ARTSC111-20A (HAM)

Social Science Theory and Action

15 Points

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Division of Arts Law Psychology & Social Sciences
School of Arts


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Paper Description

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This paper introduces University of Waikato social scientists as researchers. Each week will feature a social scientist presenting their research, supported by a related publication. This research will then be discussed in the follow-up lecture to demonstrate how it illustrates key themes of the respective researcher's specific discipline, and of the social sciences in general.
This paper provides an understanding of how empirical research within the social sciences is conducted, and how research is both informed by and contributes to social science theory. Students will also be introduced to key areas of relevance to the social sciences:

  • relationships between structure and agency;
  • social constructionism;
  • relations of power and inequality.
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Paper Structure

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ARTSC111-20A (HAM) Social Science Theory and Action has three components that will occur in most weeks:

  • a weekly lecture given by a University of Waikato social scientist who will talk about their work. This is supported by a publication based on the research being discussed.
  • a follow-up lecture given by Johanna (the paper convenor) making links between the research discussed and relevant social science theory. This will be supported by an introductory reading on the central theory of relevance.
  • tutorials designed to consolidate student's understandings of the central concepts and the readings.

Some weeks will have a different structure to allow for introductory material, conclusions, information and revision for tests and exams, and in-class tests. These weeks, and the alternative structures, are clearly indicated in the lecture schedule, and will be confirmed with further communications.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the paper should be able to:

  • demonstrate an understanding of core concepts in the social sciences.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • demonstrate an understanding of core theories relevant to specific disciplines within the social sciences.
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  • demonstrate an understanding of the relationships between theory and research
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  • demonstrate an understanding of the relationships between society and people from a critical perspective.
    Linked to the following assessments:
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Information regarding each assessment will be delivered in class (including a detailed handout for written assessments), and via Moodle. Students will have ample opportunity in both lectures and tutorials to discuss and clarify the requirements for the assessments. Understanding these requirements is a crucial part of successfully undertaking the assessments - if you are unsure of how to complete a particular assessment, discuss this with either your tutor or Johanna.

As noted below, all referencing must be in APA format. As well as the link below, a 'quick guide' to APA referencing will be provided on Moodle. In the lecture schedule below there are examples of full APA referencing. Students who are unfamiliar with the conventions of academic referencing are advised to attend a workshop at the library - a link will be provided via Moodle once the library has scheduled these workshops.

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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Tutorial worksheets
  • Hand-in: In Tutorial
2. Learning logs
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. In class test
30 Apr 2020
No set time
  • Hand-in: In Lecture
4. Essay
28 May 2020
No set time
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
5. Exam
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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There is no set text for this paper. Required readings will be made available through the paper's reading list (or sometimes on Moodle). Students are expected to undertake the required readings before the relevant lectures.
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Online Support

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Moodle is the primary online support system for this paper. Notices are sent to the class via Moodle frequently, and it is thus important that you can be contacted through this medium - please ensure that the email contact the University has for you is one that you check regularly.

Lecture notes, some readings, links to useful websites, assessment resources, and other helpful material will be placed on Moodle.

If a notice is sent out via Moodle, it is assumed that you have received it. If material is placed on Moodle, it is assumed that you have access to it. If, for any reason, you are unable to access Moodle, please advise Johanna so that alternative arrangements can be made until you do have Moodle access.

Students are expected to utilise the material available on Moodle as relevant, but must also undertake independent research to locate further appropriate material for assessments and other aspects of the paper. Reading a range of academic material relevant to a topic is crucial to adequately complete any assessment.

Student Learning also provide a range of online resources to enhance study skills ( The 'Academic integrity' module relates specifically to referencing in academic work. These resources are available to all students (along with face-to-face support from Student Learning), and it is expected that students will utilise them, especially with respect to areas that are identified as needing attention in assessment feedback.

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This paper is worth 15 points - as a full semester workload is usually 60 points (four 15-point papers), students should expect to devote at least 25% of a full-time workload to this paper - i.e. ten hours per week throughout the entire semester, comprised of lecture and tutorial attendance and self-directed study - reading, writing assessments, and revision. Students are expected to manage their workload to allow for this to be undertaken in a timely fashion.
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Linkages to Other Papers

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Restricted papers: SOCY150

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