Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2005-2006 (archived)




Type Open Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2005/06 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • Level 1, Conceptualizing Society.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To provide an account of the ways that sociologists have understood the changing nature of work and community interactions.
  • It aims to focus upon both the theoretical traditions that have been deployed to understand the changing nature of work and community and substantive themes involved in the historical evolution of the interaction between the two spheres.
  • To provide an account the interaction of work and community which is sensitive to patterns of difference and heterogeneity between people with respect to class, gender, race/ethnicity, age and generation.


  • This module will considering the historical importance of the interaction between work and community.
  • A particular focus will be given to the notion of the public and private spheres.
  • The module will progress historically, following changes in work and community interactions through the development of industrial capitalist society.
  • The later part of the module will follow the process of development from industrial to post-industrial societies showing a particular concern with the notion of deindustrialization.
  • Changes in types of work and community organization will be related particularly to the changing structures and processes of class and gender.
  • The module will also give an account of the importance of 'globalization' for changing forms of work and community.
  • Finally, in the context of the debate about 'the end of work' the module will examine and evaluate such claims and what they imply for the future development of communities.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • At the end of the module students will be able to: Identify specific theoretical approaches to the study of work and community.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of some of the current issues dominating discussions of the worlds of work and communities.
  • Display an ability to place individual work and community related issues within the broader context of capitalist society.
  • Successfully relate accounts of work and community emphasising the importance of social structure.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • This module will contribute to the development of subject-specific skills by helping students learn to:
  • Evaluate the interaction of changes within and between the spheres of work and community.
  • Relate insights developed from the knowledge of work and community to contemporary issues in social and public policy.
  • Employ both theoretical and methodological expertise to issues of central concern to the sociology of work and community.
  • Analyse and evaluate proposed trends in the development of work and community.
  • Understand the inter-relationship of agency and structure in the changing nature of work and community
Key Skills:
  • This module will help students develop the following key skills:
  • An ability to demonstrate a range of communication skills.
  • An ability to deploy and develop thinking about empirical and abstract concepts and issues.
  • An ability to engage in reasoned argument.
  • An ability to use IT resources, including interactive applications.
  • An ability to gather necessary information from a variety of sources both bibliographic and electronic.
  • An ability to work collectively, to contribute to discussion and project work as part of a team.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Teaching is based on lectures and seminars and is structured around the learning outcomes above.
  • Lectures are designed to provide a broad framework by addressing major themes, ideas, issues and debates.
  • Students will be encouraged to develop their learning skills in relation to note taking, wider reading and further study, and time management.
  • Students will be encouraged and expected to be active participants in Seminars.
  • Assessment is by summative essay and a summative examination.
  • titles/questions will be oriented towards the learning outcomes.
  • These modes of assessment are intended to give students an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of this area of study, and demonstrate their ability to draw on and use appropriate conceptual language.
  • Formative essays, given part way through the module, are designed to help students develop the skills and abilities required for summative work.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 22 1 Per Week 1 Hour 22
Seminars 11 Fortnightly 1 Hour 11
Preparation and Reading 167
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
one two-hour written examination 100%
Component: Essay Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
one assessed essay 1500-3000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

Two essays will be required from each student. 1500 - 2000 words.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University