Academic year
2020/2021 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
LT9018 (AF:312632 AR:177784)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Bachelor's Degree Programme
Educational sector code
4th Term
Course year
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The course in "Modern Sociology" has a special function within the program as the bridge between the many disciplinary fields tackled by the PISE program and which find their synthesis in contemporary sociological theories. In fact, sociological theories - as those addressed in this course - can be seen as point of encounter between some of the major philosophical and economic approaches that have developed throughout the XIX and XX centuries and which our students explore in the core teachings of PISE.
This course aims to provide a general introduction to sociological approaches that have developed in the XX century (especially in the 1960s-1980s) in Europe and North America, and with particular attention to theories on gender, race and sexuality.

In this framework, by the end of the course students will be able to:
- explain the main concepts used in contemporary sociology
- illustrate the main sociological paradigms and some of their criticism
- describe the role and the legacy of major authors
- identify and discuss main theories about gender, race and sexuality.
Basic knowledge about philosophical traditions of the XIX century (e.g. Marx and Hegel).
The course starts as a general introduction to sociological thinking, the main theories and approaches in contemporary sociology and their relevance to understanding today’s social world.

In so doing, the course concentrates on sociological paradigms that have developed in the European and North American contexts, and especially between the 1960s and 1980s. The contribution of main authors of the XX century will be discussed in class. Thus, notions of power, inequality, culture and society will be critically examined in their various definitions.

Special attention will be devoted to the contribution of French sociologists such as Pierre Bourdieu and Michel Foucault and their legacy in contemporary thinking on issues of power and social change. Moreover, the course will focus on feminist approaches to gender norms and sexuality, as well as on sociological approaches to race and racism.
“Introduction to Sociological Theory: Theorists, Concepts, and Their Applicability to the Twenty-First Century” di Michele Dillon.
Compulsory readings: Introduction, Chapters 1, 2, 3, 10, 11, 12 and 13.
Evaluation will be based on a written examination. The written exam will consist of a short essay responding to a chosen question (from 2 options).
In order to answer to the chosen question, students will have to show their knowledge of the course program and their acquired capacity to critically reflect on main theories and authors.
The written exam has a duration of 2 hours and students can consult their copies of readings and their personal notes on the teacher’ lectures.
Given the large size of these classes, the contents of this course will be mainly delivered as lectures, and the final exam will consist in a written exam.
However, students are encouraged to actively participate and develop their individual views on the topic of the course by joining the discussion during each lecture, and by preparing the readings.

This subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "Poverty and inequalities" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development

Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 27/08/2020