This module explores the changing nature of organisational forms that dominated certain historical periods in economic history. Concepts such as bureaucracy, Fordism and post-Fordism within the context of changing organisational forms are examined, The module will also examine organisational cultures particularly within the context of debates around employment equity.
The module focuses on debates about, as well as the practice of, research. The idea of science, the role of theoretical conceptualisations, and the epistemological assumptions underpinning research are introduced with reference to competing paradigms, including positivism, interpretivism and realism. With regard to research practice, general principles of planning such as identifying a topic, delineating a problem area, selecting sites, sampling participants and addressing ethical questions are considered. Thereafter the use of methods through which data can be collected and/or constructed are introduced and ways in which evidence can be interpreted and analysed are discussed.
In this module students are expected to produce a research paper under weekly supervision. In the first instance, the paper ought to demonstrate a student’s ability to conduct empirical research. However, with the necessary permission a student may also base the paper on the analysis of secondary data or draw on archival and/or documentary sources. The research paper needs to demonstrate students’ understanding of and competence in all aspects of the research process, including making an argument, writing a report, analysing data, integrating research findings with the literature, and research ethics. Students who are registered for the BSocSciHons (Gender Studies) or BSocSciHons (Industrial Sociology and Labour Studies) need to ensure that the topic of their research paper aligns to the degree focus.
This module introduces students to key conceptual vocabularies, as well as selected theoretical paradigms and scholarly works in order to facilitate an understanding of some of the current debates, innovations and controversies in the field. A balance is struck between classic and contemporary social theory, and an emphasis is placed on questions of textuality, canonicity and interdisciplinarity in shaping conversations about social theory and its significance for research, thought and politics.
This module traces the history of feminist theory and the emergence of gender studies and feminist movements with masculinity studies and queer theory as powerful sub-fields. Tracing the early traditions of feminism and definitions of women’s issues and struggles for equality, globally, and in Southern Africa, we next follow the rise of black feminist thoughts in India, Latin America, the USA and on the African continent, and the rise of the fields of gay and lesbian studies since the 1980s. We end with a focus on the emergence of the study of masculinities in our region. Oscillating between key texts and applied examples and case studies, the module is both theoretical and empirical. This module traces and examines the many intersectional and overlapping threads in the formation of systems power and as well as arguments for freedom, bound up with and shaped by ‘gender’ as a key form of human identity.
This module explores the relationship between work and employment relations with particular reference to South Africa and the global south. It includes a focus on the relationships between employers and employees, labour, organisations and the state. It also demonstrates how these relationships are embedded in the type of work and the changing workplace.
This module examines theoretical explanations of globalisation. In doing so its primary goal is to explore ways in which capital in the era of the end of history is compelling us to rethink sociology as a science of the present. The module begins with theoretical discussions in order to lay the ground for talk about development as a process of incorporating (in this case) Africa into the global world system. The module further studies changes brought about by globalisation to the nation-state system, work and gender relations. It also examines nationalism and ethnicity as specific features of capitalism in the era of the end of history.
This module takes a sociological approach to understanding and interrogating South African society. It begins by looking at some of the debates and discussions about Sociology in South Africa. It then reviews and debates key issues in order to understand the political economy of Apartheid. Finally it looks at some key debates associated with post-apartheid South Africa.
This module explores the gendered, intersectional and feminist politics of reproduction across a range of transnational contexts. Grappling with core debates about the meaning/s of gendered labour, family and kin relations, love, home, mothering and the social stratification of reproductive work across race, class and geopolitical boundaries, the course puts reproduction and the politics of intimacy at the centre of theoretical, social and political inquiry. A range of issues in reproductive politics are explored, including surrogacy, birth, teenage pregnancy and obstetric violence.
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