Singapore University of Social Sciences

Classical Social Thought

Classical Social Thought (SOC307)

Applications Open: 01 May 2024

Applications Close: 15 June 2024

Next Available Intake: July 2024

Course Types: Modular Undergraduate Course

Language: English

Duration: 6 months

Fees: $1391.78 View More Details on Fees

Area of Interest: Humanities and Social Sciences

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. SOC307 Classical Social Thought covers key contributors to the foundations of modern social theory. These thinkers have pioneered conceptual thinking about the modern social order and methods of social research, shaping the discipline of sociology. The contributions of key figures such as Karl Marx, Max Weber and Emile Durkheim will be discussed, with the syllabus examining the development of the sociological tradition from its beginnings in the philosophy of the Enlightenment. The social and intellectual contexts within which their lifetime work and ideas were formed are explored. Students will appreciate how the workings of current society as well as prevailing societal problems may be rooted in the earlier developments in modern society. Also considered is how these theories continue to inform contemporary thought and can be applied to the major critical problems facing societies today.

Level: 3
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: EVERY JULY


  • Historical Context and Precursors of Classical Sociological Theory: Modernity and Sociology
  • Historical Context and Precursors of Classical Sociological Theory: Early Theories of Social Order
  • The Sociological Theory of Karl Marx: Historical Materialism
  • The sociological Theory of Karl Marx: Labour and Capital
  • The Sociological Theory of Emile Durkheim: Rules of Sociological Method
  • The Sociological Theory of Emile Durkheim: Social Order and Anomie
  • The Sociological Theory of Max Weber: Objectivity of Social Science and Ideal Type
  • The Sociological Theory of Max Weber: Rationalisation of Society
  • Mead’s Social Self
  • Simmel’s Sociological Forms
  • Parsons’s Theory of Social System
  • Merton’s Theory of the Middle Range

Learning Outcome

  • Examine the key tenets of classical social theory
  • Appraise the intellectual contributions of thinkers in the course to sociological theory
  • Illustrate the social and intellectual origins of classical sociology
  • Demonstrate the applicability of sociological theory to understanding the current social order
  • Analyse problems in contemporary society using sociological theories
  • Apply theoretical ideas to substantive social issues
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