Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedSouth Africa First semester 2014 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Fay Hodza


The unit introduces students to political key thinkers and analyses themes in classical and contemporary political and social theory. The contrasting perspectives of the classical thinkers and contemporary theorists are critically analysed and evaluated.Students examine theoretical issues such as structure, power, culture action and modernity. African specific examples are used comparatively to analyse whether African environments offer other ways of conceptualising political and social reality.


Students who study the unit will:

  1. Develop an understanding of several political and social theories (classical and contemporary), learn to appreciate alternative and differing approaches to analysing social relations;
  2. Gain an understanding of how political and sociological knowledge has developed over time;
  3. Learn to critique certain accepted political and social theories and learn how to question dominant ideas and assumptions;
  4. Engage in comparison in order to stimulate and engrain the two above mentioned outcomes;
  5. Develop their oral and written skills in order to analyse theoretical material.


Written work 45%
Exam 45%
Participation 10%

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

One 1-hour lecture and one 1-hour tutorial per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


A first year sequence in Sociology, or Communications, or Criminology and Criminal Justice


AZA2719, ATS2719, ATS3719