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SP405 Contemporary Social Thought Assignment Example NUI Galway Ireland

This course/module looks at the development of ideas in the field of social thought, examines their relationship with wider socio-political trends, and provides an opportunity to explore contemporary debates about society. The course is structured around the themes of power, agency, social structure, and social systems. Thinkers that are covered include Steven Lukes, Talcott Parsons, Antonio Gramsci, Nicos Poulantzas, Norbert Elias, Anthony Giddens, Pierre Bourdieu, Michel Foucault, Stewart Clegg, and Mark Haugaard.

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In this course, there are many types of assignments given to students like individual assignments, group-based assignments, reports, case studies, final year projects, skills demonstrations, learner records, and other solutions given by us.

On successful completion of the module, students should be able to:

Understand the relationship between power, agency, and social structure

Contemporary social thought explores the relationships between power, agency, and social structure. In particular, there is a focus on how these relationships are used to shape individual and collective behavior. This is usually done to explain social change, or how individual behavior creates wider social transformations. Social thinkers understand that society is a complex system of interdependent parts, and those larger social movements are driven by individual actions.

Social Structure

In contemporary Social Thought, there is a focus on how structure impacts agency. In other words, it looks at how individuals to shape and are shaped by their social context and environment. There is also a focus on the way that social institutions and structures reproduce themselves over time. Structures can limit or enable individual agency, and it is important to understand how this works in order to facilitate social change.


One of the key focuses of contemporary Social Thought is power. Power is understood as being relational, and as operating at different levels within society. It can be exercised in overt and covert ways and is often used to maintain the status quo. Social thinkers are interested in understanding how power is used to shape individual and collective behavior, and how it can be resisted or challenged.


Agency refers to the ability of individuals to act independently and make choices. It is a complex relationship, and understanding it is fundamental to contemporary social thought. Social thinkers are interested in how the human agency can be exercised both positively (people acting together to challenge oppression) and negatively (groups or individuals abusing their power).

This relationship between power, agency, and social structure means that individual behavior can create wider social change. For example, the actions of a group of individuals who challenge the status quo can result in wider social transformations. This is what social thinkers call ‘agency-structure’ dynamics.

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Critical thinking through the deconstruction of ideologies

There is an emphasis on deconstructing the ideas behind certain ideologies. Social thought has a long tradition of challenging dominant ideas or ideologies. It is interested in understanding why people believe the things they do, and how these beliefs shape individual and collective behavior. As such, social thinkers take a critical approach to ideology.

This means looking at such ideas as rationality or freedom and understanding them as products of wider socio-political structures. This is why ideologies need to be deconstructed, as there may well be an assumption that they are universally applicable that is not necessarily true. Deconstruction allows for a more critical interrogation of these ideologies and can help to facilitate social change.

Be conversant with the basic principles of contemporary social theory

The basic principle of contemporary social theory is that society is a complex system of interdependent parts. This means that it can’t be understood by looking at any one element in isolation. Instead, social thinkers use a variety of approaches to understanding the relationships between power, agency, and structure. This allows for a more comprehensive understanding of society and the ways it can be changed.

A key element of contemporary social theory is that individual behavior contributes to wider social change. This means that the actions of a few individuals can shape larger social transformations and that these changes may actually benefit society as a whole in some way.

Social thinkers also place an emphasis on power and how it shapes individual and collective behavior. They are interested in understanding how individuals can resist or challenge power structures. In other words, social thinkers are motivated by a desire to facilitate positive rather than negative forms of behavior and change.

Social thinkers need to have a more critical approach to ideology. Ideology is seen as being the product of wider socio-political structures and needs to be deconstructed in order to facilitate social change. Finally, social thinkers need to be conversant with the basic principles of contemporary social theory to understand how society works and how it can be changed.

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Have an appreciation of contemporary social change: modernization, postmodern theory, and globalization

Contemporary social change refers to the changes that have taken place in society in recent years. This includes phenomena such as modernization, postmodern theory, and globalization. Each of these has had a significant impact on how we think about society and the ways it can be changed.

Modernization refers to the process of social and economic development that takes place as a society becomes more industrialized. This has led to increased social and economic inequality, as well as changes in the way we think about ourselves and our relationships with others. It has also given rise to new forms of social organization and interaction.

Postmodern theory is a response to modernization and calls into question many of the assumptions that underpin it. It is based on the idea that there is no such thing as a universal truth and that all knowledge is relative. This has led to a questioning of traditional values and norms, as well as a focus on how power is exercised.

Globalization refers to the increasing interconnectedness of the world economy. This has led to a blurring of the lines between national borders and increasing rates of migration, as well as increased competition for natural resources. It has also given rise to new forms of resistance against globalization based on both local identity and international solidarity.

Modernization, postmodern theory, and globalization have had a significant impact on social change in recent years. Each one calls into question traditional assumptions about society and offers a new way of thinking about it. It is important to understand these theories if we want to make sense of the world in which we live and the ways it is changing.

Understand the basic principles of complex organizations

A complex organization is defined as one that draws on the efforts of several people to achieve its goals. A simple example would be an office with several employees. Complex organizations are often structured hierarchically, meaning that decision-making power is concentrated at the top of the hierarchy while responsibility for carrying out tasks rests with those lower down.

Complex organizations are also characterized by specialization. This means that people within the organization are assigned specific tasks and responsibilities and that they are not expected to carry out tasks that are outside of their area of expertise. Finally, complex organizations are usually bureaucratic, meaning that they operate according to a set of rules and procedures that dictate how things should be done.

Understanding the basic principles of complex organizations is important because it helps us make sense of the world around us. This includes phenomena such as bureaucracies and hierarchies, which are prevalent in modern society. It also helps to explain why things happen as they do within complex organizations, giving rise to new forms of behavior that threaten their very existence.

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