Training programme

Advanced Social Theory - 6 ECTS

This is an advanced course which is part of the WASS graduate programme in the MSc programmes MME, MID, MDR and MCH. This course enables students to select an inspiring theoretical framework for social scientific research. The course consists of lectures and discussion groups on influential approaches and issues in social scientific theorizing. This is an advanced course, typically for highly motivated students who are not afraid for theoretical abstraction and close reading and intensive discussions of key texts in contemporary social theory. The course focusses on original texts from key authors (examples are Bourdieu, Collins, Foucault, Habermas, etc.), which help you to build a strong foundation in social theory.

Organised by Wageningen School of Social Sciences (WASS)
Date

Mon 2 September 2019 until Wed 9 October 2019

Venue Leeuwenborch, building number 201
Hollandseweg 1
201
6706 KN Wageningen
0317-483639

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:

1.   Distinguish and contrast the main arguments in key texts of important approaches in contemporary social scientific theory;

2.   Distinguish and contrast the core themes of important approaches and debates in contemporary social scientific theory;

3.   Assess the differences and similarities between these approaches;

4.   Appraise a particular social scientific work to these approaches and debates;

5.   Assess the opportunities and limitations of these approaches for doing research;

6.   Use concepts and theories of at least two of these approaches to compose research questions for social scientific research.    

Assumed knowledge on:

Introduction into social theory, like RSO-10306 Sociology and ENP-22803 Theories and Themes: Sociology or equivalent courses; Social Science Bachelor. In case of doubt contact the course coordinator

Activities:

Intensive discussion groups in which students and teachers actively review and discuss key texts in social theory. Students write an assignment in which they show their ability to view a specific social scientific problem from different theoretical perspectives. Furthermore, students read texts, participate in discussions and present reviews of the key texts and defend their essay.

Examination:

- individual essay (60%);
- presentation and defence (30%);
- active preparation as expressed in submitted questions and comments (10%).
The first two component require a minimum of 5.5 to pass.

Literature:

C. Calhoun; [et al]. (eds), (2012). Contemporary sociological theory, Malden: Wiley-Blackwell. Selected additional readings (to be copied from master copies by the students).

More information

Study Handbook