Introduction to Sociological Thinking and Writing
This course will introduce students to sociological styles of thinking and writing. Students will be introduced to (i) the character of sociological thinking and writing, (ii) the nature of sociological research and also to (iii) the basic requirements for conducting sociological research. Students will be shown that sociological thinking operates with concepts, typically treated as ‘variables’, and devises ways to apply such concepts in the analysis of and explanation about social relationships, events and processes. Students will also be shown that sociological analysis contributes to either ‘theory building’ or ‘theory testing’. Students will be shown that sociological explanation makes sense of relationships, events or processes in terms of their function, their contribution to or dependence on social change and social stability. Finally, students will be shown that sociological writing, which reports on the processes and outcomes of different forms of sociological thinking and research, draws on data and reports of research findings as well as the content of existing literatures, the theories that may apply to the data and findings and also reflects on the methods that are used in identifying and collecting and processing data.