This course provides an introduction to some of the main authors and debates within contemporary sociological theory. It does not attempt to provide a comprehensive overview of the discipline; such an overview would require a year long course.
Instead, the course focuses selectively on a few key authors and issues. It devotes special attention to how contemporary social theories have reflected on key societal transformations such globalisation, post-colonialism, technification, etc.
The following theoretical approaches will be examined:
- interaction theory (E. Goffman, R. Collins, H. Garfinkel) and rational choice theory (J. Coleman)
- contemporary systems theory (N. Luhmann)
- the legagy of critical theory (Foucault, Bourdieu, post-Marxism)
- contemporary theories of modernity and post-modernity