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 SSC 211 - Modern Sociology


Modern Sociology builds on the subjects, concepts and theories of the founding fathers Durkheim, Weber and Marx, studied in the Introduction to Sociology course (SSC 111).  Was the classical sociology dominated by individual thinkers, like the above mentioned, in modern sociology we see several schools of thought developing like structural functionalism, critical theory, exchange and rational choice theories, ethnomethodology, gender studies, postmodernism or orientalism and others. This course on Modern Sociology will treat these schools of thought in sociology with the work of a variety of interesting contemporary sociologists, important sociologists in the second half of the 20th century until today. 

In the nicely written book of Appelrouth and Edles, we will meet the icons of sociology like Mead, Parsons, Goffman. Via Luckman and Berger we will arrive at Habermas, Giddens, Hochschild, Bourdieu, Elias, and some others. All of them are representatives or have contributed to the above mentioned theoretical schools or perspectives in modern sociology. Students learn how the ideas of these sociologists could be helpful in answering the sociological main questions on social inequality, social cohesion, conflict and on identity and diversity.  The modern sociology has developed more empirical investigation and more critical analysis. The work of modern sociologists has led to new, seminal sociological insights on the core issues of social stratification, social class, culture, race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, social mobility and religion. 

In the course we read original work of the icons of sociology and will search for today’s examples from newspapers, TV, movies that match with the theoretical perspectives. 


Prof. Jeanne de Bruijn​


This course can be followed by all students who have taken a relevant 100-level course in the Social Sciences, for instance in anthropology, politics, law, history (all but economics and psychology) or who have taken social psychology. 

Required for

This course is an alternative requirement for the following courses:

  • SSC 311 New Issues in Contemporary Sociology
  • SSC 331 Faces of the State: A View from Anthropology
  • SSC 332 The Dynamics of Globalization
  • SSC 334 Advanced Cultural Studies