Modern Sociological Theory A

Department of Political Science and International Studies, School of Government and Society

College of Social Sciences


Code 16779

Level of study Second Year

Credit value 10

Semester 1

Pre-requisite modules None

Other pre-requisites Co-requisite - Modern Sociological Theory B - 16780

Module description

This module introduces the central ideas of key thinkers in the sociological tradition, as they sought to understand the development of modern industrial societies from the nineteenth century to the 1970s. The module opens with a detailed survey of the three 'founding' thinkers of modern sociology - Marx, Durkheim and Weber, as well as an introduction to those who introduced micro-sociological approaches to the study of everyday life (eg Simmel). Later, competing interpretations of the character of modern societies are then examined, ranging from the functionalist society of Talcott Parsons to the more pessimistic analysis of the Frankfurt School of critical theorists. The subsequent turning of modern sociological theory against itself, and the emergence of postmodernism, are the starting point for the Level H core module, Contemporary Social Theory.

Teaching and learning methods

Lecture, seminar