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Regular version of the site
Bachelor 2020/2021

Contemporary Sociology in Global Age 2

Area of studies: Economics
When: 2 year, 3, 4 module
Mode of studies: offline
Open to: students of one campus
Instructors: Olga E. Kuzina
Language: English
ECTS credits: 3

Course Syllabus

Abstract

Pre-requisites Students are supposed to be familiar with World Intellectual History or History of Western Philosophy, and English for Academic Writing. Contemporary Sociology in a Global Age 1 is NOT an obligatory pre-requisite or this course. If in the first semester of the second-year students have taken the course on Philosophy and Methodology of Science they can take and successfully complete Contemporary Sociology in a Global Age 2. Abstract This is a course that will introduce you to sociological ways of analysing the rapidly changing social world of the 21st century. It covers different areas that today's sociologists focus their research on. Sociology is the study of society. But what is sociology? In which way sociological thinking is different from economic explanations? Whereas economists focus on costs and benefits, sociologists are interested in the impact of informal social norms, networks, culture, ideology, power and the like on human behaviour. For example, traditional economic analysis takes the atomistic individual as its starting point, sociology generally begins with groups, or whole societies, which it views as existing independently of and partially constituting the individual. When economic sociologists do focus on individuals, it is generally to examine the ways in which their interests, beliefs, and motivations to act are mutually shaped through the interactions between them. This focus on economic action as social—that is, as oriented toward other people—allows economic sociologists to consider power, culture, organizations, and institutions as being important factors which shapes economic behaviour. During the course students are introduced to sociological explanations of human behaviour as an alternative way of explanation. This course is structured into the following way. In the beginning, we explore a range of topics concerned with subjectivity and identity. The module will include topics such as the family, religion and ages and stages of life. It is composed of three lectures: the family (Lecture 9), religion (Lecture 10) and the life course (Lecture 11). The topics look at how the sociological studies of these areas have been reinvigorated in response to global changes. Next unit introduces students to the political sociology and the emergence of the modern nation-state and the sociology of violence and war. The main subject areas are contained in two Lectures: nation states and nationalism (Lecture 12) and war and conflict (Lecture 13). Empirical case studies include terrorism and genocide. It also broaches the question of whether nation-states are disappearing as globalisation takes root. The sociology of economic life is the focus of the next unit and includes two lectures: money and markets (Lecture 14) and consumption and work (Lecture 15). We will look at sociological studies of the transnational corporation, global financial markets, as well as transnational dimensions of the study of the changing nature of work and employment, organisations and networks, and practices of consumerism. Next the focus will be on the study of crime and deviance, on health and medicine in a global context, and cybercrime. The two fields of crime and health have important histories in light of the emerging image of publics as demographic groups. The unit is composed of two lectures: crime in a global context (Lecture 16) and global health (Lecture 17). Lecture 16 focuses on deviance studies, offering a backdrop of perspectives and discussion of the law and punishment. Case studies include piracy and organised crime. Lecture 17 examines global health and medicine. It describes the biomedical model of health and offers a detailed examination of the sociology of disability. This final section of the course takes account of some of the profound changes that have been occurring in social life as a result of the rapid recent transformations in technology and communication. The first lecture looks at media in the global age, including the digital revolution and the emergence of the global media corporation (Lecture 18). The final lecture focuses on changes in social life with the emergence and spread of the internet and the growing importance of social media (Lecture 19). The course forms the basis of further studies in disciplines such as: Sociology Of Consumer Finance, Management, etc. An important contribution of this course to ICEF syllabi is made by developing academic essay writing skills which students will use for all further courses where these skills are necessary, as well as for course and diploma papers. The course is taught in English. Contemporary sociology in a global age 2 is an optional one-semester course which can be taken separately or in combination with Contemporary sociology in a global age 1. Taken together both courses are designed to prepare students for the external examination of UoL. The assessment of the students will be done either by
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • offer an overview of key issues in contemporary sociology
  • apply core substantive and theoretical debates in sociology to a diverse range of empirical societies, including your own
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Able to define and apply the concepts of religion, profane and sacred, secularisation thesis, measurements of secularization, religious forms and religious movements, fundamentalism, ‘clash of civilisations’, jihadism.
  • Able to define and apply the concepts of social and biological aspects of the life course, life cycle versus life course, birth cohorts versus generations, generational identity, stages of the life course, social age, ageism, Demographic Transition Model (DTM).
  • Able to define and apply the concepts of nation, nationalism, nation-state, Westphalian sovereignty, ‘ethnies’, nations without states, imagined communities, civil society, arguments for and against weakening the role of the state in the process of globalization.
  • Able to define and apply the concepts of war, ‘rules of war’, old and new wars, peace processes, ‘positive peace’ versus ‘negative peace’, post-violence societies, genocide, Holocaust, terrorism.
  • Able to define and apply the concepts of economic sociology, homo economicus, homo sociologicus, embededdness, trust, the substantive and the formal meaning of ‘economic’, new economic sociology, markets as mechanism versus markets as institution, money, social meaning of money, earmarking.
  • Able to define and apply the concepts developed by the Frankfurt School of sociology (false consciousness, totality, reification, commodity fetishism, instrumental reason, one-dimensional man, authoritarian personality, theory of communicative action), consumption, conspicuous consumption, consumerism, informal economy, social organisation of work, flexible labour, 'flexicurity'.
  • Able to define and apply the concepts of deviance, (juvenile) delinquency, crime, equilibrium of deviance, sanctions, positive (incentives) or negative (penalties), criminology, nonconformity, anomie, deviant subcultures, labelling theory, criminal careers, ‘paradox of social control’, deviancy amplification, organised crime, piracy, restorative justice, role of prisons.
  • Able to define and apply the concepts of health and illness, biomedical model of health, the sick role (Parsons), ‘badness’ versus ‘sickness’, total institutions, 'clinical gaze', 'biomedical discourse', public health policy, medicalisation, bioengineering, ‘biological underclass’, iatrogenesis, impairment and disability, individual model of disability, stigma.
  • Able to define and apply the concepts of media, digital revolution, ‘medium is the message’, new media, digital inequality, big data analytics, cybercrime, sociological approaches to mass media – Functionalism, Critical theory, Interactionism, Post Modernism.
  • Able to define and apply the concepts of civil inattention, extension, netiquette, compulsion to proximity, virtual communities, virtual reality , new media imperialism, ‘internet galaxy’.
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Family
  • Religion
  • The life course
  • Nations and nationalism
  • Conflict and warfare
  • Markets and money
  • Consumption and work
  • Crime in a global context
  • Global health and medicine
  • Digital media
  • New forms of sociation
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Exam
  • non-blocking Midterm Assessment
  • non-blocking Seminars’ participation and home assignments
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (4 module)
    0.5 * Exam + 0.3 * Midterm Assessment + 0.2 * Seminars’ participation and home assignments
Bibliography

Bibliography

Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Dillon, M. Introduction to Sociological Theory: Theorists, Concepts, and Their Applicability to the Twenty-First Century. (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009) first edition. http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/hselibrary-ebooks/detail.action?docID=1566387

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Beenstock, Michael. Heredity, Family, and Inequality : A Critique of Social Sciences, MIT Press, 2012. ProQuest Ebook Central, https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/hselibrary-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3339353.
  • Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace, & Conflict (2-nd Edition) /Lester Kurtz, editor. -- 2008
  • Global Media Ethics: Problems and Perspectives, edited by Stephen J. A. Ward, John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, 2013. ProQuest Ebook Central, https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/hselibrary-ebooks/detail.action?docID=1120866 - ЭБС ProQuest Ebook Central - Academic Complete.
  • Juergensmeyer M. (ed.). The Oxford handbook of global religions. – Oxford. - 2011. – 688 p. – URL: https://www.oxfordhandbooks.com/view/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195137989.001.0001/oxfordhb-9780195137989