General Sociology: Theories


a) First-hand contact and comprehending of sociology’s theoretical and paradigmatic plurality, inviting students to understand it through concepts analytical use and sociological problématique construction;
b) Understanding and ability to recognize the differences in definition of basic concepts of sociological theory, inserting them in the paradigmatic standpoints that secure their sociological meaning;
c) Understanding of the mismatches, complementarities and possible syntheses between different theoretical perspectives, illustrating and discussing them through certain concepts;
d) Ability to bring into play these theoretical perspectives while working on the basic design of a sociological research;
e) Ability to transform concepts into sociological analytical tools of social realities;
f) Ability to present and rigorously communicate sociological theory and its transformation into empirical data.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

João Afonso de Bivar Sedas Nunes


Weekly - 4

Total - 168

Teaching language



Available soon


Berger, P. & luckmann, t. (1987). A construção social da realidade. Petrópolis: Vozes.
Champagne, P., et al (1998). Iniciação à prática sociológica. Petrópolis: Vozes.

Corcuff, Ph. (1997). As novas sociologias. Sintra: Vral.
de Singly, F., Giraud, C. & Martin, O. (2010). Nouveau manuel de sociologie. Paris: Armand Colin.
Elliott, A. (2009). Contemporary social theory. An introduction. London & New York: Routledge.
Pinto, J.M. (1994). “Para uma iniciação breve à sociologia (a partir da sala de aula)” in Propostas para o ensino das ciências sociais, Parte III, cap. II. Porto: Afrontamento, pp. 139-167.
Turner, B S. (ed.) (2002), Teoria social. Lisboa: Difel.

Teaching method

a) Lectures (covering 50% of all classes); these aim at the presentation, discussion and clarification of the theoretical contents of the curricular unit.
b) practical classes (50%) of two sorts: 1) monitoring sessions (monitoring, guidance and evaluation) of a work group based design of a research program framed by the theoretical and methodological protocols introduced during the (theoretical) lectures; 2) interpretation sessions using sociological concepts of different theoretical frameworks to analyse materials expressly designed for this purpose.
In class teaching.


Evaluation method

a) Group work with individual assessment component (60%), b) A written test focusing on the whole theoretical content of the curricular unit (40%)

Subject matter

1. Social realities as social constructions: definitions, issues and dimensions;
2. The paradigmatic and theoretical plurality in (constructivist) sociology: remarking contrasts and complementarities through the exam of the concepts of action and actor when paired with the concepts of:
2.1. structure, social field and social world;
2.2. power, legitimacy and domination;
2.3. institution, role, socialization and identity;
3. Exploration of the concepts and paradigms:
3.1. as they engineer exemplary research;
3.2. applying them to social realities as well as sociology’s theoretical legacy;
4. Structured use of concepts and paradigms in view of the production of novel sociological objects.


Programs where the course is taught: