Sociology of Religion - RSST6080

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2022 to 2023
Canterbury
Autumn Term 5 30 (15) Gordon Lynch checkmark-circle

Overview

The aim of this module is to enable students to think sociologically about religious life. Whilst addressing key debates within the sociology of religion (e.g. secularisation, subjectivisation), it seeks to introduce students to core concepts and methods in sociology that will enable them to understand religious life in terms of broader social structures and processes. Examples of issues covered in the module include: the nature of sociology as a discipline, macro and micro levels of analysis, the agency/structure debate and the nature of social structure, individualisation, and sociological perspectives on gender, class, emotion, materiality and belief. The significance of intersectionality between different social structures will also be discussed, and useful sources of secondary data (e.g. BRIN) will be explored. The central assessment task for the module – a case study presenting the sociological analysis of the nature and place of religion in a particular individual's life – brings these theoretical and methodological approaches together into a micro-level analysis of lived religion in a way that is informed by broader social and cultural structures. Examples of good writing in this style of sociological research are presented and explored through the module.

Details

Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 40
Total Private Study Hours: 260
Total Study Hours: 300

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Essay (1,000 words) – 20%
Case Study (4,000 words) – 80%

Reassessment methods
100% Coursework (3,000 words)

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices. The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages: https://kent.rl.talis.com/index.html

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Demonstrate an understanding of the nature of sociology as a discipline;
2 Demonstrate a critical appreciation of key sociological concepts and debates (e.g. in relation to structure and agency);
3 Analyse how religious life may be shaped in relation to social structures and processes such as secularisation, individualisation, gender and class;
4 Draw together clear descriptions of human experience, contexts, and practices with relevant sociological concepts and frameworks;
5 Critically analyse strengths and weaknesses in different interpretations of the relationship between religion and the social and cultural contexts of modernity.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Undertake fieldwork research in a sensitive and empathic way which demonstrates an understanding of core principles of ethical research;
2 Undertake a proactive approach to searching for relevant academic literature in relation to the particular social contexts, structures or processes they are discussing;
3 Identify relevant secondary data from non-academic sources which may help to set their work (including the case study) in context.

Notes

  1. Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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