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SP30118: Power in society

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2017/8
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Social & Policy Sciences
Further information on credits Credits: 6      [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Further information on notional study hours Notional Study Hours: 120
Further information on unit levels Level: Honours (FHEQ level 6)
Further information on teaching periods Period:
Semester 1
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: EX 100%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Examination (100%) (EX 100%)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment:
SP30118 Supplementary assessment CW 100% (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites:
Further information on descriptions Description: Aims:
This unit seeks to:
1. Introduce students to the sociological concept of power
2. Provide students with a fundamental understanding of key traditions and debates in the study of power
3. Enable students to identify and critically analyse power in key areas of social science interest for contemporary British and global society.

Learning Outcomes:
By the end of the unit, students should be able to:
1. Understand the complexity of the nature of power
2. Appreciate the significance of the study of power for understanding contemporary society
3. Identify and characterise key approaches to studying power in social science
4. Critically analyse the applications of particular theoretical approaches to studying power relationships involved in contemporary social issues.

Intellectual skills
* Knowledge of key ways in which theorists have attempted to understand 'society'
* Knowledge of the fundamental concepts of sociology
* Knowledge of the theoretical basis of sociological perspectives
* Knowledge of classical perspectives in sociology
* Knowledge of the relationship between sociology and other cognate disciplines
Transferable/Key Skills
* To think creatively and analytically;
* To communicate an argument;
* To evaluate others' arguments and research;
* To critically evaluate and assess research and evidence as well as a variety of other information;
* To gather information, data, research and literature from a number of different sources (i.e. library, web-based, archives etc.);
* To select appropriate and relevant information from a wide source and large body of knowledge;
* To synthesise information from a number of sources in order to gain a coherent understanding; Revision and Examination skills;
* Understanding of how to apply knowledge and concepts from across various social sciences disciplines;
* Study and learning skills (note-taking, avoiding plagiarism, using the library, gathering and using information, constructing a bibliography, referencing).

In focusing on the issue of power, this unit builds on theories introduced by other units, including SP10043, SP10044, and SP20112. The unit has two parts. The first part introduces students to the study of power and outlines key theoretical traditions and debates related to the issue of power. The second part of the unit provides students with case studies of power relationships involved in key contemporary social issues.
The lecture programme is underpinned by several key questions: What is power? Can power be measured, and if so, how? How is power distributed in society? What are the implications of different patterns of power distribution for the functioning of society (including issues such as justice)?
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

SP30118 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Social & Policy Sciences
  • UHSP-AFB04 : BSc(Hons) Sociology (Year 3)
  • UHSP-AKB04 : BSc(Hons) Sociology with Year long work placement (Year 4)
  • UHSP-AFB10 : BSc(Hons) Sociology and Social Policy (Year 3)
  • UHSP-AKB10 : BSc(Hons) Sociology and Social Policy with Year long work placement (Year 4)

SP30118 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Psychology Department of Social & Policy Sciences
  • UHSP-AFB21 : BSc(Hons) International Development with Economics (Year 3)
  • UHSP-AFB16 : BSc(Hons) Social Policy (Year 3)
  • UHSP-AKB16 : BSc(Hons) Social Policy with Year long work placement (Year 4)
  • UHSP-AFB05 : BSc(Hons) Social Sciences (Year 3)
  • UHSP-AKB05 : BSc(Hons) Social Sciences with Year long work placement (Year 4)