The Sociological Imagination

The details
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 4
Thursday 08 October 2020
Friday 02 July 2021
07 October 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 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 Media and Digital Culture,
BA LP34 Media and Digital Culture (including Placement Year),
BA P300 Media and Digital Culture (including Foundation Year),
BA PL33 Media 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

No additional information available.

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.


  • Gukurume, Simbarashe; Maringira, Godfrey. (2020-03-03) 'Decolonising sociology: perspectives from two Zimbabwean universities', in Third World Thematics: A TWQ Journal. vol. 5 (1-2) , pp.60-78
  • Matthewman, Steve; Huppatz, Kate. (2020-06-30) 'A sociology of Covid-19', in Journal of Sociology., pp.144078332093941-
  • Bryan S. Turner. (2006) The Cambridge dictionary of sociology, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Anthony Giddens; Philip W. Sutton. (2017) Sociology, Cambridge: Polity Press.
  • Mills, C. Wright; Gitlin, Todd. (2000) 'The Promise', in The sociological imagination, Oxford: Oxford University Press., pp.3-13
  • Mckenzie, Lisa. (2015) 'Introduction', in Getting by: estates, class and culture in austerity Britain, Bristol: Policy Press., pp.1-18
  • Ritzer, George. (2016) 'The Weberian Theory of Rationalization and the McDonaldization of Contemporary Society', in Illuminating Social Life: Classical and Contemporary Theory Revisited, Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc., pp.29-50
  • Social Mobility in Great Britain,
  • Stanfield, John H. (c2011) Historical foundations of Black reflective sociology, Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press.
  • Anthony Giddens; Philip W. Sutton. (2017) Essential concepts in sociology, Cambridge: Polity.
  • Johanna Hanefeld. (2015) Globalization and health, Maidenhead: McGraw Hill Education. vol. Understanding public health
  • 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
  • Kenneth Plummer. (2016) Sociology: the basics, London: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group. vol. The basics
  • Gutiérrez Rodríguez, Encarnación; Boatca, Manuela; Costa, Sérgio. (c2010) Decolonizing European sociology: transdisciplinary approaches, Farnham: Ashgate Pub.
  • Lynne Pettinger. (2016) Work, consumption and capitalism, London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • 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
  • Miriam Glucksmann. (2006) 'Division of labour', in Sociology: the key concepts, New York: Routledge., pp.59-63
  • GRAEBER, David. (2012-09) 'Dead zones of the imagination', in HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory. vol. 2 (2) , pp.105-128
  • Platt, Lucinda. (©2019) 'Class', in Understanding inequalities: stratification and difference, Cambridge, UK: Polity., pp.31-57
  • Fulcher, James; Scott, John. (c2011) Sociology, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Almeling, Rene. (2019) 'Paid to Donate: Egg Donors, Sperm Donors, and Gendered Experiences of Bodily Commodification', in Transnationalising reproduction: third party conception in a globalised world, Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge., pp.73-84
  • John Scott. (2006) Sociology: the key concepts, New York: Routledge.
  • Meloni, Francesca. (2020-01-25) 'The limits of freedom: migration as a space of freedom and loneliness among Afghan unaccompanied migrant youth', in Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. vol. 46 (2) , pp.423-438
  • Free to stitch, or starve: capitalism and unfreedom in the global garment industry | openDemocracy,
  • (2014) A dictionary of sociology, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Michael Mann. (1986-2013) The sources of social power, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Bonilla-Silva, Eduardo. (2018) 'The Central Frames of Color-Blind Racism', in Racism without racists: color-blind racism and the persistence of racial inequality in America, Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield., pp.53-76
  • John J. Macionis; Kenneth Plummer. (2012) Sociology: a global introduction, Harlow: Pearson/Prentice Hall.
  • (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
  • 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
  • Plummer, Ken. (2016) 'Questions: Cultivating Sociological Imaginations', in Sociology: the basics, London: Routledge. vol. The basics, pp.123-151
  • Abercrombie, Nicholas; Hill, Stephen; Turner, Bryan S. (2006) The Penguin dictionary of sociology, London: Penguin.
  • Miriam Glucksmann. (2009) Women on the line, New York, NY: Routledge.
  • 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.
  • Stanley, Liz. (1990) Feminist praxis: research, theory and epistemology in feminist sociology, London: Routledge.
  • You Can’t Handle the (Algorithmic) Truth,

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 Coursework weighting
Coursework   Moodle Quiz (Week 19)    10% 
Coursework   Formative Assignment   03/11/2020  0% 
Coursework   Essay   15/12/2020  30% 
Coursework   Journal Proposal   23/02/2021  10% 
Coursework   Journal  27/04/2021  50% 
Exam  Main exam: 24hr during Summer (Main Period) 

Additional coursework information

The first assessment is designed to assess your initial ability to think sociologically and your academic writing style. This piece of work will not contribute to your final mark for the module, but will be used as the basis for feedback on the substantive content of your work and as a means of helping you with your writing. The three assessed assignments that contribute to your final mark for the module consist of one essay in the first term and one journal in the second. The journal involves your selecting an issue related to one of the substantive topics covered in the course, and exploring it in some depth. Attendance contributes 5% to the final mark. The writing and academic skills teaching includes work on one or two other assignments which do not contribute to the final module mark. Please note that assessment information is currently showing for 2018-19 and will be updated in August 2019

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

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 26138 hours, 19 (0.1%) hours available to students:
26119 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

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