General Sociology: Basic Principles


It is intended that students acquire:
1) A fondness for sociology and the necessary dispositions for sociological reflection;
2) Ability to critically deconstruct "common sense" pre-notions which present themselves as obstacles to sociological knowledge;
3) Knowledge and understanding of the central assumptions of sociology as the science of social phenomena;
4) Knowledge and understanding of some of the central perspectives of sociological theory;
5) Knowledge and understanding of some basic concepts of sociology;
6) Ability of theoretical articulation between these concepts;
7) Ability to apply these perspectives and concepts in the analysis of relevant sociological topics and in the study of concrete empirical situations;
8) Ability to apply knowledge acquired in the framework of general sociology in specialized sociologies.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Luís Miguel da Silva de Almeida Chaves


Weekly - 4

Total - 168

Teaching language



Available soon


Berger, P. (1986). Perspectivas sociológicas: uma visão humanística. Rio de Janeiro: Vozes.
Berger, P., & Luckmann, T. (2004). A construção social da realidade: tratado de sociologia do conhecimento. Lisboa: Dinalivro.
Dahrendorf, R. (1969). Homo Sociologicus: ensaio sobre a história, o significado e a crítica da categoria de papel social. Rio de Janeiro: Tempo Brasileiro.
Layder, D. (1994). Understanding Social Theory. Londres: SAGE.
Giddens, A. (2009). Sociologia. Lisboa: F.C. Gulbenkian.
Turner, J.H. (1994). Sociology: concepts and uses. Nova Iorque: McGraw-Hill.

Teaching method

Teaching methodologies include theoretical lectures (50%) and practical classwork (50%), individual tutorials and clarification of doubts by e-mail and through Inforestudante. The theoretical sessions are aimed at transmitting the syllabus, being open to critical participation of students. The practical classes are divided into debate sessions on themes related to the subject (1st and 2nd blocks) and the discussion of texts (3rd block). All syllabus blocks include development readings.

Evaluation method

Evaluation Methodologies - The evaluation comprises a written test (50%), and a critical review of a text(50%)

Subject matter

1 An invitation to Sociology
1.1 What is it and what does it do? Definition of Sociology. Sociology and social sciences. General and specialized sociology
1.2 Why Sociology is done and what are its uses
1.3 The making of sociology. The rupture with "common sense". The importance of theory and method. Transversal assumptions of a pluriparadigmatic science
2 The social world as a structured reality in permanent construction
2.1 Construction of the social world from the practices of social actors
2.2 Institutionalization and development of institutions
2.3 Values, norms, social roles and sanctions
2.4 Legitimation of Institutions
2.5 Conservation and reproduction of institutions and institutional order
3 Incursion to three central and foundational perspectives of sociological theory: functionalism, conflict perspectives and symbolic interactionism
3.1 Presentation, confrontation and articulation of the perspectives
3.2 The different perspectives in the analysis of sociological issues


Programs where the course is taught: