Courses in foreign languages at the Faculty

Janusz Mucha

Semester: all

Key words: functional approaches; conflict theories; interpretative sociologies; structural approach; poststructural sociologies.


Course description:

The aim of this course is the analysis of modern sociological theories. By modern I mean theories put forward after World War II. The obvious assumption is that the students are familiar with the history of social thought. The topics to be covered are:

1. Modern sociological theories as a continuation of classical theories.
2. Functionalism as a theoretical and methodological orientation in sociology:Talcott Parsons, Robert Merton, Kingsley Davis, Wilbert Moore, Niklas Luhmann.
3. Conflict theories in modern sociology: Ralf Dahrendorf and Lewis A. Coser.
4. Critical theorizing in modern sociology: Jürgen Habermas. American radical sociology.
5. Utilitarian sociologies. Social exchange theories: George C. Homans and Peter M. Blau. Conflict exchange theory: Randall Collins.
6. Theories of rational choice in sociology: Michael Hechter and James Coleman. Institutional approach in sociology.
7. Biological models of social life. Sociobiology, evolutionary psychology and human ecology.
8. Subjectivist approach to social theory. Herbert Blumer’s symbolic interactionism. Blumer’s macrosociology.
9. Grounded theory: Anselm Strauss and Barney Glazer.
10. Dramaturgical approach: Erving Goffman.
11. Alfred Schütz’s phenomenological sociology. Ethnomethodology.
12. Cultural structuralism: Pierre Bourdieu. Anthony Giddens’ structuration theory.
13. Modern historical sociology.
14. Poststructuralism and postmodernism in social theory.
15. Conclusions.


Course is given on individual tutorial basis.

Grading system:

  • Browning, Gary, Abigail Halcli and Frank Webster (eds.). 2000. UNDERSTANDING CONTPORARY COOCIETY. THEORIES OF THE PRESENT. London et al.: SAGE.

  • Seidman, Steven and Jeffrey C. Alexander (eds.). 2001. THE NEW SOCIAL THEORY READER. CONTEMPORARY DEBATES. London and New York: Routledge.

  • Turner, Bryan S. (ed.). 1996. THE BLACKWELL COMPANIONTO SOCIAL THEORY. Malden and Oxford: Blackwell.

  • Turner, Jonathan H. 2003. THE STRUCTURE OF SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY. Belmont, CA: Thomson


Weekly assignments of readings and essay