When the School of Social Sciences was established in 1975, the Sociology sub-unit was one of the five such sub-units that made up the School. The others were Economics, Geography, Political and Administrative Studies and Business Administration (which later transformed into the Faculty of Management Sciences). It operated as an integral part of a Social Science programme which was then aimed at training out manpower for the social and economic development of Nigeria and to train the students for positions of responsibility in the community. The Dean of the Faculty had overall administrative responsibility over all the units. However, the Department was academically autonomous but administratively tied to the Office of the Dean.
In 1983, the UNIPORT school system was changed to the faculty system which granted both academic and administrative autonomy to the department. Since then, the department has had its ups and downs as dictated by events over the years. However, through a dynamic inter-play of experience from a variety of scholars and accreditation demands, a stable Sociology programme with a mixture of radical and conservative intellectual traditions eventually emerged at both undergraduate and post-graduate levels.
The entire course prescribed by the National Universities Commission (NUC) in its approved minimum academic standards is offered by the Department. In addition however, the Department maintains its academic autonomy by including in its curriculum special courses designed to achieve the specific vision and objectives of the department.
The vision of the Department of Sociology, University of Port Harcourt, is the emergence of a viable Nigerian nation sustained on the intellectual and research contributions of Sociologists, in collaboration with other academic disciplines and in partnership with formal/informal organizations working towards achieving sustainable development
Tremendous changes are taking place all over the world and Nigeria’s socio-economic, political, religious and cultural environments are responding to the new global challenges. The Department of Sociology, University of Port Harcourt, must be in the fore front of efforts to understand these changes; provide adequate research knowledge to respond pro-actively towards ensuring adequate control of the new social forces and enhance the capacity of its staff to train the manpower required for the envisaged challenges.
1. To inculcate in the students a scientific spirit of inquiry and objectivity.
2. To stimulate students’ interest in the discipline and all other branches of the Social Sciences.
3. To stimulate the spirit of dedication to service to our society and humanity in general, among students.
4. To prepare students for leadership positions in the social, economic and political institution both inside and outside our country.
5. To prepare students for self-employment and to carry out researches for the further development of the discipline, the community and humanity in general.
The current undergraduate (full-Time) programme has undergone several revisions. In its current form, courses with practical applications have been increased in response to the growing need for self employment in a country where graduate unemployment has become the norm.
The Full-Time PGDS programme is designed to last for one academic session of two (2) semesters and not longer than four (4) semesters. For a Part-Time programme, it is for a minimum of (4) semesters and maximum of six (6) semesters commencing from the normal University of Port Harcourt calendar year and ending at the end of the normal session.
Candidates must take and pass five (5) Core Courses of 3 credit units each.
A. Core Courses:
SOC 801.1 - Advanced Sociological Theories
SOC 802.1 - Advanced Sociological Research Methods
SOC 803.1 - Computer Application
SOC 804.1 - Sociological Issues in Entrepreneurship
SOC 805.1 - Statistical Methods in Sociology
Candidates for the PhD Programme should have a Masters Degree and should normally have had an average score of 60% or its equivalent grade. Admission will be based on interview performance.
Method of Application:
Same as in the Masters Programme, the PhD candidate must in addition submit a
proposed plan of research along with his/her application.
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Sociology
SOC 101.1 Elements of Scientific Thought & Social Research
This course will review the theoretical and methodological foundation of Social Science. It will examine issues such as the nature of science and problems of scientific explanations, methodological problems of Social Science, concept formation, theories and paradigms the existential determination of knowledge, etc. Students will be introduced to the nature of statistics, statistical inquiries, forms of design, etc. the role of statistics and basic concepts in statistics will be equally examined.
SOC 102.1 Introduction to Sociology
The study of the social system and its relationship to other systems particularly the political and economic systems will be emphasized, it will attempt to understand how social systems evolve, differentiate, cohere or disintegrate. Introduction to basic concepts of sociological analysis, such as roles, social structure, function, conflict, class consensus, power, value, authority and culture.
SOC 104.1 Introduction to Psychology
Introduction to the relationship between the functioning of social systems and the behaviours and attitude of individuals.
SOC 105.2 Introduction to Anthropology
This course introduces the students to the concepts, themes, perspectives and method of anthropological inquiries. Other areas include the evolution to humanity, human biological and ecological variations, economic anthropology, cultural ethnology, anthropology of development and hibernation anthropology.
SOC 221.1 History of Social Thought
An introduction to the main contributors to social thought and the rise and development of modern sociology, including background (North-western and Islamic) modern classical sociologists, and contemporary African theories about society.
SOC 222.1 Introduction to African Societies and Cultures
(African Traditional Social Institutions)
Introduction to and survey of human origins and cultural achievements, social anthropology, historical and methodological perspectives.
SOC 224.1 Language and Society
An examination of the social and cultural functions of language with particular reference to Nigeria and other West African societies; language and societal development, language problems of new states, and language policy are emphasized.
SOC 225.1 Sociology of the Family
Analysis of the principles of kinship classification and the types and functions of groups formed on these principles, Study of marriage as a social institution.
SOC 232.2 Social Psychology
Brief historical outline of the science of social psychology; its distinctive field of study and its interrelationship with other social sciences and Introductory survey of social psychological concepts such as social learning, internalization, conscience-formation, values and attitudes, prejudice and discrimination stereotypes. The influence of group process, organizational variables and cultures upon the social modification of basic drives, attitudes, social systems
and group structures; an analysis of the socio-psychological fabric, which knits African societies together.
SOC 234.2 Food and Famine in Africa
An examination of the sociological, political, economic and environmental factors that affect the production of food in Africa. Also to be examined are the theoretical underpinning of African food crisis and the role played by the international community.
SOC 235.2 Sociology of Mass Communication
The course provides some basic foundation for the study of human communication. It is designed to aid students better to understand the nature, functions and concepts of the mass media and their institutions. The theoretical, conceptual and evaluative aspects of communication will be examined. Also to be considered are the implications of the growth of Mass Media Institutions, the way in which they shape views, modify behaviour and help to fashion society now and in future.
SOC 236.2 Women in Society
An introduction to women studies; a survey of traditional and contemporary attitudes of male-centred societies to women and factors which shape these attitudes; public policy issues on women is equally important here.
SOC 237.2 Youths and Development in Africa
This course examines the roles of youths as dependable ingredients for social development. The roles of youths in technological innovation and creativity will be examined.
SOC 238.2 Social Change and Social Problems
Theoretical perspectives, institutional analysis of the phenomenon of social change, concept of social problems, and social problems resulting from social change are focused.
SOC 239.2 Structure of the Nigerian Society
The structure of the Nigerian Society in terms of core analytical sociological and anthropological concepts. Analysis of the patterns of socio-economic elements of continuity and social change impact of globalization on the entire social structure. Emphasis on migration patterns and social mobility, social class and social inequalities, major social problems and social welfare, ethnicity, etc.
SOC 331.1 Methods of Social Research
Formulation of social issues as research questions; general concepts concerning scientific methods; strategies of descriptive research and historical research; tools of research, various types, methods and their advantages and disadvantages.
SOC 332.1 Contemporary Sociological Theories
Major theorists and schools of thought in the 20th Century Development of classical sociological theories; the major orientations in contemporary sociological theories functionalism, symbolic interactionism, conflict theory, ethnomethodology, exchange theory and other perspectives; application of these theories to contemporary problems.
SOC 335.1 Inter-Group Relations
The nature and dynamics of inter-group transactions; and examination of relations between peoples of different cultures, religion, ethnic groups, ideologies, etc., with special reference to plural Nigeria
SOC 336.1 Industrial Sociology
The structure and functions of industrial organizations. Analysis of major management theories. The process of industrialization in developing countries. Industry and society, personnel and human resources issues. Industrial conflict, industrial workgroups and informal organizations. Relations between workers and management.
SOC 337.1 Sociology of Law
A sociological treatment of the social origins and consequences of law and its logical process; the traditional African local cultures and their contemporary relevance; the structure and functioning of legal sanctions; law and society, the law and the economy, law and cultural processes.
SOC 338.1 Sociology of Urban Life
Urban sociology as a field of study; and overview of world urbanization, demography and ecology of the city, its social organization and the psychology of its inhabitants, the exercise of political and economic power in the city, urban institution, the city’s social problems and urban planning for cities.
SOC 339.1 Sociology of Religion
The functions of religious institutions in societies. The relationship between religion and society in relatively stable, small communities, the approaches of social anthropology to African religions. The rise of new religions and reform
movements. The place of religion in modern complex societies. Religious leaders and leadership. Religious groups in Nigerian society. Religion and social change.
SOC 340.1 Sociology of Health and Illness Behaviour
An introduction to concepts and social aspects of health, illness and cure in different African societies with particular emphasis on Nigerian cultures; interaction between folk and modern medicine; the deliveries of healthcare as a social problem; the social structure of traditional versus modern healthcare delivery system, and their respective impacts.
SOC 341.2. Sociology of the Third World
Decolonisation and the emergence of the Third World; the characteristics of Third World people and their cultural profiles; the North-South interactions and the conflicts.
SOC 342.2 Social Statistics
The course will deal with selected topics in elementary statistical theory, estimation and testing, statistical methods and survey research.
SOC 343.2 Rural Sociology
The fundamental features of rural societies, their economic systems and patterns of transformations; the identification, evaluation and utilization of natural and human resources, and social change in rural societies; rural social institutions and their adaptation to change.
SOC 344.2 Formal Organisation
Structural properties of organization and their consequences; bureaucracies and complex (formal) organizations in various institutional settings and the
relationship among organizations in the country; major theoretical and methodological problems in studying complex organizations; problems of formal organizations in the new States.
SOC 345.2 Nigerian Heritage
This course deals mainly with pre-colonial “Nigeria”. It focuses on the social, economic, political, artistic and technological developments in “Nigerian” societies before the effective influence of Western culture. Among other things, the course seeks to lay bare the misrepresentation that Nigeria (and indeed Africa) was in the “dark” before “the discovery” by Europeans. It therefore aims at drawing attention to the significance of Nigerian heritage in the nation’s quest for self-reliant development.
SOC 346.2 Class Analysis
Study of the theory and methodology of class analysis, and their application particularly in Nigeria. Assessment of the analytic utility of class analysis to other methodologies of sociology. The study will also place emphasis on the Marxists approach of class analysis of society, social change and development and on the issues of state inequality, power struggle, conflicts, marginalization and exploitation.
SOC 347.2 Social Stratification and Mobility
An examination of the theoretical models of stratification systems. The course attempts a comparative analysis of the stratification process and social mobility in industrial and developing societies with special reference to Africa. It equally examines the different facets of social inequality and their origins and consequences.
SOC 348.2 Sociology of the Aged
The social needs of the aged in transitional and modern societies; comparative study of human maturity, ageing and death, as they are perceived in different
cultures. Western Versus African attitudes towards the aged and ageing as a process.
SOC 349.2 Sociology of Non-Violent Change
An examination of peaceful relationships between groups, classes, races, nations and international blocs, ideologies and religions; theories of peace and conflict, the development of the nation of the just society and its significance for a conflict resolution. Problems of responsiveness and accountability in complex organizations, the educational imperatives of peaceful change in plural societies; freedom of political choice in plural change; forms of resistance, non-violence versus collective political violence, riots coups and revolutions; their causes and processes seen as failure to accommodate strategies of non-violent change.
SOC 400.2 Regional Ethnography: Sub-Saharan Africa
Advanced study of Sub-Saharan Africa as a major ethnological region; human origins and early man; physical anthropology and archaeology, race and racism; the cultural regions of Africa, language and population migration in history; peoples and cultures of Africa.
SOC 401.2 Sociology of Sub-Saharan Africa
The course examines the pre-colonial and post-colonial socio-structure of Sub-Saharan Africa; reviews the classical theories of social change and evaluates their
relevance to African experience and makes a critical review of sociological treatments of development and under-development in Africa.
SOC 404.2 Individual Research Project
As a prerequisite for the Bachelor of Science Degree in Sociology, every final year student will carry out an original research under a supervisor, to demonstrate empirically his/her grasp of the principles and methodologies of Sociology.
SOC 405.2 Applied Demography
Application of demography theories to the problems of planning and development particularly in Third World Countries.
SOC 406.2 Culture & Communication
An examination of human communication from the perspective of linguistic anthropology, traits and social structure behaviour as essentially communicative phenomena.
SOC 407.2 Sociology of Decolonization
A study of the colonial political economy and its influence on contemporary Nigerian social structure; examination of the processes that led to independence in selected Third World Countries; the roles played by individuals and pressure groups in the decolonization process. Also to study the colonial roots of contemporary neo-colonialism and Third World underdevelopment.
SOC 408.2 Industrial Psychology
Psychological assumptions of economic behaviour; human needs and their satisfaction; individual, group and industrial conflict; cognition and the relevance of learning theory to industry; ideology and industrial behaviour.
SOC 409.2 Sociology of Deviant Behaviour
Using illustrations from research, the course distinguishes between deviance and crime and discuses the manifest as well as the latent functions of deviance. The student is further introduced to the major debates on the causes of deviance in society.
SOC 441.1 Sociology of Crime and Delinquency
Nature and extent of crime; theories of crime causation; traditional control of delinquency in African societies, its application in the contemporary administration of justice; criminal behaviors in Nigeria and its relation to personal and cultural conditions.
SOC 442.1 Demography and Population Studies
The nature and development of population study, its scope and method; some basic concepts of population analysis; international comparisons of population growth; problems of population in Africa; issues of population policy.
SOC 443.1 Political Sociology
An examination of social and cultural contexts of political activity and behavior; political organizations, trade unions, elite groups; the development of movement for political change.
SOC 412.2 Terrorism & Social Development:
This course examines the impact of terrorism on social development of Africa. Other areas of emphases include: Theories of terrorism, global war on terrorism and efforts by some developing countries to fight terrorism.
SOC 444.1 Sociology of Development
Theories of development, socio-economic analysis of the concept of development and its relation to growth; sociological implications of development, its effects on society and family structure; the impact of colonial policies and post-independence/international conditions.
SOC 445.1 Urbanization and Labour Migration
The phenomenon of urban growth in various parts of the world; various forms of labour migration; the theories and economics of labour migration; characteristics of Nigerian cities.
SOC 446.1 Sociology of Medicine
The course will focus on the application of sociological concepts and theories to the study of disease, health and healing practices. It will also study the institution/foundations of healthcare, the relationship between traditional healing systems and modern medical practices, sources and practices of non-medical therapy, spiritual healing, doctor-patient relationship, etc.
SOC 447.1 Child Development
Methods of child study; the idea of development in infancy and childhood are examined in detail.
SOC 448.1 Personality and Motivation
The course attempts to familiarize students with major issues in personality and motivation, including theory and practice of personality measurement; the structure of personality and relationship between personality and psychopathology.
SOC 449.1 Models in Sociological Analysis
The course is built around two complementary issues:
(a) What types of explanations are used in Sociology, and
(b) What types of data are used in constructing explanations in Sociology?
The aim is to provide the students with the ability to evaluate a sociologist’s
approach to any empirical area from two viewpoints:
1. Is the chosen model of explanation adequate and
2. Is the purported explanation adequate in terms of the chosen model?