o CST (Contemporary Social Theory)


About the Course

Contemporary Social Theory is a postgraduate course as part of the Humanities and Social Sciences MA program. It constitutes the second-leg of a two-semester social theory course. CST is a compulsory three- credit course.

This course presents the students with an overview of contemporary theories in social sciences.  The evolution of social theory in the twentieth century will be analyzed with reference to major themes during the term.  Our aim will be to understand and make sense of ‘social theory’ that seems to follow a different historical and thematic trajectory when compared to political theory, cultural theory or history of philosophy. Social theory is often conceived and designed as a field close to, but not exactly similar to sociological theory.

During the lecture we will attempt to comprehend the views of major theorists, their relation to other theories and the way in which certain concepts are covered and analyzed in their theories.  Among the major themes that are relevant to our discussion with regards to social theory will be society, community, individual, structure, agency, modernity, postmodernity and globalization.

To download the course syllabus, please click here.


Tentative Weekly Schedule

Week 1Introducing Social Theory

Week 2 - The Heritage of Hermeneutics: Dilthey, Weber & Gadamer 

Week 3 - The Frankfurt School I: Adorno & Horkheimer

Week 4 The Frankfurt School II: Freud, Adorno, Fromm & Marcuse

Week 5Structuralism: Saussure, Levi-Strauss & Barthes

Week 6Hegemony and Ideology: Althusser & Gramsci

Week 7Modernity as an Unfinished Project: Habermas

Week 8Discipline, Subjectivity & Power: Foucault

Week 9Between Structure and Agent, Theories of Structuration: Bourdieu & Giddens

Week 10The Poststructuralist Turn: Lacan & Derrida

Week 11Post-feminism and Queer Theory: Kristeva, Butler & Haraway

Week 12The Condition of Postmodernity: Harvey & Jameson

Week 13Hyperreality and Rhizomatics: Baudrillard, Deleuze & Guattari

Week 14 Networks, Risks & Liquids: Castells, Beck & Bauman

Week 15Discussion of papers and evaluation of the term