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SOCI202 Big Ideas in Sociology

Introduces the three classical theoretical schools in sociology, examining the works of Marx, Durkheim and Weber and the enduring relevance of their ideas to key issues in contemporary social theory.

Sociological ideas aren't abstract concepts - they're a part of our everyday life. Durkheim, Weber and Marx made observations so profound that they have become a part of the fabric of our society.

In this paper you will apply these ideas outside the classroom in experiential learning. A volunteer or community experience of your choice will be your case study that you will use to write three essays. These essays are the assessment for the class, which is entirely internal. The experiential learning offers flexibility in class time as well as providing a valuable experience that will add to your university involvement and your resume as you complete the paper.

Paper title Big Ideas in Sociology
Paper code SOCI202
Subject Sociology
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period First Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $904.05
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,954.75

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(SOCI 101 or SOCI 102 or SOCI 103) or 54 points
Schedule C
Arts and Music
Suitable for all students; strongly recommended for Sociology majors
Teaching staff

Co-ordinator: Professor Hugh Campbell

Paper Structure
The paper covers three key themes:
  • The ideas of Durkheim, Weber and Marx
  • Application of these ideas to everyday life
  • Development of a sociological imagination
Teaching Arrangements

This paper is taught through lectures and tutorials.

Durkheim's Division of Labour in Society
Weber's essays
Marx's essays
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Lifelong learning, Critical thinking, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Students who successfully complete the paper will engage in an open-minded yet critical manner with the theoretical perspectives of Durkheim, Marx and Weber to develop and strengthen their own understanding of sociological theory and apply these theoretical perspectives outside the classroom.

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First Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Wednesday 15:00-15:50 9-15, 17-22
Thursday 15:00-15:50 9-15, 17-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Wednesday 16:00-16:50 10-15, 17-22
A2 Thursday 16:00-16:50 10-15, 17-22