PS203 Not available in 2012/13
Societal Psychology: Theory and Applications
This information is for the 2012/13 session.
Optional for BSc Sociology. Also available to General Course students and as an outside option.
This course discusses major areas of application of social psychology to real-world issues. Emphasis is put on the complexities of translating theory into practice and on the theoretical developments which are prompted by research on topical social issues. A recurrent theme is the reciprocal interaction between theory and practice in relation to social issues of theoretical interest and practical importance. The interplay of theory and practice will be examined in relation to selected topics which illustrate the application of social psychology in real world settings, such as: crime and anti-social behaviour; mass media; gender and sexuality; evolution and social relationships; identity and community; prejudice and racism; language and communication; religion and cultural beliefs.
20 weekly lectures and 20 weekly classes.
Students are expected to write four essays during the Session, which will be assessed by the class teachers, and to give class presentations. These will not count towards the final examination result.
Attendance at all classes and submission of all set coursework is required.
Detailed reading lists will be distributed at the beginning of the course. The following are useful preliminary reading: . P Boyer, Religion Explained: The Human Instincts That Fashion Gods, Spirits and Ancestors. Vintage, 2002; D. Sperber, Explaining Culture, Blackwell, 1996; D M Buss, The Evolution of Desire. Strategies of Human Mating, Basic Books, New York, 1994; X Chryssochoou, Cultural Diversity: Its Social Psychology, Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, 2004; H Himmelweit & G Gaskell, Societal Psychology, Sage, 1990; D Matsumoto & D Juang, Culture and Psychology (3rd edn), Thomson Wadsworth, 2004; F M Moghaddam, Social Psychology: Exploring Universals Across Cultures, W H freeman and Co. 1998; J McGuire, Understanding Psychology and Crime: Perspectives on theory and action, Open University Press, 2004. Additional references and a synopsis of lectures and class topics are distributed in the first lecture of the series and are also available in Outlook/Public Folders/Departments/Social Psychology/ PS203
A formal three-hour examination in ST: three questions from a choice of 10.