Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Sociology of Youth and the Community - An Introduction

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Youth and Community Studies

DESCRIPTION Following an in-depth appraisal of sociology’s milestone traditions, recent advances in sociological thinking (particularly in relation to the sociology of youth), will be prioritized in the process of familiarizing students with the development of the discipline. Reference will also be made to the diverse research approaches and tools that may be utilized by the sociologist, emphasizing their relevance to the building of evidence-based knowledge on youth in modern society.

Core Content:

• Defining sociology;

• Basic sociological concepts (social structure, social interaction, culture and stratification) and their application to youth and community;

• Main schools of thought/paradigms and their application to youth and community;

• Founding fathers – an in-depth overview (Comte, Durkheim, Parsons, Merton, Marx, Weber) and their application to youth and community;

• Recent Developments in Sociological theory (contemporary sociological concepts/debates) and their application to youth and community;

• Sociological Research Practice.

Study-unit Aims:

This Study-unit is aimed at:

a. assisting course participants build an appreciation of sociology’s core themes, perspectives, schools of thought and research methodologies and apply these to youth and community studies;

b. sharpening participants' critical skills and thus encourage them to challenge deeply entrenched conceptions on the social world;

c. facilitating and encouraging course participants to develop an emancipatory view of the 'social reality' of young people in Malta and abroad – a foundational cornerstone of youth work 'praxis'; and

d. Building the understanding that the youth as a social category is a principal protagonist in shaping modern societies.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

a. define sociology and understand the importance of sociological theory and research as pivotal cornerstones for the analysis and explanation of social trends in relation to youth and community;

b. trace and understand the relevance of sociology for emancipatory youth work and youth studies;

c. identify and contrast the discipline's different schools of thought with reference to milestone studies and authors that have proved pivotal for the origins and advancement of the area's theoretical traditions;

d. reflect upon contemporary social processes critically.

2. Skills (including transferable [generic] skills):
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

a. engage with the subject matter academically;

b. analyse sociological issues and themes critically and through the gloss of the theoretical paradigms presented;

c. synthesise and apply other related course content; and

d. Compare and contrast the diverse theoretical models and research approaches in question.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:
(availability at the Library or otherwise is indicated against each entry)

Bierstedt, R. (1981). American Sociological Theory: A Critical History. New York: Academic Press. (available)

Buttiegieg, J.A. ( 1992). Antonio Gramsci Prison Notebooks Volume 1. New York: Columbia University Press. (available)

Comte, A. (1853). The Positive Philosophy in K.Thompson and J.Tunstall (eds.). Sociological Perspectives, Alebury: Penguin, 1983. (available)

Durkheim, E. (1982). The Rules of the Sociological Method. London: MacMillan. (First published in 1895). (available)

Durkheim, E. (1963). Suicide: A Study in Sociology. New York: Free Press. First Published in 1893. (available)

Featherstone, M. (1995). Global Culture: Nationalism, Globalization and Modernity. London: Sage. (available)

Femia, J.V. (1981). Gramsci's Political Thought: Hegemony, Consciousness, and the Revolutionary Process. Oxford: Clarendon Press. (available)

Giddens, A. (2001). Sociology: Introductory Readings. Oxford: Polity Press. (available)

Haralambos, M. ( 1985). Sociology: Themes and Perspectives. London: Bell and Hyman. (available)

Haralambos, M. (ed) (1989). Sociology: New Directions. Lancs: Causeway. (available)
Lukes, S. (1973). Emile Durkheim: His Life and Work. London: Penguin. (available)

Marx. K. , and F. Engels. 2008. The Communist Manifesto. London: Pluto Press. First published 1848. (available)

Weber, M. 2002. Basic Concepts in Sociology. New York Citadel. (available)

ADDITIONAL NOTES Study-Unit open to Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology, Social Policy, Social Work and Communications students.

Please note that this Study-Unit is held in the Evening.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Examination (2 Hours) SEM2 Yes 100%


The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.