module specification

IF3062 - Culture, Family and Power (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Culture, Family and Power
Module level Foundation (03)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Social Professions
Total study hours 150
90 hours Guided independent study
60 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
In-Course Test 100%   In-class written test (1000 words)
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Variable Afternoon
Summer studies North Variable Afternoon
Summer studies North Variable Morning
Spring semester North Variable Morning

Module summary

This module provides an introduction to the social sciences, through examining a few key sociological theories, approaches and concepts. Themes may include the influence of power on us as citizens, the individual within society and the role of family. We will examine the theories in historical, cross-cultural and contemporary contexts through the use of a core text “Dead White Men and Other Important people”. By using this narrative approach we aim to help students develop reflective skills and practice basic application of theory.  The interaction between different themes and ideas and how these may affect our students’ lives will be explored through the module. The module will also develop reading, independent study, revision and exam writing skills

Module aims

This module aims to:  

1. make students aware of some of the key theories in the social sciences and use appropriate discipline-specific terminology to articulate their responses to selected material studied.

2. encourage students to evaluate the extent to which knowledge of context enhances their understanding.

3. encourage students to reflect on basic sociological theory and practice of the application of theory

4. engage with a core text to develop extensive reading skills and help students develop revision and exam strategies and techniques.


This module will introduce some key ideas, theories and theorists in sociology through the core text Dead White Men & Other Important People.  Each week students will be guided on which parts of the book to read in preparation for the next class.

The concepts of society and culture, power, family and others will be explored through the narrative in the core text.  The module will focus on students’ understanding key ideas and theories and applying these to the characters in the book, to themselves and to today’s society. 

Selected chapters may change but an indicative syllabus may include:
Durkheim - division of labour, moral individualism
Sociology of the emotions
Goffman and the presentation of self
Foucault and power
Marx and Weber and capitalism
Simmel, secrets, strangers and the universal rule of money

The module will also focus on the development of key academic skills such as independent study, reading, research, reflection, revision strategies and academic writing in an exam setting.

Learning and teaching

The classes will consist of interactive small group and whole class activities (workshops), as well as individual study, aimed at developing an understanding of and critically engaging with the keys ideas in each week’s reading. 

Students will be encouraged to reflect on what they have read and apply their understanding of concepts to themselves and contemporary society both in and outside the classroom.   In-class activities may include, but are not restricted to, quiet reading and note making, collaborative and individual (including timed) writing, brainstorming, informal presentations and group discussions, production of revision products.  Class work will be supported by IF3062 weblearn.

Developing independent study and reading skills is key to this module.  Success will be dependent on weekly reading being completed ahead of class, regular attendance and active class-participation.  Students will regularly need to review and reflect on the chapter studied in class and read ahead in preparation for the next class.  They will also be encouraged to develop independent research skills by reading around the topics covered.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the module students should be able to:

1. plan revision and utilize effective revision techniques, effectively respond to exam questions under time constraints using appropriate language and referring to the key text

2. navigate and deal with extensive academic texts, complex ideas and specific terminology

3. demonstrate understanding of some basic theories in the social sciences

4. demonstrate an ability to reflect on and apply these theories to themselves and modern society

Assessment strategy

Summative assessment for this module will be through a written exam 100%.  Students must receive a pass overall.

Formative assessment will take place in weeks 6-8 through an online exam-practice written task which will feed forward into the in-class test. 

There will be additional formative feedback on understanding of concepts, writing practice and independent reading throughout the module, through group and individual tasks done in class or independently.  Peer and tutor feedback will be given in class, on homework tasks and on web learn. Students will be guided on how to use this feedback to feedforward into the in-class test.

Students taking a reassessment in the summative component will do so by means of an equivalent coursework submission.


Introductory material, video clips, worksheets, slides and readings will be posted on VLE.  Students will also be required to buy the core text “Dead White Men and Other Important people” Bancroft & Fevre (April 2016) and read selected chapters in advance of each week. Students will be encouraged and shown how to follow this up with more specialised and independent reading.

Introductory material and readings will be posted on VLE.  Students will also be required to read background material and extracts for each class (posted on VLE).  They will be expected to view films, videos and podcasts on VLE in the London Met library. 
A general reading list will cover the scope of the course, but students will be expected to follow this up with more specialised reading in their chosen subject area.  The reading list will be adjusted to suit each cohort’s interests.

Giddens, A. (2009) Sociology (Polity Press, Cambridge)
Jones, O. (2014) The Establishment, and how they get away with it. Allen lane, London  
Pilkington, A. Yeo, A. & Haralambos, M. Sociology in Focus  A2 level (2nd edition)
Haralambos, M. Langley, P. Sociology in Focus, AS level.  (2nd edition)
Wilkinson, R and Pickett, K. (2009) The Spirit Level (Penguin, London)