SOC218 Policy, Power and Social Action (8)


How can people change society? The subject examines systems of governance and the ways in which people can act within them. From a foundation of social power theory, it explores the policy apparatus and the points at which people and organisations make input to it. Major public issues concerning society, the economy and the environment are examined to illustrate the policy process. Particular attention is paid to policy fields in which social movements have brought change, such as feminism and environmentalism, and other areas in which the value of change is frequently contested from different perspectives, such as economic rationalism.

+ Subject Availability Modes and Location

Session 2
DistanceWagga Wagga Campus
Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: SOC218
Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject information

Duration Grading System School:
One sessionHD/FLSchool of Humanities and Social Sciences

Assumed Knowledge


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
- be able to demonstrate understanding of sociological theories of power
- be able to demonstrate their familiarity with models of governance
- be able to demonstrate an understanding of social movements and related theory
- be able to analyse current issues in terms of the forces acting to bring change and their significance to democracy


The subject will cover the following topics:
1. Sociological power theory 2. Social action theory 3. Theories of governance including regionalism 4. The policy apparatus 5. The policy process 6. The relationships among parliaments, executives of government and public bureaucracy 7. Recently contested policy issues 8. Democracy and avenues for social action


The information contained in the 2016 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: 06 September 2016. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.