Culture and Social Identities

University of Otago

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Culture and Social Identities

  • Host University

    University of Otago

  • Location

    Dunedin, New Zealand

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    An introduction to the social scientific analysis of culture, society and identity, including issues of identity politics, socialisation, the self in everyday life, stigma, the politics of ethnicity and the social dynamics of power.

    This paper introduces students to a range of key themes in the discipline of sociology. While it serves as a foundational paper for students who wish to major in sociology, many of the topics will complement the interests of students who are enrolled for degrees in Humanities, Law, Health Sciences, Commerce and Sciences. We will address the social processes of socialisation, social interaction and identity construction; core aspects of institutional life, such as the family, religion, education, politics and the economy; as well as drivers of social change, such as urbanisation, sustainability, globalisation and social movements.

    Course Structure
    The course covers four main aspects:
    -Basic social processes
    -Social institutions
    -Social change

    Internal assessment comprises 60% of the final grade, and the exam counts for 40%.
    Assessment is structured as follows:
    -Essay 1 30%
    -Essay 2 30%
    -Final exam 40%

    Learning Outcomes
    -To understand the basic social processes that shape how we become members of the societies that we live in
    -To become more familiar with the structure-agency debate
    -To understand how identities are socially constructed
    -To understand how work and economic life have changed over time
    -To learn about the major institutions in society and examine how we shape and are shaped by them
    -To examine social movements as drivers of social change
    -To explore the contested terrain of globalisation
    -To grasp key themes related to environmental sociology

    Furze, B. et al. 2015. Sociology in Today?s World, 3rd edition. Melbourne: Cengage Learning Australia.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.