Singapore University of Social Sciences

Sociological Theories and Perspectives

Sociological Theories and Perspectives (SOC301)

Applications Open: 01 October 2022

Applications Close: 15 December 2022

Next Available Intake: January 2023

Course Types: Modular Undergraduate Course

Language: English

Duration: 6 months

Fees: $1378 View More Details on Fees

Area of Interest: Business Administration, International Trade, Science and Technology

Schemes: Alumni Continuing Education (ACE)

Funding: To be confirmed

School/Department: School of Humanities & Behavioural Sciences


Sociological theories have contributed to the development of our understanding of the social world. Students are provided with an overview of classical perspectives of social theory, by examining the context from which each perspective developed. Key figures in social theory are discussed, including contributions from Karl Marx, Max Weber and Emile Durkheim, to name a few. The syllabus is specifically concerned with examining the development of sociological theory from its beginnings in the philosophy of Enlightenment and its subsequent development in the work of Comte, Marx, Durkheim and Weber, to modern sociological theory, including functionalism, symbolic interactionism and postmodernism. The underlying structure of the syllabus is chronological and its aim is to help students reach a basic grasp of the main intellectual trends in sociological theory up to the present day. It allows students to develop an appreciation for the key ideas of the founders of sociology and of the ways in which these have informed and can continue to inform contemporary theoretical discussions. We also consider how these theories can actually be applied to address the major critical problems facing societies.

Level: 3
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: Every January


  • Introduction and Structural Functionalism
  • Contributions of key figures: Marx
  • Contributions of key figures: Durkheim
  • Contributions of key figures: Weber
  • Expanding the foundation: Simmel, Mead, Goffman
  • Contemporary Theories on Modernity & Conclusion

Learning Outcome

  • Appraise the main intellectual trends and leading contributions in sociological theory
  • Examine the variety of national traditions and contexts of sociology.
  • Interpret the role of sociological theory in sociological research
  • Appraise the key concepts used in sociological theories.
  • Relate the ways in which sociological theories interact with and respond to each other.
  • Analyse problems in contemporary society using sociological theories
  • Apply theoretical ideas to substantive social issues
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