Module Overview

Fundamentals of Sociology

This module aims to introduce learners to the concept of society as an entity and to sociology, the study of society. The module will assist students to develop an understanding of the key sociological perspectives, agents of socialisation and the impact of personal values and life experience on professional practice. Furthermore, the module will explore the principles of social justice, recognise systems of social inequality in Irish society and develop students understanding of cultural competence and socially inclusive practice. Specifically, this module will provide students with the knowledge to work with different cultures, individuals, children, vulnerable adults, families and marginalised groups relevant to the role of a social care worker.

Module Code

SSSC H1013

ECTS Credits


*Curricular information is subject to change

Topic 1 Introduction to Sociology

What is sociology? Origins of the sociological tradition. Socialisation and formation of values. Development of a sociological imagination.

Topic 2 Sociological Perspectives – Classic theories

Karl Marx: Conflict theory/ Social Critical Theory.Max Weber: Interpretive sociology/ Symbolic interactionism.Emile Durkheim: Functionalism/ Structural functionalism.

Topic 3 Social Stratification

Understanding Inequality: Systems and theories of Social Stratification, Social class. Socially Inclusive practice: Consequences of poverty. Racism and ethnicity: Negative discrimination, stereotypes, racism,institutional racism and unjust policies and practices: Theories of racism: Towards social inclusion, assimilation and incorporation: Hybrid identities and multiculturalism: Social Justice, diversity and inclusion in social care services: Gender and sexuality, Patriarchy, gender stratification and sexism: Gender and violence: The women’s movement as a challenge to gender stratification: Age stratification: Social implications of ageing

Topic 4 Social Identities

Socialisation: understanding personal values and practice. Social Justice: Challenging prejudice and unjust policies and practice. Culture: Concept of culture, Major components of culture, Cultural sensitivity, Ethnocentrism/ Ethnorelativism, Cultural diversity (e.g. interplay of culture with race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality socio-economic status) Ethnicity and Race: The concepts of race and ethnicity, Race, ethnicity and identity. Gender: The concept of gender, Social reproduction of gender, Gender roles.

Module Content & Assessment
Assessment Breakdown %
Other Assessment(s)40
Formal Examination60