SC164-4-SP-CO:
Introduction to United States Sociology

The details
2023/24
Sociology
Colchester Campus
Spring
Undergraduate: Level 4
Current
Monday 15 January 2024
Friday 22 March 2024
15
07 October 2021

 

Requisites for this module
(none)
(none)
(none)
(none)

 

(none)

Key module for

BA T700 American Studies (United States),
BA T702 American Studies (United States) (UK Study),
BA T708 American Studies (United States) (Including Year Abroad),
BA T710 American Studies (United States) (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad),
BA T712 American Studies (United States) (UK Study) (Including Placement Year),
BA T770 American Studies (United States) (including Placement Year),
BA T7P3 American Studies (United States) with Film,
BA T7P4 American Studies (United States) with Film (Including Placement Year),
BA T7P5 American Studies (United States) with Film (UK Study),
BA T7W6 American Studies (United States) with Film (Including Year Abroad),
BA T7W8 American Studies (United States) with Film (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad),
BA MT26 Criminology and American Studies (UK Study),
BA MT27 Criminology and American Studies (Including Year Abroad),
BA MT28 Criminology and American Studies (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad),
BA MT2R Criminology and American Studies,
BA MT3R Criminology and American Studies (Including Placement Year),
BA MT62 Criminology and American Studies (UK Study) (Including Placement Year)

Module description

Our appreciation of American society will attempt to understand both the 'big picture' and studies of small social worlds. The module will explore America by looking at democracy, race, crime, gender relations, cities, ecology and gangs. We will cover one key sociologist each week.

Module aims

This module introduces students to some important and interesting visions of American society. We will focus on particular writers that have located their studies in place, often by using travel as a method of discovering hidden layers of meaning in the landscape and the cities.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students will have a broad appreciation of a variety of understandings of American society and the relevance of sociological thinking to them.

Module information

Spring Term

Week 16. American Democracy I (Alexis de Tocqueville)

Week 17. American Democracy II (Alexis de Tocqueville)

Week 18. The Great Depression: Men on the Move (Nels Anderson)

Week 19. Work and Bureaucracies: Office Workers (C. Wright Mills

Week 20. Reading Week

Week 21. Women and the Home (Betty Friedan)

Week 22. The Colour Line (W.E.B. Du Bois)

Week 23. Racial Segregation and Incarceration (Michelle Alexander)

Week 24. Communities at the Margins (Sudhir Venkatesh)

Week 25. Sacrifice Zones (Chris Edges and Joe Sacco)

Learning and teaching methods

Teaching approach As there are still restrictions related to COVID-19 in place, some of the teaching on most modules will take place online. Most modules in Sociology are divided into lectures of around 50 minutes and a class of around 50 minutes. Some are taught as a 2hr seminar, and others via a 50-minute lecture and 2-hr lab. For the majority of modules the lecture-type content will be delivered online – either timetabled as a live online session or available on Moodle in the form of pre-recorded videos. You will be expected to watch this material and engage with any suggested activities before your class each week. Most classes labs and seminars will be taught face-to-face (assuming social distancing allows this). Please note that you should be spending up to eight hours per week undertaking your own private study (reading, preparing for classes or assignments, etc.) on each of your modules (e.g. 32 hours in total for four 30-credit modules). The lectures provide an overview of the substantive debates around the topic of the week, while the classes will give you the opportunity to reflect on your learning and actively engage with your peers to develop your understanding further. The weekly classes will take place face-to-face (unless there is a change in the current COVID safety measures). You are strongly encouraged to attend the classes as they provide an opportunity to talk with your class teacher and other students. The classes will be captured and available via Listen Again. However, if you want to gain the most you can from these classes it is very important that you attend and engage. Please note that the recording of classes is at the discretion of the teacher.

Bibliography

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   Essay 1   28/02/2024  50% 
Coursework   Essay 2  01/05/2024  50% 

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
100% 0%

Reassessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Carlos Gigoux Gramegna, email: cgigou@essex.ac.uk.
Dr Carlos Gigoux Gramegna
email: socugrad (Non essex users should add @essex.ac.uk to create the full email address)

 

Availability
Yes
Yes
Yes

External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Resources
Available via Moodle
Of 10 hours, 10 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.

 

Further information
Sociology

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