Social Theory

Module Leader:
Ádám Kornél Havas
Status:
Confirmed
Year/Term:
2017-2018 Autumn
Level:
Focus
Division:
Social Sciences

This module provides an introduction to some significant trends in contemporary sociological theory and gives an overview of important theoretical issues at the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st. Our goal will be to understand how certain theorists conceptualise social relations through their analysis of society. The first 3 sessions are organised around the interpretation of the classical sociological theory that forms the basis of the late-modern social thought that will be studied in the second half of the module. The principles and interpretative schemes laid down by the founding fathers Marx, Durkheim and Weber will be studied first. After outlining the characteristics of sociological schools (functionalism, structuralism, critical theory, structural constructivism etc.) we will discuss issues at stake associated with the construction of sociological knowledge. During the second half of the course we will critically interpret the works of some modern social scientists, such as Merton, Lévi-Strauss, Coleman and Bourdieu, among others. Special emphasis will be placed on the similarities and oppositions between continental critical-interpretive, and Anglo-Saxon, more analytic and empiricist social thought. By discussing the representative works of different sociological schools, students will be able to critically interpret the most fundamental distinctions between schools of social science and their respective research practices.