Classical Sociological Theory

Subject SOCI20013 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 1 x 1.5 hour lecture and 1 x 1 hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment:

120 hours


12.5 points of Level 1 Sociology



Recommended Background Knowledge:

Sociology at Level 1

Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:

Subject Overview:

This subject provides students with a comprehensive introduction to the major traditions and key contributions in social theory in the context of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The strengths and limitations of various classical sociological perspectives will be discussed and the direct contemporary relevance to social research will be explored. Students will be required to read the original writings of social theorists – including, but not limited to, Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, Max Weber and Georg Simmel – with the ultimate goal of developing their analytical skills and intellectual understanding of the classical theoretical debates in an informed and rigorous manner.


On completion of this subject students will be able to:

  • Critically assess major traditions within classical sociological theory;
  • Engage with the original writings of social theorists with the ultimate goal to develop analytical skills and intellectual understanding of classical sociological theory;
  • Develop capacity to use classical sociological theory to construct future research on contemporary social life.

Take Home Test #1 (25%) due first half of the semester, Take Home Test #2 (25%) due at the end of the semester (25%) and a Research Paper (50%) due during the examination period.

Hurdle Requirement: This subject has a minimum hurdle requirement of 75% tutorial participation. Regular participation in tutorials is required.

Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

Craig Calhoun, Joseph Gerteis, James Moody, Steven Pfaff and Indermohan Virk, eds. (2011) Classical Sociological Theory, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On successful completion of this subject students will be able to:

  • Apply research skills and critical methods to a field of inquiry;
  • Develop persuasive arguments on a given topic;
  • Communicate oral and written arguments and ideas effectively and articulately.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Social Theory
Social Theory
Social Theory Major
Sociology Major

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