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Social Theory in Everyday Life




Admissions requirements



What has social theory got to do with our daily life? Does social theory give us insight, and enable us to respond to, global issues such as climate change, population displacement, nationalism, and social anomie? In light of such demanding conditions and implacable forces, why bother at all about social theory?

In this course, students are invited to approach thinking about your daily life - the ways in which you understand yourself, others and the shape of our interactions. Even more, students are challenged to think about their current lives, by means of theories and concepts coined in the 19th and 20th centuries. In this course, social theory (ST) is presented as a conceptual grammar and mode of disciplinary reasoning that makes such thinking possible. Social theory’s purpose is to help us to think about the myriad types of social relations that underpin the economic, scientific, political and cultural spheres of our lives; to understand their historical transformations and distinct genealogies; and to imagine future challenges and collective responses.

Course objectives

By the end of the course students should develop:

  • A broad understanding of how and why classical social theories emerged, alongside the emergence of the disciplines of sociology and anthropology, in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

  • The capacity to appreciate the strengths and limits of foundational western social thought and examine the relevance of classic thinkers and contemporary ideas today.

  • The ability to use social theory to identify, understand, and analyze current political preoccupations and global entanglements.

  • A sociologically and anthropologically informed and critically alert way of thinking about the constructed, contingent, and mediated aspects of their everyday lives.


Once available, timetables will be published in the e-Prospectus.

Mode of instruction

Two weekly meetings spread over seven weeks comprise the structure of the course. The seminars are grounded in lectures that address the assigned authors, their key ideas, and their imprint on contemporary social science. These lectures are supplemented by considerable in-class student discussion which will elaborate the weekly themes. Students will prepare for each class in a twofold manner: by (a) studying the material required for each session and (b) thinking about its applicability today.


Participation - 10% - ongoing
Performing the classics (group work) – 30% - Week 6
Mid-term exam – 30% - Week 4
Final essay – 30% - Week 8


There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.

Reading list



This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact


Dr. Ajay Gandhi,
Dr. Daniela Vicherat-Mattar,