Social Theory

Module Leader:
Ádám Kornél Havas
2018-2019 Summer
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 century. Our goal will be to understand how certain theorists conceptualize social relations through their analysis of society. The first 3 sessions are organized around the interpretation of classical sociological theory that form the basis of late modern social thought 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, constructivist structuralism 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 put on the similarities and oppositions between European critical-interpretive and Anglo-
Saxon, rather analytic and empiricist social thought. By discussing the representative works belonging to different sociological schools, students will be able to critically interpret the most fundamental distinctions between social scientific schools and research practices.

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