Why study Sociology?
Societies are firmly established but change rapidly. We are under the control of organisations but organisations are constantly restructured. Sociologists attend to these kinds of puzzles. They investigate the structure of societies, organisations and groups. Our subject matter ranges from the intimacy of the family, health, death and dying, the criminal gang, through to divisions of ethnicity, gender and class.
Sociology at UOC is distinctive in its strong commitment to the integration of theoretical analysis and investigative work at all levels of teaching and in encouraging research-based assignments by students.
Sociology has recently re-written its curriculum in line with international trends in sociology.
This curriculum refocus is developed in line with the UC strategic plan of “Challenge, Concentrate, Connect”.
Our mission is to advance the discipline of Sociology through the maintenance of high international standards in teaching, research and publishing and through demonstration of the value of Sociology in the wider community.
To maintain the department’s place as a leader in New Zealand Sociology and in the top tier of social science schools in New Zealand and Australasia.
The focus for teaching within the department of Sociology is based on four interlocking pillars to the curriculum These four pillars are:
- Theory and investigation
- The theory and investigation pillar articulates Canterbury sociology’s strong and longstanding commitment to teaching social theory and social research. Learning the fundamentals of sociological theory and investigative methods is essential to the discipline and central to any degree in sociology.
- Bodies, technologies and identities
- The bodies, technologies and identities pillar articulates some key aspects of social engagement. Humans live and organise through their bodies, through their technological capacities and through their sense of self-awareness. This is a pivotal dimension of the sociological enterprise. This second pillar also closely matches staff research expertise that spans, for instance, the sociology of health, of death, of gender and sexualities, of ageing, of network analysis and of science and Technologies Studies (STS).
- Time and place
- Sociology is a situated discipline in that contexts relating to time and place are central to understanding the social world. The time and place pillar expresses sociology’s concern to engage fully with the world in which the university operates and where students live and work. It allows for students to grasp the social and historical specificity of their own lives and the lives of others, which is fundamental to sociological understanding.
- Controversies and control
- An central concern of sociology is with the analysis of power, including its distribution and effects on social organisation, social institutions and people’s lived experience.. The controversies and control pillar engages with a variety of debates relating to the nature of power in society.