Undergraduate

Each programme extends over a minimum of three academic years and requires the completion of the following courses:

Compulsory Modules: General Sociology

1.        SOC111/111E and SOC122/122E

2.        SOC211/211E, SOC212/212E and SOC222/222E (Prerequisites for both are SOC111/111E and SOC122/122E)

3.         SOC311/311E, SOC312/312E and SOC322/322E (Prerequisites for the three are SOC211/211E, SOC212/212E and SOC222/222E)

Compulsory Modules: Industrial Sociology

1.        SOC111/111E and SOC122/122E

2.        INS211/211E, INS212/212E and INS222/222E (Prerequisites for both are SOC111/111E and SOC122/122E)

3.        INS311/311E, INS312/312E and INS322/322E (Prerequisites for the three are INS211/211E, INS212/212E and INS222/222E)

Electives: General Sociology

1.        Learners registered at the second level of study will choose at least TWO areas of specialization listed under SOC222/222E, provided that such choice will depend on the available staff areas of specialization and student demand.

2.        Learners registered at the third level of study will choose at least THREE areas of specialization listed under SOC322/322E, provided that such choice will depend on the available staff areas of specialization and student demand.

 

Electives: Industrial Sociology

1.        Learners registered at the second level of study will choose at least TWO areas of specialization listed under INS222/222E, provided that such choice will depend on the available staff areas of specialization and student demand.

2.        Learners registered at the third level of study will choose at least THREE areas of specialization listed under INS322/322E, provided that such choice will depend on the available staff areas of    specialization and student demand.

           Timetabling considerations may lead to the offering of some areas of specialisation in the first semester.

 

Programme Offerings

 

The Department of Sociology offers TWO undergraduate programmes, namely, General Sociology Programme and Industrial Sociology Programme. General Sociology is offered on both Alice and East London campuses while Industrial Sociology is currently only offered at the East London Campus. Each programme extends over a minimum of three academic years and requires the completion of the following courses.

 

GENERAL SOCIOLOGY (SOC)

 

SOC111F Introductory Sociology

Purpose: to introduce learners to the social science of sociology; to cultivate in them the ability to think like a sociologist; to familiarize them with different sociological concepts and perspectives, and to teach them to be able to apply the various perspectives to societal issues.

Content: Sociological imagination The origins of Sociology; Classical Theoretical approaches; Modern theoretical approaches; Research methods; Social interaction; Socialization.

SOC122F Deviance and Social Inequality

Purpose: to introduce learners to the social science of sociology; to cultivate in them the ability to think like a sociologist; to introduce them to deviant forms of behavior and  the different forms of social inequality.

Content: Deviance and crime;  Race and ethnic stratification; Race and ethnicity in South Africa; Gender stratification; Age and stratification; Mass media; Wealth and poverty.

SOC112F Introduction to social institutions.

Purpose: to cultivate in learners a greater understanding of institutional structures of society, and how these impact the lives of individuals; to introduce student to population dynamics, and the process of urbanization.

Content:  The Family; Religion; Education;  Politics; Economy; Introduction to population dynamics; Urbanization.

SOC123F Collective behavior, social movements and change.

Purpose: to introduce learners to collective forms of behaviour, social movements, new social movements, social change; globalization; environment and society, and the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Content: Collective Behavior; Social movements; Social change; new social movements; Globalization; Environment and society; and HIV/AIDS.

SOC111/111E Introduction to Sociology

Purpose: The main aim of this module is to introduce learners to the discipline of Sociology and the Sociological perspective. In this regard it provides learners with key concepts which allow description and analysis of society and intelligent participation in sociological discourse

Content: Issues covered include the nature of sociological inquiry; concepts and principles of sociology; structure and dynamics of social organisations; systems of Inequality and collective behaviour.

SOC122/122E Social Institutions

Purpose: The main aim of this module is to provide an overview of selected major social institutions and an analysis of their interaction with special reference to South African society.

Content:  Institutional features of modern society; Structure and dynamics of social organisations; Social Environments and Social Change

SOC211/211E Research Methods

Purpose: The aim of this module is to provide an overview of differing and competing approaches in research methods.

Content: The research process; qualitative and quantitative research methods; sampling; data-collection processes; statistical and graphic presentation of data as well as analysis techniques.

Prerequisites: SOC111/111E and SOC122/122E

 

SOC212/212E Classical Sociological Theory

Purpose: The aim of this module is to outline the historical context in which Sociological Theory developed. Learners are required to examine the contributions of the classical sociological theorists to the understanding of the main structures, processes and contradictions of modern capitalist societies.

      Content: Philosophical Foundations of Sociology; Functionalism; The conflict perspective and symbolic exchange perspective.

Prerequisites: SOC111/111E and SOC122/122E

 

SOC222/222E  2nd Year Area of Specialisation

Students are expected to choose two specialised areas of study. At the second year level the following areas of specialisation are offered:

SOU221/221E Urban Sociology

Purpose: The purpose of this module is to provide learners with an overview of both classical and contemporary urban sociology theory.

Content: Historical development of cities; capitalism and the urban question; town and country; the anatomy of the metropolis; the colonial and post colonial patterning of city in the third world; the urban question in post apartheid South Africa.

Prerequisites:  SOC111/111E and SOC122/122E

SOF222/222E Sociology of the Family

Purpose: The purpose of this module is to undertake a sociological examination of the challenges of contemporary family life, in an era of global capitalism.

Content: Marriage and Modern Families; Gender within families; Families and Work; Intimacy and Violence; Divorce and Remarriage; Modern Challenges to family life.

Prerequisites:  SOC111/111E and SOC122/122E

 

SRC223/223E Sociology of Race Ethnicity, and Class

Purpose: The purpose of this module is to examine the South African historiography which has been dominated by the interplay between race, class and ethnicity, apartheid / segregation and capitalism.

Content:  This course traces the history of apartheid and segregation before it, relating these to the development of South African capitalism.

Prerequisites:  SOC111/111E and SOC122/122E

 

SOW224/224E Labour Process Studies

Purpose: The aim of this course is to give students insight into the nature of work, and how work is organized under industrial capitalism. Emphasis is placed on how the worker has lost control of the production process with advances of industrial capitalism.

Content: This course examines the world of work particularly as it pertains to the production and labour processes and how these impact on the nature of capitalism and the relations of production.

Prerequisites:  SOC111/111E and SOC122/122E

 

SPS225/225E Demography

Purpose: The aim of this course is to introduce learners to traditional demographic concerns and population composition.

Content:  Introduction to the world’s population; demographic data; mortality; fertility; migration; family demography; urbanization; and population and the environment.

Prerequisites:  SOC111/111E and SOC122/122E

SOE226/226E Education and Society

Purpose: The main aim of the module is to study the various relations between education and society in order to decipher the tension between its transformative and conservative social roles. Towards this end, insights from sociology of education will be utilised as it is the pre-occupation of sociology of education to disentangle the complex relationship between education and society and to determine to what extent education is a cause of social change and to what extent it merely mirrors it.

Content: Defining education; education in society; sociology and education; education as a sociological concept; perspectives in education; social functions of education; education and socialisation; education and economy; education and literacy; education and social change; the hidden curriculum; ideology and education; knowledge and power; education and cultural reproduction; education and social control; inequality of educational opportunity; class and educational attainment; education and inequality.

Prerequisites:  SOC111/111E and SOC122/122E

 

SHS227/227E Health and Society

Purpose: Learners are to acquire a sound introductory knowledge of health as a socially constructed and contextualised phenomenon.

Content:  A sociological examination of health and illness; beyond traditional views of health and illness; health and illness in relation to social, economic, political and ideological structures in society.

Prerequisites:  SOC111/111E and SOC122/122E

 

SOR228/228E Sociology of Religion

Purpose: The aim of this module is to utilize the insights of a variety of sociological perspectives and explanations to account for the origin and evolution of religion and its continued relevance despite major material and social transformations in society and Marx’s prediction that it was bound to disappear as society develops.

Content: The Origin and Evolution of Religion; Functionalist Perspective on Religion; Marxist Perspective on Religion; Weberian Perspective on Religion; Religion and the Sociology of Knowledge; Religion, stratification and change; Secularisation; The new religious consciousness; Sociology, ideology and religion.

Prerequisites:  SOC111/111E and SOC122/122E

SOP229/229E Sociology of Politics

Purpose: This module is concerned with power in its social context. Its aim is to critically study the development of certain state forms and governments along with the ideologies which informed and continue to inform their practices.

Content: The Development of Western Liberal Democracy; The Formation and Structure of Capitalist States; Capitalism and the Non- Liberal States; Meta-theories of State Socialism; Nation building, Nationalism and Imperialism; The African Nation States and Democracy; Theories of ‘Stable Democracy’; Citizenship and Social Class; Class, Party and Voting; The political System and Political Culture.

Prerequisites:  SOC111/111E and SOC122/122E

 

SOM200/200E Sociology of the Media

Purpose: Learners will acquire a sound introductory knowledge of the media and sociological perspectives on it.

Content: The relationship between the media and society; the media and culture; power and the media; bias in the media; and gender, age, race and class in the media.

Prerequisites: SOC111/111E and SOC122/122E

 

SOC311/311E Research Practice in Sociology

Purpose: This module is a practical research module whose aim is to provide learners the opportunity to conduct practical research on an approved subject of sociological significance. The class meets regularly to review the progress of students. The outcome is an internally examined research report due on 31 October of each year. In addition, an overview of Research Methodology is offered as part of this module. This section focuses on the philosophy of science, social research and the production of knowledge. This section is externally examined.

Content: The nature of Social Research, The Research Proposal, The research Instrument, Literature Review, Research Report, Positivism, Limits of Positivism, Durkheim on Social Facts, The Scientific Revolutions, Weber on the Social Sciences.

Prerequisites:  All 200 level modules

SOC312/312E Contemporary Social Theory

Purpose: The aim of this module is to provide an overview of contemporary sociological theory. It is devoted to the treatment of well established sociological theories that continue to be relevant to the present day. The focus is therefore on 20th century schools and systems of thought and current criticisms and developments.

Content: Issues covered include a selection from the following: Functionalism; Conflict structuralism; Interactionism; Ethnomethodology; Class and State Theory; Critical Theory; Gramscian Theory; Post Industrial Society Theory; Post-structuralist theory; Postmodernism and Post-modern Social Theory.

Prerequisites:  SOC211/211E, SOC212/212E and SOC222/222E

SOC322/322E 3rd year Area of Specialisation

Students are expected to choose two specialised areas of study. At the third year level the following areas of specialisation are offered:

SOD321/321E Sociology of Development

Purpose: The main objective of this module is to enhance learners’ skills in the application of established principles and methods of sociology to the problematique of development. Towards this end, learners will be expected to understand the history and nature of thinking of what is commonly described as the “development” of the third world societies.

Content: Theory and ideology, modernisation theory, neo-evolutionary theory, varieties of modernisation theory, the dependency theory, the dual society concept, the development of underdevelopment theory, circulationist views of the world system, the core periphery concept, World system perspective, critiques of dependency, post Marxist development studies, post-modern development studies, globalization and human rights, development strategies in post-apartheid South Africa

Prerequisites:  SOC211/211E, SOC212/212E and SOC222/222E

 

SIR322/322E Industrial Relations in South Africa

Purpose: The aim of this module is to equip learners with a comprehensive understanding of industrial relations and employment practices in South Africa.

Content:  Theoretical approaches to industrial relations, the development of industrial relations system in South Africa, principles of collective bargaining and grievance processes and their roles n promoting industrial peace, The role of the International Labour Organisations in South Africa.

SOG323/323E Group Dynamics

Purpose: The learners will examine the major aspects of groups such as group development, group processes, and groups and change.

Content: Group formation; group structure and size, group norms; group development, stages of group development; and group cohesion; group functions, task functions, maintenance functions, and self-interest functions; decision-making; leadership; group conflict and cooperation; groups and change; and groups and collective behaviour

SOE324/324E Sociology of Education

Purpose: The main aim of this module is to introduce learners to key concepts and sociological interpretations or major perspectives in Sociology of Education, the dialectical relations between education and the wider society, relations between education and the state on the one hand, and education and the economy on the other, the potential role of education in the reconstruction of the South African Society along democratic lines and, finally, the role of education in development.

Content: Introduction to Sociology of Education; the social functions of education; theoretical perspectives in Sociology of Education; major social thinkers in Sociology of Education; the genealogy of Apartheid /Bantu Education; general approaches to education in South Africa; post-apartheid education policies in SA; critical issues facing education in SA.

SGS325/325E Gender Studies

Purpose: Learners are to develop a critical understanding of gender and perspectives and debates relevant to its study.

Content: Society and gendered inequality; theoretical positions on the body; gender construction and power relations; feminist theories on sexuality and gender inequality; academic study of “gender studies.”

SOH326/326E Sociology of Health and Medicine

Purpose:Learners are to develop a critical understanding of the concepts “health and “medicine” and the relationship between them.

Content: Theoretical issues and debates on the body and bodily states; Health and illness; the dominant medicalised approach; the social constructionist approach; the implications of the different approaches; the hegemonic position of scientific medicine.

SOS327/327E State and Society

Purpose: Learners acquire a sound understanding of sociological perspectives on the state and debates relevant to it.

Content: Traditional and contemporary perspectives on the state; pre-modern and modern states; the state and civil society; issues and debates relevant to the modern state: the welfare state, democracy. The state and dominant groups in society.

SOE328/328E Environment and Society

Purpose:  Learners are introduced to the environment as a sociological area of specialisation.

Content:  Human society and the natural environment; Theoretical positions on the environment: “green” capitalism, sustainability, environmental movements and distributive justice.

SOL329/329E Sociology of Law.

Purpose: Learners will acquire a sound understanding of sociological perspectives on the study of law.

Content: The course introduces the sociological study of law and theoretical debates relevant to it. The works of Durkheim, Weber and Marx are considered as they relate to law, and more contemporary writing and empirical research are also examined. Various theoretical positions are used to explore issues which include, amongst other, the historical transformation of punishment, social control, inequality and law, criminal career, the law and democracy and the legal profession.

Prerequisites:  SOC211/211E, SOC212/212E and SOC222/222E

 

ANTHROPOLOGY AND ARCHAEOLOGY

 

The Anthropology and Archaeology unit, currently hosted by the department of Sociology offers a variety of modules in Anthropology up to the 300 level and in Archaeology up to the 200 level. The unit also offers opportunities for learners who have majored in Anthropology to follow a structured honours programme. All modules listed below are compulsory for Anthropology and Archaeology majors.

 

ANTHROPOLOGY

 

ANT111 Scope and Basic Concepts in Anthropology

Purpose: The aims of this module are as follows: To introduce the learners to the scope and task of the subject; to introduce the concepts culture and society and their usage in Anthropology.

Content: Introduction to physical Anthropology; the basics of human genetics, anthropometry and the biological history and classification of mankind; culture contact and culture change in South Africa.

ANT122 Review of the basic cultural phenomena

Purpose: The aim of this module is to review the basic Anthropological phenomena and the general principles connected with selected social institutions with special reference to South Africa.

Content: Anthropology and economic and social organization; anthropology and religion; anthropology and education; anthropology, systems of government and law.

ANT211 The concepts culture and society

Purpose: The aim of this module is to undertake an intensive study of the concepts, culture and society.

Content: Theories used to explain the development of culture; theories of acculturation and culture change.

Prerequisites: ANT111 and ANT122

ANT222 Introduction to the cultures of Africa and the Pacific region

Purpose: The aim of this module is to provide a comparative review of the African and Asian culture.

Content: Selected studies of peoples of Africa excluding Southern Africa; Selected studies of peoples and cultures of the Pacific region, including India; Indonesia and Australia.

Instruction: Lectures and independent study.

Credits:         16

Assessment: Continuous assessment through tests, assignments and examinations

Summative Assessment: 3 hour Examination

Prerequisites: ANT111 and ANT122

 

ANT311 Anthropological schools of thought and introduction to fieldwork

Purpose:       The aim of this module is to study different anthropological trends of thought with special reference to the 20th century.

Content:        The methods and techniques of fieldwork in Anthropology.

Instruction: Lectures and independent study.

Credits:         32       

Assessment: Continuous assessment through tests, assignments and examinations

Summative Assessment: 3 hour Examination

Prerequisites: ANT211 and ANT222

ANT321 Cultures of South and North America

Purpose: The aims of this module are to examine the nature and development of selected North and South American cultures.

Content: Selected studies of peoples and cultures from North and South America

Prerequisites: ANT211 and ANT222

ANT322 Cultural interchange, acculturation and applied Anthropology

Purpose: The aim of this module is to conduct an intensive study of the processes of cultural interchange in general and acculturation in particular.

Content: Anthropology and administration; Anthropology and education; Anthropology and economic development.

Prerequisites: ANT211 and ANT222