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This module is a continuation of the core course taken in the first year. All students are expected to follow it.
The module begins with a introduction to the historical context of the sociological 'classics', as well as a discussion of why the ideas of 'classical' thinkers need to put in historical context. We show how the ideas of foundational sociologists should be 'pluralized' by drawing on the insights of global social theorists outside of the Western 'canon.' Further lectures explore some of the key ideas and texts of Marx, Durkheim and Weber, while stressing the need to contextualize and critically assess their thought and its relevance for understanding social life today. The emphasis, here, is on learning to read and interpret the original texts (instead of relying on secondary sources).
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.