This module is a continuation of the core course taken in the first year. All students are expected to follow it.

Autumn Term
The module begins with a brief introduction to the historical context of the sociological 'classics'. The rest of Term 1 is devoted to some of the key ideas and texts of Marx, Durkheim and Weber. The emphasis, here, is on learning to read and interpret the original texts (instead of relying on secondary sources).

Spring Term
In the Spring term we will be discussing a selection of modern and contemporary thinkers who followed on from those classic writers - in some cases carrying forward their ideas into a new context, in other cases inventing new approaches to social understanding.

In describing these developments we have had to be very selective and other choices could have been made. Also, for teaching purposes, we have tended to treat different traditions as if they proceeded independently and without reference to each other. In fact, of course, each tradition influenced and was influenced by the others, and some important thinkers combine ideas from many traditions and are unclassifiable. Thus it is really important for you to be thinking about relationships and points of points of contact between developments which we will be treating as separate. For example, Althusser's Marxism is strongly influenced by the structuralist tradition.