Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

SOCI102 Cultural and Social Identities

SOCI 102 serves as a foundational paper for students who wish to major in sociology. It offers a snapshot of many of the specialist areas that are covered at the 200 and 300 level. After a brief consideration of the foundations of the discipline of sociology (i.e. theory and methods), we will address three substantive areas. The first of these deals with basic social processes, such as socialisation, culture, social interaction and identity construction. We will then address social institutions and patterns of everyday life, including the economy, families, religion, education, politics, media, sport and health. Finally, we analyse key drivers of social change, such as urbanisation, environmental sustainability, globalisation and social movements.

The primary goal of this paper is to examine the relationship between our ability to influence the direction of our own lives and the micro, macro and global structures of society. Stated differently, we will address the relationship between history and biography in order to understand how personal troubles are linked to public issues.

Many of the topics that we cover complement the interests of students who are enrolled for majors and/or minors in other departments in the Humanities, as well as those who are completing degrees in Law, Health Science, Commerce and Science.

^ Top of page


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.

Paper title Cultural and Social Identities
Paper code SOCI102
Subject Sociology
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $955.05
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

^ Top of page

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 SOCI102.

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

^ Top of page


Semester 2

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Tuesday 13:00-13:50 28-34, 36-41
Thursday 13:00-13:50 28-34, 37-41


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
B1 Monday 13:00-13:50 29-34, 36-40
B2 Monday 15:00-15:50 29-34, 36-40
B3 Tuesday 12:00-12:50 29-34, 36-40
B4 Tuesday 16:00-16:50 29-34, 36-40
B5 Thursday 12:00-12:50 29-34, 36-40
B6 Thursday 15:00-15:50 29-34, 36-40
B7 Friday 10:00-10:50 29-34, 36-40
B8 Friday 14:00-14:50 29-34, 36-40