Communities and Social Dynamics


1. Define course’s main concepts
2. Recognize the renewal of communities’ conceptualization and theorization as social networks and spaces of sociability and socialization;
3. Reflect on the theoretical sociological frameworks of community;
4. Communicate rigorously results of sociological studies that take communities as sociological research objects;
5. Question on current communities, both locally circumscribed or un-territorialized, from the approached theoretical frameworks.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Maria Margarida Alves Monteiro Marques


Weekly - Available soon

Total - 168

Teaching language



Available soon


BELL, Colin and NEWBY, Howard, Community Studies. An Introduction to the Sociology of the Local Community. Bóston, George Allen & Unwin, 1971.
BRINT, Steven. Gemeinschaft Revisited: A Critique and Reconstruction of the Community Concept. Sociological Theory 19(1), pp.1-23.2001
CASTELLS, Manuel. A era da informação (Vol.1): A sociedade em rede. Lisboa: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, 2000.
COHEN, Anthony P., The Symbolic Construction of Community, London, Routledge, 2007.
DELANTY, Gerard, Community, London, Routledge, 2003.
PUTNAM, Robert D., Bowling Alone. The Collapse and Revival of American Community. New York, Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 2000.
NISBET, Rober. The sociological tradition. New York : Basic Books, 1993.
TÖNNIES, Ferdinand, Community and Society, New York, Dover Publications, 1957.
WELLMAN, Barry, Networks in the Global Village. Life in Contemporary Communities. Oxford, Westview Press, 1999.

Teaching method

Theoretical and practical sessions. Each theoretical lecture exposes concepts and fundamental theoretical frameworks. Practical lessons work on understanding, discussing and oral and written capacities. They are organized around relevant educational material to the topic in question, whether films/ documentary clips or discussion of texts previously read by students. Some practical lessons serve to follow the students’ essays, which should be realized outside the class.
In class teaching

Evaluation method

Available soon

Subject matter

1. Community and Utopia: the European tradition.
2. Community – Society dichotomy: Tönnies, Durkheim and Weber.
3. Rural communities and peasant societies.
4. Community and nationality.
5. Community and modernity: from the loss of community nostalgia to the individuation of civic culture
6. Urban communities: locality, identity and belonging. From Chicago School to Human Ecology, from Green Community to Sustainability.
7. Community and diversity: migrations, networks and enclaves as source of diversity and social and cultural complexity.
8. Communities and social capital: Bowling Alone or the decline of the idea of community in America. Thesis and antithesis.
9. Personal communities and social networks. The strength of weak ties or the networked community.
10. Virtual communities: belong, communicating.


Programs where the course is taught: