Classical Sociological Theory

University of Amsterdam

This Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) by the University of Amsterdam provides a deep dive into classical sociological theory. Over 8 sessions, participants will explore the foundational works of influential figures like Karl Marx, Max Weber, and Emile Durkheim, gaining a profound understanding of their contributions to sociological thought.

Participants will engage with small tests based on video content and recommended readings, allowing them to delve into complex texts and grasp classical sociological concepts that are still pertinent today. This course serves as an essential resource for individuals seeking a comprehensive understanding of sociological theory and its enduring relevance.

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Classical Sociological Theory
Course Modules

Immerse in the influential works of sociological giants like Karl Marx, Max Weber, and Emile Durkheim through 8 comprehensive sessions, uncovering the enduring relevance of classical sociological theory.

Session 1: Classical Sociological Theory - An Introduction

This session provides an introduction to classical sociological theory, offering insights into the foundational concepts and aims of the course. Participants will gain a comprehensive overview of the course content and expectations.

Session 2: Bernard Mandeville (1670-1733) and Adam Smith (1723-1790)

Explore the works of Bernard Mandeville and Adam Smith, delving into concepts such as the invisible hand, division of labor, and the wealth of nations, and understanding their influence on classical sociological thought.

Session 3: Auguste Comte (1798-1857)

Delve into the theories of Auguste Comte, exploring his perspectives on religious and scientific knowledge, the law of the three stages of the human mind, and the role of sociology in establishing social harmony.

Session 4: Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859)

Discover Alexis de Tocqueville's insights on modern sociology, gaining a deeper understanding of his views on democracy, social stratification, and the dangers of centralization, and exploring his predictions for the future.

Session 5: Karl Marx (1818-1883)

Uncover Karl Marx's influential contributions to sociological theory, examining his perspectives on economic interdependency, social class struggle, and the capitalist system, and gaining insights into his predictions.

Session 6: Émile Durkheim (1858-1917)

Engage with Émile Durkheim's significant works, exploring his perspectives on mechanic and organic solidarity, social facts, and the social functions of religion, and understanding the enduring relevance of his theories.

Session 7: Max Weber (1864-1920)

Discover Max Weber's insights on value-free sociology, social action, ideal types, authority, and rationalization, gaining a profound understanding of his influential theories and their impact on sociology.

Session 8: Norbert Elias (1897-1990)

Explore the works of Norbert Elias, gaining insights into the civilizing process, social constraint, and figurational processes, and understanding the long-term trends in classical sociological theories and their relevance in contemporary studies.

Classical Sociological Theory Final Test

Engage in the final test, consolidating your understanding of classical sociological theory and its enduring relevance, and demonstrating your comprehensive grasp of the course content.

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