Sociology (SOCI) 437

Deciphering Our Social Worlds (Revision 2)

SOCI 435

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Social Science

Prerequisite: Any SOCI 300 level course or course coordinator approval.

Precluded course: SOCI 537. SOCI 437 may not be taken for credit by students who have obtained credit in SOCI 537.

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Sociology Studies home page

SOCI 437 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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The main objective of this course is to show students how social theory may be relevant to their own lives. Social theory can often help us clarify and sharpen our understanding of the social world in which we live. This is because social theory can help us place personal situations and private experiences into a much broader social picture.


When you have completed this course, you should be able to:

  1. demonstrate familiarity with some of the major traditions of contemporary social theory.
  2. analyze each of the major theoretical traditions in terms of its basic assumptions, key concepts, main arguments and major representatives.
  3. analyze each of the major theoretical traditions as discourses, polemics, and as guides to action.
  4. critically evaluate each of the major theoretical traditions in terms of their interpretive and explanatory strengths and weaknesses.
  5. apply some of the key concepts and main arguments of each theoretical tradition to your social worlds and personal life experiences.
  6. analyze any social theory in terms of its domain assumptions.
  7. take into account the socio-historical background associated with the growth of any particular social theory.
  8. trace the intellectual genealogy of the ideas associated with any particular social theory.
  9. distinguish some of the openly espoused theories publicly used in our society from the more taken-for-granted theories used in our private lives.
  10. show the relevance of social theory to your own life experiences.


To receive credit for SOCI 437, you must submit all the required course assignments and complete them to the satisfaction of your tutor, achieve a grade of "C-" 60 percent or better on the final exam and an obtain an overall course grade of at least "C-" (60 percent).

Activity Weighting
Assignment 1 15%
Assignment 2 25%
Assignment 3 30%
Final Examination 30%
Total 100%

The final examination 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


Allan, K. (2013). Contemporary social and sociological theory: Visualizing social worlds. (3rd edition) London & New Delhi: SAGE Publications, Inc.

Lemert, C. (2005). Postmodernism is not what you think: Why globalization threatens modernity. Boulder: CO, Paradigm Publishers.

McQuarie, D., (Ed.). (1995). Readings in contemporary sociological theory: From modernity to postmodernity. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Power, N. (2009). One-Dimensional woman. Hants, UK: Zero Books.

Other Materials

Students will access all other materials online. NOTE: There are twelve video lectures—one lecture for each unit.

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, and 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 437 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least C- (60 per cent) on the examination. The two part examinations are to be completed on the same day.

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

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, December 2, 2014.

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Updated April 03 2019 by Student & Academic Services