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Indian Institute of Technology Madras

Classical Sociological Theory

Indian Institute of Technology Madras and NPTEL via Swayam


This course introduces students to the formative period of sociology and the socio-cultural as well as the intellectual factors behind the emergence of the discipline. It provides a comprehensive understanding and an in-depth analysis of the stalwarts of classical sociological theory such as Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, and G H Mead. It explains how the theoretical concerns of these scholars laid the foundation for the subsequent development of sociology as a distinct social science discipline with precise theoretical as well as methodological foundations. Thus, the course enables students to develop a sociological perspective and theoretical insights through a systematic analysis of the key theorists of the discipline.INTENDED AUDIENCE :Undergraduate as well as postgraduate students of sociology, aspirants of competitive examinations and general public who are interested in the discipline of sociology.PREREQUISITES :NoneINDUSTRIES SUPPORT :None


Week 1: Introduction to sociology; uniqueness of sociological perspectiveWeek 2: Historical context of the emergence of sociology: European EnlightenmentWeek 3: August Comte, Herbert Spencer and early thinkers of modernityWeek 4: Karl MarxWeek 5: Karl MarxWeek 6: Emile DurkheimWeek 7: Emile DurkheimWeek 8: Max WeberWeek 9: Max WeberWeek 10:GH MeadWeek 11:Classical theory and methodological orientations in sociologyWeek 12:Sociology and modernity: wrapping up and conclusion

Taught by

Prof. R. Santhosh

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