Studying at Economic Sociology
By studying economic sociology, students learn to examine various economic phenomena from a social perspective as part of a wider societal context. The courses of economic sociology concentrates on the following themes:
- consumption and culture
- markets, digitalization and media
- social structures and networks
Good tools for work life
Thanks to its wide research areas, studies in economic sociology provide good prerequisites for the understanding of contemporary society. An economic sociologist is capable of analyzing social changes and individual behavior and applying this knowledge in her/his assignments.
Economic sociologists act in R&D and in tasks of human management. These include, e.g., trade, industry, banking and research. Moreover, those who have studied economic sociology are placed in non-profit organizations and public administration in specialist assignments and management.
Several courses in English
Economic sociology offers several courses in English. Some of the courses consist of book exams, some include lectures. Information about the credits is given in the study guide.
Please, note that books can be found in the University library. Other course material (e.g. articles) can be uploaded from Moodle (moodle.utu.fi). The university email account (utu account) is a prerequisite for using Moodle.
Economic Sociology has changed over to electronic exams. The term “electronic exam” means an exam taken through the Electronic Exam service. The maintenance and supervision of the Electronic Exam service is centralised, and the supervision takes place through an access control system and recording camera surveillance. Exams are held in the e-exam rooms.
Enrolment, locations, schedules and other important information about the electronic exams can be found here.
A typical book exam consists of essay questions (usually one question per book/article collection). In terms of answering the question, the student is expected to write an outlined answer (usually an appropriate length of one answer is 1–2 pages) based on the course materials. The questions will commonly relate to a particular chapter, or a theme in the book/article collection.
In general, it is also possible to choose an essay option. An essay can be an independent study attainment, a compensation of literature exam or a part of a lecture course. These guidelines concern only the first and second types of essays. Students can select their own essay topics as long as the topic follows within the course guidelines. The topic should, however, be authorized beforehand by the responsible teacher for the course. The essays can be handed in during weekly office hour or they can be left in the teachers' mail box.
What kind of an essay should it be?
An essay can be an independent study attainment, a compensation of literature exam or a part of a lecture course. These guidelines concern only the first and second types of essays. Students can select their own essay topics as long as the topic follows within the course guidelines. The topic should, however, be authorized beforehand by the responsible teacher for the course. The essays can be handed in during weekly office hour or they can be left in the teachers' mail box.
An essay should be a small and debating scientific thesis. It is most important that one outlines the topic, and chooses the point of view and the basic idea properly. These things also guide the selection of the title for the essay.
Problem-oriented point of view is usually the best starting point. In that case a particular question, hypothesis or theme is examined. The best essays are written in a similar way to the articles in international social scientific journals, such as Acta Sociologica, American Journal of Sociology, Theory and Society or European Social Review.
Literature and references
One should always use multiple literature references. Using just one book is not enough! One may use Internet references, but if possible, it is always advisable to use printed literature (books or scientific articles) containing similar information. For example, an essay of 1,5 ECTS credits (1 credit in the old credit system) should contain at least 3–4 main printed literature references. Other types of supplementary data and references can also be used.
An essay is not a summary of a book or an article. Literature should be used as a help for argumentation or as a starting point for commentary or discussion. One can also compare different references on a similar topic.
The previous does not apply in the cases where student writes a summary on the basis of a course book instead of taking an examination. In these cases literary reference is the book summarized. Additional references can be used, however, if seen appropriate.
The reader should always be able to check the original references and that the text is not a plagiary. That is why the reference system should be as exact as in journals or in seminar papers.
The references in text should be used as in following excerpt:
- The problem is that Weber never considered action in uncertain conditions properly, except for war in the case of economic action (see Weber 1978, 90). For modern rational choice theorists paying attention to this has meant that the premises of rational action will stay untouched, while the theory itself is widened to "bounded rationality" (Elster 1989, 28–29; Coleman 1994, 174; Goldthorpe 1996; Simon 1983).
- A pragmatic example of using both rationality types in explaining a sociological phenomenon is the protestantic ethics – thesis, where both types of rationalities are used in understanding of the creation of the modern, capitalistic man. Weber wasn’t even sure that these two types of rationality were enough, claiming that he did not mean his classification to be exhaustive. (Weber 1978, 24–26, 1198–1200.)
In the first paragraph the references point only to the previous sentence, in the second to the whole paragraph.
An essay should have a list of references of items cited in alphabetical order in the following style:
- Journal:Bourdieu, Pierre (2000) Making the economic habitus. Algerian workers revisited. Ethnography 1:1, 17–41.
- Book: Durkheim, Emile (1978) On Institutional analysis. The University of Chicago Press: Chicago.
- Book chapter: Coleman, James S. (1994) A Rational Choice Perspective on Economic and Sociology. In Smellser, Neil J. & Swedberg, Richard (Eds.) Handbook of Economic Sociology. Princeton Univeristy Press/Russell Sage Foundation: New York.
How much should I write?
An essay of 1,5 ECTS credits (1 credit in the old credit system) should be 6–10 text pages, an essay of 3 ECTS credits (2 credits) should be 10–15 text pages. For 6 ECTS credits (5 credits) student should write an essay of 25–30 text pages or two shorter essays approximately 25–30 pages in total length. The consistency is always preferred to length. Use heads and subheads to construct a logical whole.
Format style of the essay should be as follows: line spacing 1.5, about 2000–2300 characters per page. Use page numbers in text pages and separate pages for title, contents and references. On the title page mark the title of essay, the title of course and the amount of ECTS credits as well as your name, student number, email address and date.
Study Secretary (questions about practical matters, study records etc.)
Sami Ahonen, E-mail email@example.com
Kindly also note that International Office is in charge of coordinating international affairs at the university level. The International Office coordinates student, staff and teacher mobility and is responsible for exchange programmes and agreements involving mobility.