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Sociology Major and Minor
I'm Paul Russell and I teach a number of units in both the sociology area and in the education area. So my area of expertise is really social and political theory.
I came into this area I guess through a convoluted process. I didn't finish high school - didn't finish year 12 - then I worked in trades for a number of years and became heavily involved in the union movement and through the Union, my work with the union movement, I really became passionate about political and social issues. I'm really passionate about sociology because it allows us to explore what I think are the most critical issues facing Australian and global society today; issues of identity, migration, religion, the environment, gender - the big questions that are really shaping the world that we live in today. That's exciting for me.
There's either a major or a minor option in the course and the major consists of six different units and it's in that space that the students really get to dig deeply into some of those critical questions. Students learn in both the major and the minor how to think theoretically and make sense of these big questions and move away from opinions to facts, and be able to understand what the current and historical debates are and how to ... play with these these big questions and wrestle with these big questions ... using some theory and some established processes.
It's exciting. It's a really exciting course for those students who want to live a life that makes a contribution and are interested in understanding how and why Australian and global society works the way it does.
I think that the primary skills that the students are going to pick up is the ability to be able to deliver 0 both verbally and in writing - powerful, effective and influential arguments. Critical skills again, I believe, for anybody who wants to genuinely understand how and why Australian society and global society ... works the way that it does, for good or ill. Students will walk away from this course with the ability to understand, seriously understand, how Australian and global society works and who benefits.