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Introduction to Sociology (Non-credit)

Course Times & Enrolment

Tuesdays from 16th January 2024 (Code SO118-202) Tuesdays from
16th January 2024 6:10pm - 8:00pm • (10 classes)
LG48 Paterson's Land, Holyrood Campus • Tutor: Gisli Vogler BA MA PhD
This course is now closed for enrolments

Course Summary

Where does our sense of self and identity come from? And, how is it shaped by the society we live in? These fundamental questions have animated sociological research and debate for over a century. This course will provide you with an introduction to sociology and how it has addressed the link between our sense of self and society. We will explore how sociological theories of the relationship between the individual and society are connected to and can help inform contemporary debates on subjects such as gender and class, populism, and climate change.

Course Details

Pre-requisites for enrolment


Content of Course

The course will begin by considering the link between the self and society, and then move on to explore the connection between identity and difference. We will look at racialisation, patriarchy, and populism, and how each is a product of efforts by individuals to negotiate the relationship between who we think we are, and want to be, and society. With a focus on minoritised groups, we will look at how hierarchies are being contested, and trace how responses, too, grapple with the complex relationships between self and society, identity and difference.

Teaching method(s)

The course intends to gradually build up a richer understanding of social concepts and processes. To this end, it consists of a series of interactive lectures, dedicated to spelling out key sociological ideas and arguments, combined with guided, tutorial-style discussion and group work. Activities, such as text analysis exercises and work with specific case studies, will help develop your abilities in critical reflection and argumentation, while discussion will develop skills in working constructively with others and oral presenting of ideas.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Differentiate a specifically sociological perspective on (the study of) contemporary social issues.
  2. Demonstrate an awareness of different sociological approaches to the relationship between the individual and society.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of key ideas in relation to the sociological study of identities and difference.
  4. Apply these ideas in analysing contemporary social issues such as inequality, homophobia, institutional racism, and populist nationalism.


Core Readings


Web Sources

The Sociological Review:

Discover Society:


If you have questions regarding the course or enrolment, please contact COL Reception at Paterson's Land by email or by phone 0131 650 4400.

Student support

If you have a disability, learning difficulty or health condition which may affect your studies, please let us know by ticking the 'specific support needs' box on your course application form. This will allow us to make appropriate adjustments in advance and in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010. For more information please visit the Student Support section of our website.