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    An introduction to the social scientific analysis of culture, society and identity, including issues of identity politics, socialisation, the self in everyday life, stigma, the politics of ethnicity and the social dynamics of power.

    This paper introduces students to a range of key themes in the discipline of sociology. While it serves as a foundational paper for students who wish to major in sociology, many of the topics will complement the interests of students who are enrolled for degrees in Humanities, Law, Health Sciences, Commerce and Sciences. We will address the social processes of socialisation, social interaction and identity construction; core aspects of institutional life, such as the family, religion, education, politics and the economy; as well as drivers of social change, such as urbanisation, sustainability, globalisation and social movements.

    About this paper

    Paper title Cultural and Social Identities
    Subject Sociology
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $981.75
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    Schedule C
    Arts and Music
    May not be credited together with SOSC 101 passed before 2006.
    Suitable for undergraduate students.

    Teaching staff

    Course Co-ordinator and Lecturer: Associate Professor Marcelle Dawson
    Teaching Fellow: Dr Natalie Smith

    Paper Structure
    The paper covers three core areas:
    • Basic social processes
    • Social institutions
    • Social change
    Internal assessment comprises 60% of the final grade, and the exam counts for 40%.
    Teaching Arrangements
    Two 50-minute lectures per week
    One 50-minute tutorial per week

    Required: McManus, R. et al. 2019. Exploring Society: Sociology for New Zealand Students, 4th ed. Auckland: Auckland University Press.
    Available as an eBook through the library. Limited hard copies are available on Course Reserve for SOCI 102.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Global perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Information literacy, Self-motivation.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    The goals of the paper are:

    • To understand the basic social processes that shape how we become members of the societies in which we live
    • To become more familiar with the structure-agency debate
    • To understand how identities are socially constructed
    • To understand how work and economic life have changed over time
    • To learn about the major institutions in society and examine how we shape and are shaped by them
    • To examine social movements as drivers of social change
    • To explore the contested terrain of globalisation
    • To grasp key themes related to environmental sociology
    • To plan and write a scholarly essay


    Semester 2

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    L1 Tuesday 13:00-13:50 29-35, 37-42
    Thursday 13:00-13:50 29-35, 37-41


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    Attend one stream from
    B1 Monday 13:00-13:50 30-35, 37-41
    B2 Monday 15:00-15:50 30-35, 37-41
    B3 Tuesday 12:00-12:50 30-35, 37-41
    B4 Tuesday 16:00-16:50 30-35, 37-41
    B5 Thursday 12:00-12:50 30-35, 37-41
    B6 Thursday 15:00-15:50 30-35, 37-41
    B7 Friday 10:00-10:50 30-35, 37-41
    B8 Friday 14:00-14:50 30-35, 37-41
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