Syllabus for Classic Social Theory

Klassisk samhällsteori


  • 7.5 credits
  • Course code: 2SC177
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Sociology A1N
  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
  • Established: 2020-06-11
  • Established by: The Department Board
  • Applies from: Autumn 2021
  • Entry requirements:

    A Bachelor's degree including 90 credits in sociology or social psychology.

  • Responsible department: Department of Sociology

Decisions and guidelines

The course is given both as a programme course and as a standalone course. The course may be given in English.

Learning outcomes

Upon completing the course, students should be able to show:

* advanced knowledge of sociological thinking and classical sociological theories

* advanced knowledge of how different theories and theoretical traditions have influenced different specialisations within sociology

* an advanced understanding of differences in the use of sociological theories regarding the interpretation of basic principles of society, different empirical facts and time diagnostic purposes

* an ability to reflect critically on theory development

* a good ability to apply theoretical concepts and perspectives

* good oral and written skills in communicating sociological theoretical thinking.


The aim of the course is for students to acquire advanced knowledge of sociological theories and theoretical thinking. A particular focus is placed on classical sociological theories. The course offers students the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of major classical works and how these have influenced the development of sociology and its different specialisations. The course also covers the relevance of classical theory for the understanding and explanation of contemporary social phenomena.


The teaching consists of lectures, group exercises and seminars. Active participation in seminars is always compulsory. Absence from compulsory components can only partially be compensated by written assignments. Students who fail to meet the attendance requirements will be referred to the next occasion the course is offered.


The course is assessed through a take-home exam, written assignments and active participation in seminars. Assignments that are submitted after the deadline cannot receive a passing grade. Students who miss a deadline are referred to the next examination opportunity. If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. Special reasons can include notification of special educational support from the university disability coordinator.

Other directives

Compulsory course for students in the Master's programme in social sciences specialising in sociology.

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: Autumn 2022

Some titles may be available electronically through the University library.

  • Cooley, Charles Horton Human nature and the social order

    Repr.: New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 1983

    Find in the library


  • Durkheim, Émile The rules of sociological method

    8. ed.: New York: Free Press, 1938, pr. 1966

    Find in the library


  • Lee, David; Newby, Howard The problem of sociology : an introduction to the discipline

    London: Hutchinson, 1983

    Find in the library


  • Marx, Karl; Engels, Friedrich The German ideology.

    New York: International Publishers, 1963

    Find in the library


  • Mead, George Herbert Morris, Charles W. Mind, self, and society : from the standpoint of a social behaviorist

    Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1934 pr. 1972

    Find in the library


  • Simmel, Georg Levine, Donald N. On individuality and social forms : selected writings

    Chicago...: Univ. of Chicago P., 1971

    Find in the library


  • Weber, Max The protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism

    London: Routledge, 1992

    Find in the library


  • Classical sociological theory Calhoun, Craig J.; Gerteis, Joseph; Moody, James W.; Pfaff, Steven; Virk, Indermohan

    Fourth edition.: Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2022

    Find in the library