The Sociological Imagination

The details
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 4
Thursday 08 October 2020
Friday 02 July 2021
25 June 2020


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA M900 Criminology,
BA M901 Criminology (Including Year Abroad),
BA M903 Criminology (Including Foundation Year),
BA M904 Criminology (Including Placement Year),
MSOCM999 Criminology,
MSOCMX98 Criminology (Including Placement Year),
MSOCMX99 Criminology (Including Year Abroad),
BA L3C8 Criminology with Social Psychology,
BA L3H8 Criminology with Social Psychology (Including Placement Year),
BA LHC8 Criminology with Social Psychology (Including Year Abroad),
BA LV31 History and Sociology,
BA LV32 History and Sociology (Including Placement Year),
BA LV38 History and Sociology (Including Foundation Year),
BA LV3C History and Sociology (Including Year Abroad),
BA L390 English Language and Sociology (Including Year Abroad),
BA LQ31 English Language and Sociology,
BA LQ32 Literature and Sociology,
BA LQ33 Literature and Sociology (Including Placement Year),
BA LQ38 Literature and Sociology (Including Foundation Year),
BA QL23 Literature and Sociology (Including Year Abroad),
BA LP33 Communications and Digital Culture,
BA LP34 Communications and Digital Culture (Including Placement Year),
BA P300 Communications and Digital Culture (Including Foundation Year),
BA PL33 Communications and Digital Culture (Including Year Abroad),
BA LV35 Philosophy and Sociology,
BA LV36 Philosophy and Sociology (Including Placement Year),
BA LV83 Philosophy and Sociology (Including Foundation Year),
BA VL53 Philosophy and Sociology (Including Year Abroad),
BA VL58 Philosophy and Sociology (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad),
BA CL83 Sociology with Social Psychology,
BA CL93 Sociology with Social Psychology (Including Placement Year),
BA CLV3 Sociology with Social Psychology (Including Year Abroad),
BA L2CH Social Sciences,
BA LFCH Social Sciences,
BA L300 Sociology,
BA L301 Sociology (Including Year Abroad),
BA L304 Sociology (Including Foundation Year),
BA L306 Sociology (Including Placement Year),
MSOCL399 Sociology,
MSOCLA40 Sociology (Including Placement Year),
MSOCLA41 Sociology (Including Year Abroad),
BA LM38 Sociology and Criminology (Including Placement Year),
BA LM39 Sociology and Criminology,
BA LMH9 Sociology and Criminology (Including Year Abroad),
BA LMHX Sociology and Criminology (Including Foundation Year),
BA LL23 Sociology and Politics (Including Year Abroad),
BA LL24 Sociology and Politics (Including Placement Year),
BA LL32 Sociology and Politics,
BA L3J9 Sociology with Human Rights (Including Placement Year),
BA L3M9 Sociology with Human Rights,
BA LMJ9 Sociology with Human Rights (Including Year Abroad),
BA LCJ8 Sociology with Psychosocial Studies (Including Placement Year),
BA LJ8C Sociology with Psychosocial Studies (Including Year Abroad),
BA LJC8 Sociology with Psychosocial Studies,
BA P540 Journalism and Sociology,
BA P541 Journalism and Sociology (Including Placement Year),
BA P542 Journalism and Sociology (Including Year Abroad),
BSC L315 Sociology (Applied Quantitative Research),
BSC L316 Sociology (Applied Quantitative Research) (Including Year Abroad),
BSC L317 Sociology (Applied Quantitative Research) (Including Placement Year),
BA L333 Criminology with Counselling Skills,
BA L334 Criminology with Counselling Skills (Including Year Abroad),
BA L335 Criminology with Counselling Skills (Including Placement Year),
BA L330 Sociology with Counselling Skills (Including Placement Year),
BA L331 Sociology with Counselling Skills (Including Year Abroad),
BA L332 Sociology with Counselling Skills,
BSC L310 Sociology with Data Science,
BSC L311 Sociology with Data Science (including Year Abroad),
BSC L312 Sociology with Data Science (including Placement Year),
BSC L313 Sociology with Data Science (including foundation Year),
BA L400 Social Change,
BA L401 Social Change (including Foundation Year,
BA L402 Social Change (including Placement Year),
BA L403 Social Change (including Year Abroad),
BA LY10 Social Sciences,
BA LY11 Social Sciences (Including Placement Year),
BA LY12 Social Sciences (Including Year Abroad),
BA LY13 Social Sciences (Including Foundation Year)

Module description

Sociology is the critical study of society and SC111, The Sociological Imagination, offers an introduction to sociological analysis and argument about key features of society. The module is organised around substantive topics of current interest and importance, such as stratification, migration, religious beliefs, and the activities of multinational corporations.

The module provides a foundation for our second and third year modules where many of these areas and the sociological thinking about them are explored more fully. SC111 also incorporates additional teaching on writing and academic skills, including essay writing, citation, referencing, and the use of the internet as a research tool.

Module aims

The module aims:

to introduce you to the systematic examination of empirical data about British society and other societies across the world, including some of the major changes that are occurring and their implications

to show you how sociological concepts and theories can help you to understand and explain empirical data.

Module learning outcomes

The module examines some key aspects of present-day society and social changes and considers how sociology can provide us with tools (concepts and theories) to assist us in understanding them. In the process, students will, we hope, develop their own sociological imagination and understanding of some of the challenges and struggles of contemporary societies.

By the end of the module, we will have:
1. Examined some important features of present-day society
2. Acquired an understanding of key sociological concepts
3. Explored how sociological concepts and theories can assist in understanding these features
4. Started to develop a sociological imagination
5. Learned the importance of backing up arguments with evidence
6. Learned how to research available data on a topic
7. Improved your writing and study skills

Module information

Please note that assessment information is currently showing for 2019-20 and will be updated in September.

Learning and teaching methods

There is one lecture and one class per week for the Sociology component of the module. Students are expected to do reading in advance for each class, and to experience more in-depth learning through their assignments. For the first four teaching weeks of the Autumn term there will be a separate lecture on writing and academic skills, and for the first fourteen teaching weeks (that is all the Autumn term and the first four weeks of Spring term) there will be a class adjacent to the Sociology class focusing on these skills.


  • Eduardo Bonilla-Silva. (2001) White supremacy and racism in the post-civil rights era, Boulder, Colo: L. Rienner.
  • George Ritzer. (2018) Introduction to sociology, Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.
  • Abercrombie, Nicholas; Hill, Stephen; Turner, Bryan S. (2006) The Penguin dictionary of sociology, London: Penguin.
  • Lynne Pettinger. (2016) Work, consumption and capitalism, London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Bryan S. Turner. (2006) The Cambridge dictionary of sociology, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Free to stitch, or starve: capitalism and unfreedom in the global garment industry | openDemocracy,
  • Lisa McKenzie. (2015) Getting by: estates, class and culture in austerity Britain, Bristol: Policy Press.
  • Fulcher, James; Scott, John. (c2011) Sociology, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Eduardo Bonilla-Silva. (2018) Racism without racists: color-blind racism and the persistence of racial inequality in America, Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.
  • (2017) Unmaking the global sweatshop: health and safety of the world's garment workers, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. vol. Pennsylvania studies in human rights
  • Brannen, Julia; Elliott, Heather; Phoenix, Ann. (2016-08-08) 'Narratives of success among Irish and African Caribbean migrants', in Ethnic and Racial Studies. vol. 39 (10) , pp.1755-1772
  • Anthony Giddens; Philip W. Sutton. (2017) Essential concepts in sociology, Cambridge: Polity.
  • John Scott. (2006) Sociology: the key concepts, New York: Routledge.
  • Kenneth Plummer. (2016) Sociology: the basics, London: Routledge. vol. The basics
  • Global Migration Trends Factsheet,
  • Miriam Glucksmann. (2009) Women on the line, New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Anthony Giddens; Philip W. Sutton. (2017) Sociology, Cambridge: Polity Press.
  • Ian Craib. (1992) Modern social theory: from Parsons to Habermas, London: Harvester Wheatsheaf.
  • Jenny Gunnarsson Payne. (2019) Transnationalising reproduction: third party conception in a globalised world, Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.
  • Michael Mann. (1986-2013) The sources of social power, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Mike Savage et al. (2013) 'A New Model of Social Class? Findings from the BBC's Great British Class Survey Experiment', in Sociology. vol. 47 (2) , pp.219-250
  • (2014) A dictionary of sociology, Oxford: Oxford University Press. vol. Oxford paperback reference
  • Yudell, M.; Roberts, D.; DeSalle, R.; Tishkoff, S. (2016-02-05) 'Taking race out of human genetics', in Science. vol. 351 (6273) , pp.564-565
  • Watson, Vanessa. (2014-04) 'African urban fantasies: dreams or nightmares?', in Environment and Urbanization. vol. 26 (1) , pp.215-231
  • Davis, Mike. (©2006, 2007, 2017) Planet of slums, London: Verso.
  • Johanna Hanefeld. (2015) Globalization and health, Maidenhead: McGraw Hill Education. vol. Understanding public health
  • Charles Wright Mills. (2000) The sociological imagination, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Morris, Jonathan. (2013) 'Why espresso? Explaining changes in European coffee preferences from a production of culture perspective', in European Review of History: Revue européenne d'histoire. vol. 20 (5) , pp.881-901
  • John J. Macionis; Kenneth Plummer. (2012) Sociology: a global introduction, Harlow: Pearson/Prentice Hall.
  • Miriam Glucksmann. (2006) 'Division of labour', in Sociology: the key concepts, New York: Routledge., pp.59-63
  • Kenneth Plummer. (2016) Sociology: the basics, London: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group. vol. The basics
  • Platt, Lucinda. (©2019) Understanding inequalities: stratification and difference, Cambridge, UK: Polity.

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Formative Assignment 1    0% 
Coursework   Formative Assignment 2     0% 
Coursework   Essay Plan    10% 
Coursework   Essay 1    20% 
Coursework   Sociology Journal Proposal    10% 
Coursework   Essay 2    30% 
Coursework   Sociology Journal     30% 
Exam  180 minutes during Summer (Main Period) (Main) 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
50% 50%


Coursework Exam
50% 50%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Carlos Gigoux Gramegna, email:
email: socugrad (Non essex users should add to create the full email address



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
Of 651 hours, 596 (91.6%) hours available to students:
17 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
38 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

Disclaimer: The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its Module Directory is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to programmes, modules, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to modules may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery or assessment of modules and other services, to discontinue modules and other services and to merge or combine modules. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications and module directory.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.