USQ Logo
The current and official versions of the course specifications are available on the web at
Please consult the web for updates that may occur during the year.

SOC2022 Power and Society

Semester 2, 2020 Online
Short Description: Power and Society
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Humanities & Communication
Student contribution band : Band 1
ASCED code : 090301 - Sociology
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Victor Igreja

Other requisites

Students will require access to email and have internet access to UConnect for this course.
Internet access is required to satisfactorily complete assessment for the course


This course provides students with the opportunity to explore the explanatory potential of competing approaches to power in relation to injustice, exploitation and inequality on the one hand, and social movements resisting these on the other. Students will examine the way our understanding of power can itself facilitate or limit our capacity to exploit opportunities for resisting or overcoming injustice.


Power is a central concept for social justice studies and for all the social sciences, including sociology, politics, anthropology, economics, and communications studies. This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to the examination of competing theories of power from the perspectives of these social science disciplines. This course contrasts the conventional concept of power as having its basis in coercion, dominance, and `control over'; with competing conceptions of power that treat as primary humans as social animals with a desire and capacity for cooperation. The examination of alternative concepts of power in this course provides the foundation for their application in the rest of the Social Justice major.


On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of theories of power in the social sciences;
  2. demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of power for achieving social justice;
  3. complete an independent research essay;
  4. demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of ethical research and inquiry;
  5. demonstrate appropriate academic and professional literacy skills.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Language, power and submission 10.00
2. Theories of power 30.00
3. Artificial intelligence and power 10.00
4. Politics and power 10.00
5. Power and the media 10.00
6. Gender and violence 10.00
7. Globalisation and power 10.00
8. Building evidence and knowledge 10.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

There are no texts or materials required for this course.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Clegg, S 1989, Frameworks of power, Sage, London.
Clegg, SR & Courpasson, D 2006, Power and organizations, SAGE Ltd, London.
(ebook available in USQ Library.)
Fraser, N 2010, Scales of Justice: Reimagining Political Space in a Globalizing World, Columbia University Press.
(ebook - available online.)

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Directed Study 26.00
Private Study 139.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
QUIZZES 100 20 09 Oct 2020
ESSAY 100 30 23 Oct 2020
FORUM PARTICIPATION 100 10 23 Oct 2020
ONLINE EXAM 100 40 End S2 (see note 1)

  1. This will be an online exam. Students will be provided further instruction regarding the exam by their course examiner via StudyDesk. The examination date will be available via UConnect when the Alternate Assessment Schedule has been released.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them, to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S2 2020 are: To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks for that item.

    Requirements after S2, 2020:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks for that item.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S2 2020 are: To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

    Requirements after S2, 2020:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative items for the course.

  6. Examination information:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S2 2020 are: An Open Examination is one in which candidates may have access to any printed or written material and a calculator during the examination.

    Requirements after S2, 2020:
    Candidates are allowed to bring only writing and drawing instruments into the Closed examination.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S2 2020 are: The details regarding deferred/supplementary examinations will be communicated at a later date.

    Requirements after S2, 2020:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Referencing in assignments must comply with either the Harvard (AGPS) referencing system OR the APA referencing system. Whichever system is adopted, it should be used consistently by students to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. Whichever of these styles is chosen it should used as defined by the USQ library’s referencing guide. This guide can be found at
    An alternative referencing system can be used with permission of the examiner, and if an appropriate style guide is provided.

Evaluation and benchmarking

In meeting the University’s aims to establish quality learning and teaching for all programs, this course monitors and ensures quality assurance and improvements in at least two ways. This course conforms to the USQ Policy on Evaluation of Teaching, Courses and Programs to ensure ongoing monitoring and systematic improvement.

Other requirements

  1. Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and general Internet access as well as access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at

  2. Students can expect that questions in assessment items in this course may draw upon knowledge and skills that they can reasonably be expected to have acquired before enrolling in this course. This includes knowledge contained in pre-requisite courses and appropriate communication, information literacy, analytical, critical thinking, problem solving or numeracy skills. Students who do not possess such knowledge and skills should not expect the same grades as those students who do possess them.

Date printed 6 November 2020