SOCL11055 - Sociology of Australian Society
Term 1 - 2017

All details in this unit profile for SOCL11055 have been officially approved by CQUniversity and represent a learning partnership between the University and you (our student). The information will not be changed unless absolutely necessary and any change will be clearly indicated by an approved correction included in the profile.


Sociology is a distinctive way of critically understanding the social forces that shape the self, Australia and the world - whatever professional paths you take. This unit will enable you to start thinking critically about Australian society, your place in it as part of an increasingly diverse and globalising world. It will help you to develop a deeper understanding of the underlying social forces that shape social inequality and individual autonomy using critical thinking and reflective practice


Career Level Undergraduate
Unit Level Level 1
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band 1
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).


Term 1 - 2017
  • Distance


This unit has a website, within the Moodle system, which is available two weeks before the start of term. It is important that you visit your Moodle site throughout the term. Go to Moodle

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Class Timetable

Assessment Overview

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Online Quiz(zes) 25%
2. Written Assessment 25%
3. Written Assessment 50%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%). Consult the University’s Grades and Results Procedures for more details of interim results and final grades.

All University policies are available on the IMPortal.

You may wish to view these policies:

  • Grades and Results Procedure
  • Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework)
  • Review of Grade Procedure
  • Academic Misconduct Procedure
  • Monitoring Academic Progress (MAP) Policy and Procedure – Domestic Students
  • Monitoring Academic Progress (MAP) Policy and Procedure – International Students
  • Refund and Excess Payments (Credit Balances) Policy and Procedure
  • Student Feedback – Compliments and Complaints Policy and Procedure
  • Acceptable Use of Information and Communications Technology Facilities and Devices Policy and Procedure

This list is not an exhaustive list of all University policies. The full list of University policies are available on the IMPortal.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Feedback Source Recommendation
The online quizzes were an effective way of reviewing understanding. Moodle Continue with quizzes
The lectures have been pre-recorded several years ago. They could do with an update. Moodle Lecturers were recorded last year but will be updated for T1 2017
The indigenous perspective could have been integrated better, Moodle We will continue to find ways to indigenise the course more thoroughly
On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
  1. Explain the interactions between self and Australian society in a broad historical, cultural and social-structural context.
  2. Apply sociological frameworks to major forms of social inequality in Australia in global context, such as class, race and gender.
  3. Define basic sociological concepts.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes

Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3
1 - Online Quiz(zes)    
2 - Written Assessment    
3 - Written Assessment    

Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes

  • Introductory Level
  • Intermediate Level
  • Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3
1. Communication  
2. Problem Solving
3. Critical Thinking
4. Information Literacy  
5. Team Work      
6. Information Technology Competence
7. Cross Cultural Competence  
8. Ethical practice  

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes

  • Introductory Level
  • Intermediate Level
  • Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1 - Online Quiz(zes)          
2 - Written Assessment          
3 - Written Assessment        

Prescribed Textbooks

The sociological quest: an introduction to the study of social life
Author/s: Willis, E Year: 2011
Edition: 5th edn Publisher: Allen & Unwin
City: Crows Nest State: NSW
Country: Australia
View textbooks at the CQUniversity Bookshop

IT Resources

You will need access to the following IT resources:
  • CQUniversity Student Email
  • Internet
  • Unit Website (Moodle)
All submissions for this unit must use the Harvard (author-date) referencing style (details can be obtained here). For further information, see the Assessment Tasks below.
Unit CoordinatorShane Hopkinson (
Note: Check the Term-Specific section for any additional contact information provided by the teaching team
Week Begin Date Module/Topic Chapter Events and Submissions
Week 1 06-03-2017

Becoming Sociological Detectives

Textbook: Willis 2011 Ch. 1 & 2

Meme 2001 Sherlock Holmes & Sociology (URL)

Albrow 1999 Ch. 1 (PDF online)

Week 2 13-03-2017

The Sociological Imagination I: History & Culture

Textbook: Willis 2011 Ch. 4

Week 3 20-03-2017

The Sociological Imagination II: Structure & Critique

Textbook: Willis 2011 Ch. 5

Week 4 27-03-2017

Doing Social Research

Textbook: Willis 2011 Ch. 3

Albrow 1999 Ch. 2 (PDF online)

20 Question MC QUIZ 1 Friday (31st Mar 2017) 6am-10pm AEST

Week 5 03-04-2017 Intersectionalty and taking the perspective of the Other

Babakiueria [Online video]

Hackstaff 2010 Family Genealogy [URL]

Vacation Week 10-04-2017
Week 6 17-04-2017

Social Structures I: Class

A. Climate change

B. Health

Albrow 1999 Ch. 4 (PDF online)

Walter & Saggers 2007 Poverty & Social Class (CRO)

Germov 2013 Imagining Health Problems as Social Issues (CRO)

Demonstrating your Sociological Imagination Due Friday (21 Apr 17) 11:45 PM AEST
Week 7 24-04-2017

Social Structures II: Family & Gender (DV)

Bessant & Watts 2007 Ourselves in Families (CRO)

Torres 2000 Indigenous Australian Women (CRO)

Transgender Basics [Youtube clip]

Week 8 01-05-2017

Social Structures III: Nation-state and race: an imaginary community?

Craven & Price 2011 Misconceptions, stereotypes & racism (CRO)

Thompson 1994 The cult of dis-remembering (CRO)

Week 9 08-05-2017 Social Structures IV: State, Ideology & Neoliberal Policy Discourse

Arvanitakis 2009 Power (CRO)

Rudd 2009 Global Financial Crisis [URL]

Whitwell 1998 What is economic rationalism? [URL]

Week 10 15-05-2017 Cultural Norms: Moral panics: Sex, drugs & deviance

Freij & Germov 2015 Sociology of licit and illicit drugs (CRO)

Hari 2015 Everything you think you know about addiction is wrong (URL)

Week 11 22-05-2017 Social theory Textbook: Willis 2011 Ch. 6 & 7

Albrow 1999 Ch. 3 (PDF online)
Researching a social issue Due Friday (26 May 17) 11:45 PM AEST
Week 12 29-05-2017

Bringing it all together: Intersectionality and Southern Theory

TALK:Robert Jensen Lecture: White Supremacy, Patriarchy & Capitalism (URL)

Textbook: Willis 2011 Ch. 8

30 Question MC QUIZ 2 Friday (2nd Jun 2017) 6am-10pm AEST

Review/Exam Week 05-06-2017
Exam Week 12-06-2017

1 Online Quiz(zes)

Assessment Title Two Timed Online Quizzes Weeks 4 & 12
Task Description

There will be two quizzes with a total of 50 questions. You will be given one minute per question and each question is worth 0.5 mark.

QUIZ 1 20 Questions in 20 minutes - at the end of Week 4

QUIZ 2 30 Questions in 30 minutes - at the end of Week 12 (BEFORE the exam period)

Number of Quizzes 2
Frequency of Quizzes Other
Assessment Due Date Quizzes will be available on Friday of Week 4 and Week 12 between 6am and 10pm
Return Date to Students The online quiz is graded as it is completed. The results will be available when the quiz closes (ie the following day).
Weighting 25%
Assessment Criteria

The quizzes are set to test your understanding of fundamental concepts, methods, perspectives and facts covered by the textbooks and lectures. Each covers the whole term’s work up to that point.

These are a timed online quizzes that must be sat on the due date between the hours of 6 AM and 10 PM (Australian Eastern Standard Time). If there are timezone issues for you please contact me well in advance.

They will be delivered through the ‘Assessment’ section of the unit Moodle site, and will only become available on the due date. Students will need to have access to an Internet connection in order to complete the quiz. It is your responsibility to make time to sit the quiz on the due date, and to arrange for a reliable Internet connection. Before you take the quiz, make sure that you are ready (i.e. a proper revision has been done) and choose a time and computer/place with minimum distraction to sit for the quiz (i.e. do not have external disturbances from people, pets, etc).

Be conscious of the time limit while taking the quiz—make sure you have a clock in front of you, and note down your starting time. Do not wait until the last minute to complete the quiz as it will time out once the time limit is reached (i.e. at 10PM the quiz will close regardless of your start time).

There will be 2 quizzes with a total of 50 multiple choice questions. The first quiz will have 20 questions in 20 minutes and the second will have 30 questions in 30 minutes.

There will be only one correct or best answer to each question, and you need to select the option corresponding to this answer. There are no penalties for incorrect answers. While you will be able to refer to the textbook or other resources while you are taking the quiz, you cannot afford to do this for every question because of the time limit. You need to have a good understanding of the unit content before taking the quiz. Each student will receive a customised quiz, chosen in random fashion from the test bank, so that collusion will not be possible.

The presentation of questions is one page at a time with 5 questions per page. You must complete each page before you go on to the next one. Attempts to backtrack to previous pages are not allowed.

Example -
Q. Which theorist developed ‘power elite’ theory?
a. Robert Merton
b. Emile Durkheim
c. Erving Goffman
d. C. Wright Mills *

The correct answer is (d) C. Wright Mills—this is the one you need to tick.There will also be a mock quiz early in the term for you to gain some practice. Students who may have special difficulties in undertaking the quiz need to contact the unit coordinator as early as possible to make the necessary arrangements.

NB These are quizzes and not EXAMS so they are not sat in the exam period.

Submission Online

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

3. Define basic sociological concepts.

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

2. Problem Solving

3. Critical Thinking

6. Information Technology Competence

2 Written Assessment

Assessment Title Demonstrating your Sociological Imagination
Task Description

The aim of this task is for you to write a 1000 (+/- 10%) word research report demonstrating your understanding of the sociological imagination after the first half of the course.

The reading by Karla Hackstaff (2010) shows how family tree research can be used to demonstrate your sociological imagination.

STEP 1: Empirical Research. Your research begins with constructing a family tree.

STEP 2: Apply the concept of the sociological imagination, particularly of the structures of race/ethnicity, class and gender (and their intersections). You will also be able to use your research to reflect on historical and cultural changes over time.

You will also need to reflect on the difficulties you encountered as a researcher particularly on the reliability of the evidence on which your family tree is based. And also use it to demonstrate 'taking the position of the Other' by reflecting on the difficulties you might have encountered if you had Australian Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander family background.

You will need to have done the assigned readings and lectures to complete this task adequately but more important will be discussions with the lecturer and other students on line.

It is expected that you will present your work in a profession and academic manner including accurate referencing.

Assessment Due Date Week 6 Friday (21-Apr-2017) 11:45 PM AEST
Return Date to Students Assessment items will be returned on Monday 2 weeks after submission
Weighting 25%
Assessment Criteria

Content of research report

INTRODUCTION: Briefly explain concept of the sociological imagination in context of the overall significance of your findings.

METHOD: Explain briefly the methods you used to collect evidence for your family tree

RESULTS: Provide a diagram of your family tree of at least 3 generations (i.e. your parents and grandparents at least, it would be useful to do more to make patterns easier to see but don't go overboard)

DISCUSSION: Apply the concept of the sociological imagination to your data

History: What historical changes have impacted on the history of your family?
Structure:What class, race/ethnicity and gender dynamics are evident in your family tree? Can you see how they intersect?
Cultural norms: What cultural norms or changes are evident in your family tree?


Critique: What was the most challenging part of this research?
Reflection: what problems might you have experienced if you were of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent

Presentation It is expected that students will present their work in a professional manner - it should be clear and easy to read. It should follow the marking sheet available on Moodle and be adequately referenced and properly formatted.

Conditions Minimum mark or grade - Must Submit - You must submit this item to complete the unit learning outcomes.
Referencing Style Harvard (author-date)
Submission Online

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

1. Explain the interactions between self and Australian society in a broad historical, cultural and social-structural context.

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Communication

3. Critical Thinking

4. Information Literacy

3 Written Assessment

Assessment Title Researching a social issue
Task Description

You are required to write a 1500 (+/- 10%) word report on a social issue with a focus on how this issue would be researched by starting from using an Indigenous perspective. This assessment requires that you use the sociological imagination template to explore ONE of the following social issues.

Domestic Violence
Northern Territory Intervention
Climate Change

Other topics may be considered if approved by the lecturer first.

You should use your sociological imagination to explain the basic ideas of sociology that you have learned through the term.

As we discussed taking the perspective of Others and self-reflection are key skills. So here we want you to refer to how research looks different if you start from an Indigenous perspective.

STEP ONE: Read the detailed outline for each topic on the Moodle site. Start to think about how the issue looks to you and how it might look different from an Indigenous perspective.
STEP TWO: Use the sociological imagination template to sketch out the sorts of areas you will need to look at and think about what sort of resources (websites, journal articles, books) you will need. How do history, structure and cultural norms inform our understanding of the issue? Take this to the Moodle site for discussion with your fellow students who are doing the same topic.
STEP THREE: Draft your report. What is your overall argument? Use library databases to find references to demonstrate the key issues and support the arguments you want to make. Make specific the way in which your use of an indigenous perspective changed the way you might have thought about the issue.
STEP FOUR: Write up the report in detail with references - give it to someone to proof-read and then submit on the Moodle site.

Assessment Due Date Week 11 Friday (26-May-2017) 11:45 PM AEST
Return Date to Students Assessment items will be returned on Monday 2 weeks after submission
Weighting 50%
Assessment Criteria

Think about this report as if you are a professional working in your chosen field. As a professional you will be asked to write and present papers in some form or other. When you do that it will usually be for your manager or your peers and so you will be expected to produce a report that you would be happy to hand to your manager (and that they will be happy to receive). In all likelihood they will need this information to give a presentation themselves.

You will need to demonstrate an understanding of the key issues from a sociological perspective. Remember the nature of real work situations is that your manager is likely to be skimming this on the plane, or before she gets up to speak about the information, so you do not want her to be second guessing what you mean (or making a fool of herself) or correcting your grammar. Likewise when you are communicating with your peers.

It should begin with a clear outline of the main argument you want to make in the Introduction.This is also the place to define any sociological terms that you may need. The discussion of the report is best structured around the sociological imagination template (especially any insights from an Indigenous perspective). Not all parts of the Sociological Imagination will be of equal importance but all should be mentioned, even if you consider they are not central, explain why.

You will need to back up your arguments with evidence and show how you have read widely from a range of relevant sources (e.g. books. journals. book chapters), so your manager can be confident that they have up-to-date information.

The final section should include recommendations showing what you have learned (rather than a 'critique' per se). These are the most likely sections to be read so they should follow from the discussion (with no new information) and they should reflect the overall argument you put forward in your introduction.

Organisations use a range of referencing systems, and so you will find details of the Harvard referencing system for sociology on the Moodle site (and at the referencing link in this course profile). Otherwise, the report has to be professionally presented (legible, proper paragraphing, spelling and grammar) as well as providing a reference list. It is important to acknowledge the work of others.

It needs to be read quickly - so no more than 1500 words - and your manager needs it on Friday before they leave for the conference on Saturday morning (the sooner the better).

A marking sheet incorporating the above will be included on the Moodle site. If you would like feedback on your draft assignment I am willing to do that provided you submit it on the Moodle discussion forum in good time (48 hours before the due date) so that all students can benefit from the feedback.Think of this as an opportunity to share with your peers as you would in a workplace when you discuss clinical or operational issues - and to get feedback. There is no danger of people stealing your work as Turnitin will detect any duplication in other assignments.

I cannot offer to review drafts one-on-one but the Academic Learning Centre (ALC) Moodle site has resources you can use and the ALC will give generic feedback to students in their first year to help them structure their reports.

Remember the word could does not include references or direct quotes

Conditions Minimum mark or grade - Must Submit - You must submit this item to be eligible to pass the unit
Referencing Style Harvard (author-date)
Submission Online

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

2. Apply sociological frameworks to major forms of social inequality in Australia in global context, such as class, race and gender.

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Communication

2. Problem Solving

3. Critical Thinking

4. Information Literacy

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