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Classical Sociological Theory

The aim of this course is to give an overview of classical sociological theory and a deeper understanding of some theories and perspectives

The course begins with a short sketch of the development of social theory in the history of ideas and an account of the social and intellectual background of the rise of sociology as an academic discipline in the 19th century. The main focus of the course is on, Karl Marx, Max Weber and Emile Durkheim, but other classical sociologists, such as Alexis de Tocqueville, Ferdinand Tönnies, Georg Simmel and George Herbert Mead will also be treated. In addition to these male sociologists, a number of female pioneers in sociology, such as Harriet Martineau, Marianne Weber and Charlotte Perkins Gilman, will be presented. Courses in classical sociology usually treat the period that ends around 1920. In this course, however some attention is payed to theories of a later date, such as the phenomenology of Alfred Schutz, the structural functionalism of Talcott Parsons and Robert K.Merton and critical theory of the Frankfurt School.