Sociology (SOCI) 300

Organizations and Society: How to Make Sense of Modern Organizational Life (Revision 2)

SOCI 300 course cover

Revision 2 closed, replaced by current version

Delivery Mode: Individualized study or grouped study (check locations)

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Social Science

Prerequisite: None. SOCI 287 or SOCI 288 is strongly recommended.

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Sociology Studies home page

SOCI 300 has a Challenge for Credit option

check availability


SOCI 300 is designed to introduce students to some of the representative concepts, definitions, typologies, and theories associated with the study of social organizations, and to show how these conceptual tools may be used to analyse several case studies of particular social organizations.


  • Unit 1: Why Study Organizations?
  • Unit 2: The Two Faces of Social Organization
  • Unit 3: How Simple Societies are Organized
  • Unit 4: Inside the Iron Cage: Bureaucracy and Modern Life
  • Unit 5: Managing the Organization: The View from Above
  • Unit 6: Coping in the Organization: The View from Below
  • Unit 7: Total Institutions: Remaking People in Organizations
  • Unit 8: Women within the Iron Cage: Sex, Gender, and Organizations
  • Unit 9: Beyond Bureaucracy: In Search of Organizational Democracy


To receive credit for SOCI 300, students must complete the mid-course Exam, complete and submit 4 of the 5 quizzes and 2 of the 4 written assignments, as well as achieve a course composite grade of at least "C-" (60 percent) and a grade of at least 60 percent on the final exam. The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

4 Telephone Quizzes(5% each) 2 Written Assignments (20% each) Mid-course Exam Final Exam Total
20% 40% 10% 30% 100%

The midterm and final examinations for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Goffman, Erving. 1961. Asylums: Essays on the Social Situation of Mental Patients and Other Inmates. New York: Random House.

Lee, Richard B. 2003. The Dobe Ju/'hoansi. 3rd ed. Toronto: Nelson.

Mills, Albert J., Tony Simmons, and Jean Helms Mills. 2005. Reading Organization Theory: A Critical Approach to the Study of Organizational Behaviour and Structure. 3rd ed. Aurora, ON: Garamond.

Ritzer, George. 2011. The McDonaldization of Society 6. Pine Forge Press.

Other materials

The course materials include a student manual, study guide and a reading file.

Challenge for Credit Course Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows students to demonstrate that they have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university level course.

Full information for the Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the SOCI 300 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least “C-” (60 percent) on the challenge examination. The two parts of the exam must be written on the same day.

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Current Grouped Study Locations

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 2