If you spend an extended period of time around intellectuals, such as yourself, you are bound to engage soon enough in a discussion, or, better yet, a debate on any number of the vexing questions of society, politics or culture. Should nation states prevail, or should a World Government take over? Does the individual or the community come first? Is it okay if more productive people enjoy prerogatives over others? Should the market establish its own set of rules, or should the government intervene? Do the disadvantaged deserve assistance, or is it basically every man for himself? Is the previous question a case of sexism in the language?
While some of these questions, and the answers to them, seem to cross-cut national, ethnic and social boundaries, others seem specific to a particular geographical region, or social context. Political scientists, sociologists and anthropologists are in the habit of engaging with such issues through scholarly inquiry; and, whether you yourself are planning to become one of them, or this is the last thing on your mind, your approach to political-ideological questions will become a key constituent of your identity as an intellectual.
Through invoking fundamental ideological debates and cleavages, this module aims to arouse keenness in those who have an interest in society, and forever alienate those who have none. It will also familiarize students with some of the core concepts of political science, sociology and social anthropology, as well as develop debating and reasoning skills -– both orally and in writing.