:

Bottero, W. (2004) ‘Class Identity and the Identity of Class', Sociology 38(5): 985-1003.

Crompton, R (2000) Renewing Class Analysis, Blackwell.

Devine, F. et al. (eds) (2005) Rethinking Class, Palgrave.

Dowling, R. (2009) ‘Geographies of Identity: Landscapes of Class', Progress in Human

Geography (access the article through Google Scholar).

Hebson, G. (2009) ‘Renewing Class Analysis in Studies of the Workplace: A Comparison of Working-class and Middle-class Women's Aspirations and Identities' Sociology 43(1): 27-44.

Nayak, A. (2006) ‘Displaced Masculinities: Chavs, Youth and Class in the Post-industrial City', Sociology 40(5): 813-831.

Payne, G. and Grew, C. (2005) ‘Unpacking “Class Ambivalence”', Sociology 39(5): 893-910.

Reay, D. (1998) ‘Rethinking Social Class: Qualitative Perspectives on Class and Gender', Sociology 32(2): 259-275.

Reay, D. (2005) ‘Beyond Consciousness? The Psychic Landscape of Social Class', Sociology 39(5): 911-928.

Savage, M. (2000) Class Analysis and Social Transformation, Open University Press.

Savage, M. et al. (2001) ‘Ordinary, Ambivalent and Defensive: Class Identities in the Northwest of England', Sociology 35(4): 875-892.

Sennett, R. (1993) The Hidden Injuries of Class, W.W. Norton.

Skeggs, B. (1997) Formations of Class and Gender, Sage.

Skeggs, B. (2004) Class, Self, Culture, Routledge.

Sociology (online journal) (2005) Special Issue on ‘Class, Culture and Identity', 39(5).

Surridge, P. (2007) ‘Class Belonging: A Quantitative Exploration of Identity and Consciousness', British Journal of Sociology 58(2): 207-226.

Tyler, I. (2008) ‘“Chav Mum, Chav Mum”: Class Disgust in Contemporary Britain', Feminist Media Studies 8(1): 17-34.

Watt, P. (2008) ‘The Only Class in Town? Gentrification and the Middle-class Colonization of the City and the Urban Imagination', International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 32, 206-11.

Week 6 Poverty, welfare and social exclusion

In this lecture we examine some of the evidence around whether inequality and poverty has increased or decreased in UK. We also look at the meaning of social exclusion and its relationship to debates around welfare.

Main Reading:

T. Bilton et al. (2002) Introductory Sociology, chapters 4 & 9 (pp. 240-251 of chpt. 9).

Supplementary reading:

J. Fulcher and J. Scott (2003) Sociology third edition, chapter 18.

Other Suggested Reading:

Alcock, C. et al. (2008) Introducing Social Policy, Pearson.

Alcock, P. (1997) Understanding Poverty, Macmillan.

Bauman, Z. (2005) Work, Consumerism and the New Poor, Open University Press.

Béland, D. (2007) ‘The Social Exclusion Discourse: Ideas and Policy Change', Policy and Politics 35(1): 123-139.

Best, S. (2005) Understanding Social Divisions, Sage.

Blackman, T. and Blackman-Woods, R. (2007) ‘A Response to Dorling's “Inequalities in Britain 1997-2006: The Dream that Turned Pear-Shaped”', Local Economy 22(2): 118-122.

Bradshaw, J. and Finch, N. (2003) ‘Overlaps in Dimensions of Poverty' Journal of Social Policy 32(4): 513-524.

Byrne, D. (2005) Social Exclusion, Open University Press.

Daguerre, A. (2004) ‘Importing Workfare: Policy Transfer of Social and Labour

Market Policies from the USA to Britain under New Labour', Social Policy and Administration, 38:1, 41-46.

Davies, J.S. (2005) ‘The Social Exclusion Debate: Strategies, Controversies and Dilemmas', Policy Studies 26(1): 3-27.

Dorling, D (2006) ‘Inequalities in Britain 1997-2006: The Dream that Turned Pear- Shaped', Local Economy 21(4): 353-361.

Driver, S. (2009) ‘Work to be Done? Welfare Reform from Blair to Brown', Policy Studies 30(1): 69-84.

Farnsworth, K. (2006) ‘Capital to the Rescue? New Labour's Business Solutions to Old Welfare Problems', Critical Social Policy 26(4): 817-842.

Gordon, D. et al. (eds) (2006) Poverty and Social Exclusion in Britain, Policy Press. Gough, J (and others) Spaces of Social Exclusion, Routledge.

Glasmeier, A. et al. (2008) ‘Editorial: Poverty and Place in the UK and the USA', Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, 1: 1-16.

Hills, J. and Stewart, K. (eds) (2005) A More Equal Society? New Labour, Poverty, Inequality and Exclusion, Policy Press.

Holden, C. (1999) ‘Globalization, Social Exclusion and Labour's New Work Ethic', Critical Social Policy 19(4): 529-538.

Kleinman, M (2000) ‘Include Me Out? The New Politics of Place and Poverty', Policy Studies 21(1): 49-61.

Levitas, R. (2005) The Inclusive Society? Palgrave. Pantazis, C. and Gordon, D. (eds) (2000) Tackling Inequalities, Policy Press.

Powell, M. (2002) Evaluating New Labour's Welfare Reforms, Bristol: Policy Press.

Ridge, T. (2002) Childhood Poverty and Social Exclusion, Policy Press.

Week 7

No lecture because of reading week

Week 8 Work and society

This lecture will look at some debates around work and society. To illustrate some of these debates we will focus on the transition from Fordist societies based around assembly-line production to post-Fordist societies based around global networked computerised production.

Main Reading:

T. Bilton et al. (2002) Introductory Sociology, chapter 11.

Supplementary reading:

J. Fulcher and J. Scott (2003) Sociology third edition, chapter 17.

A. Giddens (2009) Sociology, sixth edition, chapter 20.

S. Matthewman, et al. (2007) Being Sociological, chapter 3.

Other Suggested Reading:

Allen, J. Braham, P. and Lewis, P. (eds) (1992) Political and Economic Forms of Modernity (Understanding Modern Societies, Book 2), Polity.

Amin, A. (ed) (1994) Post-Fordism: A Reader, Blackwell.

Coates, D. (2000) New Labour in Power (see chapters 8 & 9), Manchester University Press.

Friedman, J. (1995) ‘Global System, Globalization and the Parameters of Modernity' in M. Featherstone, S. Lash and R. Roberston (eds.), Global Modernities, London: Sage.

Gertler, M. S. (1988) ‘The Limits to Flexibility: Comments on the post-Fordist Vision of Production and its Geography', Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 13: 419-432.

Glyn, A. (2007) Capitalism Unleashed, Oxford University Press.

Grint, K. (1998) The Sociology of Work, 2nd edition, Polity.

Harvey, D. (1989) The Condition of Postmodernity, Blackwell.

Hay, C. and Marsh, D. (eds.) (1999) Demystifying Globalization, London: Macmillan.

Kiely, R. (2005) Empire in an Age of Globalisation, Pluto.

Lash, S. and Urry, J. (1987) The End of Organized Capitalism, Cambridge: Polity.

Lash, S. and Urry, J. (1994) Economies of Signs and Space, London: Sage.

Lovering, J. (1999) ‘Theory Led by Policy', International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 23: 379-395.

Nadesan, M.H. (2001) ‘Post-Fordism, Political Economy, and Critical Organisational Communication Studies', Management Communication Quarterly 15(2): 259-267.

Painter, J. (1995) ‘'Regulation Theory, Post-Fordism and Urban Politics' in D. Judge et al. (eds) Theories of Urban Politics, Sage.

Pettinger, L. et al. (eds) (2005) A New Sociology of Work? Blackwell. Phelps, N.A. (2002) ‘When was Post-Fordism? The Uneven Institution of New Work Practices in a Multinational', Antipode 34(2): 205-226.

Pollert, A. (ed) (1991) A Farewell to Flexibility? Basil Blackwell. Pratt, A. C. (1991) ‘Industrial Districts and the Flexible Local Economy', Planning Practice and Research 6(1): 4-8.

Proctor, S. and Ackroyd, S. (1998) ‘Against Japanization: Understanding the Reorganization of British Manufacturing', Employee Relations 20(3): 237-247.

Rupert, M. (2000) Ideologies of Globalization (see chapter on Fordism), Routledge.

Thompson, P. and McHugh, D. (2009) Work Organisations: A Critical Approach, Palgrave.

Vallas, S.P. (1999) ‘Rethinking post-Fordism: The Meaning of Workplace Flexibility', Sociological Theory 17(1): 68-101.

Week 9 Feminism and patriarchy

In this lecture we will look at some arguments put forward by feminists. In particular we will examine why feminists focus upon the ‘public' (e.g. the state) and ‘private' (e.g. the family) distinction and how they believe this distinction reproduces gender inequalities in society.

Main Reading:

T. Bilton et al. (2002) Introductory Sociology, chapters 6 & 17.

Supplementary Reading:

N. Abercrombie and A. Warde (2000) Contemporary British Society, chapter 7.

J. Fulcher and J. Scott (2003) Sociology third edition, Oxford University Press, chapter 5.

J. J. Maccionis and K. Plummer (2002) Sociology: A Global Introduction, chapter 13.

Other Suggested Reading:

Adkins, L. and Skeggs, B. (eds) (2005) Feminism after Bourdieu, Blackwell.

Beasley, C. (1999) What is Feminism? Sage.

Bradley, H. (2007) Gender, Polity.

Charles, N. (1993) Gender, Divisions and Social Change.

Coole, D. (2000) ‘Cartographic Convulsions: Public and Private Reconsidered', Political Theory 28(3): 337-354.

Cranny-Francis, et al. (2002) Gender Studies: Terms and Debates, Palgrave.

Elshtain, J. B. (1993) Public Man, Private Woman, Princeton University Press.

Evana, J. (1995) Feminist Theory Today, Sage

Humm, M. (1992) Feminisms: A Reader, Harvester Wheatsheaf

Jackson, S., et al. (eds.) (1993) Women's Studies: A Reader.

Mac an Ghaill, M. and Haywood, C. (2007) Gender, Culture and Society, Palgrave.

Mirza, H. (ed.) (1997) Black British Feminism: A Reader, Routledge.

Nickie, C. (1999) Feminism, the State and Social Policy, Macmillan.

Ribbens, J and Edwards, R. (eds) (1998) Feminist Dilemmas in Qualitative Research. Sage.

Robinson, V. and Richardson, D (eds.) (1997) Introducing Women's Studies, Macmillan.

Stanley, Liz (1990) Feminist Praxis, Routledge.

Tong, R. (1989) Feminist Thought: A Comprehensive Introduction, Westview Press.

Walby, S. (1990) Theorizing Patriarchy, Blackwell.

Walby, S. (1997) Gender Transformations, Routledge.

Walsh, M. R. (1997) Women, Men and Gender, Yale University Press.

Wharton, A.S. (2004) The Sociology of Gender, Blackwell.

Williams, C. L. and Stein, A. (eds) (2001) Sexuality and Gender, Blackwell.

Week 10 State and power

This lecture looks at the nature of power and how power is related to the state. Through the work of social theorists such as Karl Marx, Max Weber and Antonio Gramsci we will see how the state extends its power into society.

Main Reading:

T. Bilton et al. (2002) Introductory Sociology, chapter 8.

Other suggested reading:

Anderson, P. (1976-7) ‘The Antinomies of Antonio Gramsci', New Left Review, November 1976-January 1977

Barrow, C. (1993) Critical Theories of the State, Wisconsin Press.

Barth, L. (1998) ‘Michel Foucault' in R. Stones (ed.) Key Sociological Thinkers.

Beetham, D. (1985) Max Weber and the Theory of Modern Politics, Polity.

Bottomore, T. (ed.) (1991) ‘Hegemony' in A Dictionary of Marxist Thought.

Bottomore, T. (ed.) (1991) ‘Regulation' in A Dictionary of Marxist Thought.

Bratich, J. Z., Packer, J. and McCarthy, C (eds) (2003) Foucault, Cultural Studies, and Governmentality.

Buci-Glucksmann, C. (1980) Gramsci and the State.

Clegg, S. (1989) Frameworks of Power, London: Sage.

Femia, J. V. (1981) Gramsci's Political Thought, chpt. 2, Clarendon.

Gamble, A. and Wright, T. (eds) (2004) Restating the State? Blackwell.

Gramsci, A. (1986) Selections from Prison Notebooks, part II, chpt. 1, Lawrence and Wishart.

Hall, S. (1988) The Hard Road to Renewal, Lawrence and Wishart chpt. 10

Held, D. (1989) Political Theory and the Modern State, Polity.

Hughes, J. et al (2003) Understanding Classical Sociology, Sage.

Lukes, S. (2004) Power: A Radical View, London: Palgrave.

McLellan, D. (1995) The Thought of Karl Marx: An Introduction, Papermac.

McLennan, G. et al. (eds) (1984) The Idea of the Modern State, Open University Press.

Mouffe, C. (ed.) (1979) Gramsci and Political Theory.

Neocleous, M. (2003) Imagining the State, Open University Press.

Pierson, C. (1986) Marxist Theory and Democratic Politics, Polity.

Pierson, C (1996) The Modern State, Routledge.

Ray, L. and Reed, M. (eds) (1994) Organizing Modernity, Routledge.

Sharp, J., et al. (ed.) (2000) Entanglements of Power, London: Routledge.

Showstack Sassoon, A. (1980) Gramsci's Politics, Croom Helm.

Tew, J. (2002) Social Theory, Power and Practice, London: Palgrave.

Turner, C. (1992) Modernity and Politics in the Work of Max Weber, Routledge.

Turner, S. (ed.) (2000) The Cambridge Companion to Weber, Cambridge University Press.

Week 11 Knowledge and belief

This lecture examines some of the characteristics of our belief systems, including how our beliefs about and knowledge of the world are socially constructed, and asks whether we can ever be critical of the beliefs that people have. The lecture also asks whether there is a complete separation between science and religion.

Main Reading:

T. Bilton et al. (2002) Introductory Sociology, chapter 15.

Other suggested reading:

Barker, P. (1993) Michel Foucault: Subversions of the Subject, chpt. 2

Barrett, M. (1991) The Politics of Truth: From Marx to Foucault, Polity.

Benton, T. and Craib, I. (2001) Philosophy of Social Science, Palgrave.

Bhaskar, R. (1989) Reclaiming Reality, Verso.

Bloor, D. (1991) Knowledge and Social Imagery second edition, Chicago Press.

Bottomore, T. (ed.) (1991) A Dictionary of Marxist Thought, see ‘Ideology'.

Dean, M. (1999) Governmentality, London: Sage.

Flanagan, K. and Jupp, P.C. (eds) (1996) Postmodernity, Sociology and Religion.

Foucault, M. (1975) Discipline and Punish, part 3.

The Foucault Reader (edited by P. Rabinow). Select any of the essays in the sections ‘Disciplines and Sciences of the Individual' and/or ‘Bio-Power'.

Fulcher, J. and J. Scott, J. (2003) Sociology second edition, chapter 11

Giddens, A. (2009) Sociology, sixth edition, chapter 16.

Gordon, C. (1991) ‘Governmental Rationality: An Introduction' in G. Burchell, C.

Gordon and P. Miller (eds.) The Foucault Effect: Studies in Governmentality.

Heelas, P. (1996) The New Age Movement, Blackwell.

Hollis, M. (1994) The Philosophy of Social Science: An Introduction.

Jenks, C. (1998) Core Sociological Dichotomies. Larrain, J. (1983) Marxism and Ideology.

Lynch, M. (1993) Scientific Practice and Ordinary Action. Cambridge Uni Press.

Macionis, J and Plummer, K. (2002) Sociology: A Global Introduction, chapter 19.

Matthewman, S., et al. (2007) Being Sociological, chapter 13.

Morrison, K. (1995) Marx, Weber and Durkheim.

Pickering, A. (ed) (1992) Science as Practice and Culture, Chicago Press.

Potter, G. (2000) The Philosophy of Social Science, Prentice Hall.

Robertson, R and White, K. (eds) (2003) Globalization: Critical Concepts in Sociology. Vol. 5, Religion, nature and the built environment, Routledge.

Thompson, J. B. (1984) Studies in the Theory of Ideology.

Turner, B.S. (1991) Religion and Social Theory.

Woolgar, S. (ed) (1988) Knowledge and Reflexivity, Sage.

Week 12 Do societies now exist beyond society?

This lecture considers whether we need to think about society through global formations or whether society can still be theorised at the level of the nation-state.

Main Reading:

T. Bilton et al. (2002) Introductory Sociology, chapter 3.

Other suggested reading:

Bauman, Z. (1988) ‘Is there a Postmodern Sociology?' Theory, Culture and Society 5: 217-237.

Bauman, Z. (2000) Liquid Modernity, Polity.

Callinicos, A. (2007) Social Theory, second edition, Polity (chapter 13).

Castells, M. (2000) ‘Materials for an Exploratory Theory of the Network Society', British Journal of Sociology, 51(1): 5-24.

Cohen, R. and Kennedy, P. (2000) Global Sociology, Palgrave.

Delanty, G. (1999) Social Theory in a Changing World, Polity.

Forester, T. (1987) High-Tech Society: The Story of the Information Technology Revolution, Basil Blackwell

Fulcher, J. and J. Scott, J. (2003) Sociology second edition, chapter 1

Hasan, R. (2004) Media, Politics and the Network Society, Open University Press.

Held, D. (2004) A Globalizing World? Culture, Economics, Politics, Routledge.

Held, D. and McGrew, A. (eds) (2003) The Global Transformations Reader, Polity.

Hill, K. and Jughes, J. (1998) Cyberpolitics, Rowman & Littlefield.

Macionis, J. and Plummer, K. (2002) Sociology: A Global Introduction, chapters 1 and 2.

Ritzer, G. (1997) Postmodern Social Theory, McGraw-Hill.

Robertson, R. (1992) Globalization, Sage.

Robertson, R. (1995) Global Modernities, Sage.

Taylor, G. and Todd, M. (eds) (2003) Democracy and Participation: New Social Movements in Liberal Democracies, Merlin Press.

Urry, J. (2000) Sociology beyond Societies, London: Routledge.

Urry, J. (2005) ‘The Complexities of the Global', Theory, Culture and Society 22(5): 235-254.