The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2018

Course handbook


In this course students examine key topics and perspectives in the social sciences, relevant to social science careers. Theory and contemporary research on social class and inequality, social capital, gender, the state and social policy, bureaucracy and work, and the welfare state are covered.

Availability2018 Course Timetables


  • Semester 1 - 2018


  • Semester 1 - 2018

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate an understanding of a range of social theories and research relevant to the Social Sciences.

2. Critically appraise and discuss the relevant literature.

3. Communicate understanding of social theories and debates in written and oral forms.

4. Apply the insights of social theory to professional practice in the Social Sciences, particularly in the areas of social research, social policy and program management.


Theories of social class (Marx and Weber); the "end of class" debate; the experience of social inequality.

  1. Bureaucracy (Weber's model); deskilling and work; the McDonaldization thesis.
  2. The 'capitalist state'; the welfare state, globalisation and economic rationalism.
  3. Governmentality and normalisation.
  4. Social capital; the theory of declining social capital; the engineering of social capital.
  5. Gender; the materialist-feminist model; gender in work and domestic life today; gender inequality and social services.

Assumed knowledge

40 units of study at 1000 level.

Assessment items

Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Tutorial exercises

Essay: Essay

In Term Test: Exam

Contact hours

Callaghan and Ourimbah


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term