Sociology | МООК КазНУ им.аль-Фараби
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About this course

The course aims to develop skills of evaluating programs for solving social problems based on sociological imagination, critical thinking and sociological research methods to analyze and interpret social processes and institutions. The course is based on the study of theories of sociology associated with the names of key foreign and domestic scholars who have contributed to the development of sociology. Sociology studies a variety of topics from crime to religion, from the family to the state, divisions of race and social class to the shared beliefs of a common culture, from social stability to radical change in whole societies. Basically, everything that surrounds us is a subject of sociology. By discovering theoretical concepts, research methods and analyzing the processes as sociologists, students will be able to find answers these kind of questions: Are we free or do we follow the crowd? Why there is inequality? How people and institutions which make up society interact? What are the things that influence your life (family background, ethnicity, social class, religion, gender)? Why there is war? This is facilitated by the methodology of the course: special situational tasks, interesting games, watching movies, videos, test tasks and etc.

Course content

Week 1. Sociology in the understanding of the social world
Week 2. Introduction to the sociological theory.
Week 3. Sociological research.
Week 4. Social structure and stratification.
Week 5. Socialization and Identity.
Week 6. Family and modernity.
Week 7. Youth and society.
Week 8. Religion, culture and society.
Week 9. Sociology of ethnicity and nation.
Week 10. Education and social inequality.
Week 11. Mass-media, technologies and society.
Week 12. Economy, globalization and labor.
Week 13. Health and medicine.
Week 14. Population, urbanization and social movements.
Week 15. Social changes: newest sociological discussion.

Academic presentation of the course

Aim of course

To form students' ability to evaluate solution programs of social problems based on sociological imagination, critical thinking and methods of sociological research for the analysis and interpretation of social processes and institutions

Expected Learning Outcomes (LO)

LO 1 - to explain the categories of sociology, trends in the development of society on the basis of sociological macro- and micro-theories and concepts.
LO 2 - to interpret social reality based on sociological imagination and critical thinking.
LO 3 - to apply sociological methods and theoretical constructs to develop research design and analyze specific social problems.
LO 4 - to analyze the features and interrelation of social processes (socio-economic, political, cultural) and social institutions from the position of a sociological perspective and the value system of Kazakhstani society.
LO 5 - to summarize information on trends in the development of social structures, individual and family, economy, education, culture, religion, social communications and globalization based on comparative research.
LO 6 - to evaluate programs for solving social problems and situations in own professional fields based on socio-ethical values.

Indicators of LO achievement (ID)

IA 1.1 - to interpret the basic categories of sociology: social groups, institutions, structures, processes, etc.
IA 1.2 - to determine the interrelation between the theoretical and empirical level of sociology, macro- and micro- approaches.
IA 1.3 – to contextualize basic sociological ideas based on reading sociological works, highlighting local and global trends in the development of modern society.
IA 2.1 - to identify the interrelation of social and personal problems to understand the features of social reality.
IA 2.2 - search for information to analyze social situations and search for their solutions.
IA 2.3 - to argument the importance of social values for understanding the surrounding social reality and organizing professional activities.
IA 3.1 - to formulate an urgent problem, the goal and objectives of the research.
IA 3.2 – to compose a sociological research program (problem, tasks, hypotheses, concepts, etc.)
IA 3.3 – to justify the choice of the method and sample of the research.
IA 3.4 - to develop research tools for analyzing a specific social problem.
IA 4.1 - to differentiate the characteristics of social, economic, political, cultural processes.
IA 4.2 - to analyze the dynamics, changes and functions of social institutions (family, state, education, religion, market and others) in modern society.
IA 4.3 - to illustrate the role of social values, norms in the integration of social groups and society as a whole.
IA 5.1 – to use sources of social information: statistical and sociological data, mass media, scientific publications, reports of organizations and others to study social problems.
IA 5.2 - to compare trends in the development of social groups, structures and institutions in a local and global perspective.
IA 5.3 - to analyze social development programs of Kazakhstani society.
IA 5.4 – to develop proposals to improve situations in the social, political, cultural, economic spheres.
IA 6.1 - analyze the collected social information in a scientific report and presentation.
IA 6.2 - to discuss recommendations, solutions of social problems and situations based on social and ethical values.
IA 6.3 - develop a roadmap, models for solving social problems

Post requisites

Fil 2102 “Philosophy

Information resources

1.Little W. Introduction to Sociology: 2nd Canadian Edition.Open Texbook Collection, 2016. Available online:
2.OpenStax College Authors Introduction to Sociology: 2nd ed. CNX, 2017. Available online:
3.Macionis J.J. Sociology. Global Edition. 16th edition. Pearson, 2017. – 744p
4.Macionis J.J. Society: The Basics. 14 edition - New Jersey. Pearson Education International, 2016. – 566p. (available online)
5. Бринкерхоф Д., Уэйтс Р., Ортега С. Әлеуметтану негіздері. 9-басылым. Алматы: Ұлттық аударма бюросы, 2018 жыл – 464 бет.
6. Ritzer G., Stepnisky J. Sociological Theory. – Los Angeles: Sage, 2018. – 802p.
Online resources: –
Additional books, links, and articles will be given in methodical recommendations for each week.

Possible training direction by classifier (name of the educational program) in which you can study according to this MOOC

All educational programs, as a part of General Educational Module, including but not limited to: 6B05101- Bioengineering; 6B11101 -Tourism; 6B06103 - Computer engineering; 6B10103 – General medicine; 6B05402 – Math; 6B04104 - World economy, 6B04103 – Economy; 6B03102 – Cultural Studies, 6B10201 – Social Work and etc.

Information about the authors of the online course

Course Staff Image #1

Burkhanova Dana Kamalovna

Dana K. Burkhanova is a Senior Lecturer and Researcher at Sociology and Social Work Department. She holds her MSc degree from Paris-Sorbonne University (Paris IV) and a PhD from Al-Farabi Kazakh National University. Her doctoral research is concerned with the values and economic strategies of the middle class in modern Kazakhstan society. Dana K. Burkhanova is involved in a number of international collaborative research projects at department. Her research interests include transformation of social structure, social stratification and middle class.