Sociological concepts and trends

This course introduces key concepts and trends of modern and post-modern sociology. Each concept will be analyzed in three parts: (1) its origin, conceptual development and challenges; (2) analysis of the conceptual network associated with the concept; (3) analyzing the concept in relation to case studies.

The course aims at familiarizing the student with key sociological concepts by examining major social theories and major trends in sociology; and thinking more critically about these theories and trends. It also aims to provide the student a critical understanding of how sociological theories can be applied to everyday life.

Course Schedule

Week 1- Introduction; emergence of sociological thought and the key concepts: industrial society, democracy, individualism, modernity; Gemeinschaft & Gesellschaft

Week 2- Structural Functionalism,

Week 3- Symbolic Interactionism, Stigma, Labelling Theory; Structuration

Week 4- Protestant Ethics, Modernisation Theory, Development and Underdevelopment

Week 5- Historical Materialism, Conflict Theory

Week 6- Elites, Hegemony

Week 7- Ideology

Week 8- Midterm; Review

Week 9- Critical Theory

Week 10- Legitimation Crisis, Post-Industrial Society, Risk Society

Week 11- Post-modernism and Post-modernity, Simulacra and Simulation

Week 12- Discourse

Week 13- Habitus

Week 14- Review