Contemporary Sociological Themes


a) Integrated understanding of the use of concepts, theories and sociological research methodologies, learned in other courses, for the sociological reflection on real life issues; b) Ability to problematize and analyse topics and real-life situations, using relevant theoretical perspectives; c) Ability to use the aforementioned problematization and analysis to sociologically conceive the research objects; d) Ability to communicate the theoretical and methodological construction of research objects in an accurate and meaningful way.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

José Alberto de Vasconcelos Simões


Weekly - Available soon

Total - 168

Teaching language



Have completed a minimum of 48 ECTS credits


Bachelard, G. (2005). A noção de obstáculo epistemológico. Plano da obra. In G. Bachelard, A formação do espírito científico. Contribuição para uma psicanálise do conhecimento (pp. 17-28). Contraponto. Bourdieu, P., Chamboredon, J. C., & Passeron, J. C. (2004). A construção do objecto. In P. Bourdieu, J. C. Chamboredon & J. C. Passeron, Ofício de Sociólogo: metodologia da pesquisa na sociologia (pp. 45-72). Vozes. Gilbert, N. (Org.) (2008). Researching social life (3ª Ed.). Sage. King, G., Keohane, R.O., & Verba, S (1994). Designing social enquiry: scientific inference in qualitative research. Princeton University Press. Merton, R.K. (1970). Sociologia: Teoria e estrutura. Mestre Jou. Uma obra de investigação empírica de referência (a escolher anualmente). 

Teaching method

The classes are divided into lectures and practical sessions. The latter consist of selected texts discussion sessions; in discussion sessions with invited guests (researchers and sociologists integrated in public and private organizations); in guided discussion sessions supported by the viewing of documentaries, reports or films; and in the presentation and discussion of the essays of problematization of research themes chosen by the students. 

Evaluation method

Final written problematization essay (including thematic delimitation, bibliographical research and research problem) about the chosen theme(30%), Participation and involvement of the student in the activities to be performed in the theoretical-practical and practical classes, namely: in the discussion of the selected texts; in discussion sessions with external guests; in the guided discussion sessions; and in the discussion of practical work(20%), Progress Report (written document, including delimitation of the chosen empirical research theme and preliminary bibliographic review) and its presentation and discussion in practical sessions(20%), Written Test(30%)

Subject matter

1. The relationship between sociological theory and the construction of research objects
1.1. Sociological theory and problematization of social reality
1.2. Questioning and construction of research objects

2. Analysis of concrete themes of contemporary society
2.1. Presentation and explanation of the problematization and theoretical analysis used in the construction of sociological research objects
2.2. Presentation and discussion of reports, films and / or documentaries on topics relevant to the knowledge of contemporary society

3. Contemporary sociological themes in debate: presentation of the work carried out by the students on the construction of the research object


Programs where the course is taught: