Classical Sociological Theory, 7.5 credits

About the education

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.

Subject: Sociology

Sociology is the scientific study of the origin, development, organization, and functions of human societies, comprising everything from studies of close-knit social relations to the cultural and formal institutions of society. Sociology contributes knowledge of how peoples´ working conditions and health are affected by organizational structures, or how identities and groups are shaped by religion, ethnicity, and gender, creating social communities as well as social conflicts. Sociology also contributes to the understanding of how individual lives are affected by gender, social background and ethnicity.

Hence, studies in sociology provide you with theoretical and methodological tools to better understand society and the social contexts of which you are a part. Studies in sociology also enrich and complement other social science studies such as criminology, economics, psychology, and political science, as well as other fields such as technology, medicine, philosophy and law.

Labour market

Sociologists have a broad labour market both within the private and the public sector. A sociological education will help you develop analytical skills in the form of theory as well as both quantitative and qualitative research methods .Analytical skills that will make you able to investigate social issues, and to assess, evaluate and perform surveys on social phenomena. You can specialize in different areas such as labour market, organizations, migration, demography, health, gender, or family.


To obtain a Bachelor´s degree in Sociology you can either take single subject courses in sociology of 90 HEC combined with 90 HEC in other subjects, or take one of the following Bachelor´s programmes:

Bachelor´s programme in applied social research

Bachelor´s programme in sociology: Working life and labour market

Bachelor´s programme in personnel, work and organization

The Department of Sociology offers second level studies in both sociology and demography in the form of Master´s programmes, or single subject courses that can be used in a degree in another subject. With a Bachelor´s degree and 60 HEC of second level courses you are eligible for doctoral studies in sociology or sociological demography.

Area of interest: Human, Social and Political Sciences, and Law

Are you interested in human beings and society? How we function individually and together, what drives us, our learning processes, how rules and laws have been established, and how we interact with each other? If that is the case we have a lot to offer.

This area of interest covers anything from Pedagogy, Psychology and Gender Studies, to Statistics, Political Science, Law and many other subjects. Their common denominator is the relation between human beings and society, independent analytical thinking and often an international perspective.

Department responsible for education

Department of Sociology