Social Sciences (251001)

Learning Outcomes

The main objective of this curricular unit is that students develop the capacity to analyze human phenomena in a specifically social and critical perspective.
For this purpose, knowledge about the origins of the Social Sciences (CS), basic epistemological and methodological issues, some of the most important authors of social theory, both classical and contemporary, as well as the main theoretical approaches guiding empirical social research, will be addressed.
There will be a perspective of critical analysis, both of common sense and of the more elaborate ideas that circulate in the public sphere, and we will try to focus on empirical themes and theoretical approaches that are relevant to understand socially contexts of professional psycho-social intervention.
This theoretical explanation will also cross some contemporary topics related to social inequalities, gender and identities, global digital communication and network society, environment and risk society, among others.
Finally, the curricular unit also aims to contribute to the development of oral and written academic communication skills.

Study Program

1.    What are the Social Sciences (SS)?
1.1.    Total social fact and SS
1.2.    Sociological imagination 
1.3.    The historical context in which the SS emerge
2.    How to do SS?
2.1.    Logical moments of scientific work
2.2.    The stages of scientific research in the SS
2.3.    Basic SS research terminology
2.4.    Social theory vs. ideology
2.5.    Positivism and hermeneutics in the SS
3.    The theoretical thought of founding and classical authors in SS
3.1.    Augusto Comte
3.2.    Karl Marx
3.3.    Harriet Martineau
3.4.    Emile Durkheim
3.5.    Max Weber
4.    Modern theoretical approaches in the SC
4.1.    Symbolic interactionism
4.2.    Functionalism
4.3.    Conflict perspectives
4.4.    Feminist approaches
5.    Some contemporary social theories
5.1.    Michel Foucault: body and power in modernity
5.2.    Jürgen Habermas: public sphere and communicative action
5.3.    Manuel Castells: network society
5.4.    Judith Butler: performative identities
5.5.    Ulrich Beck: risk society



Abrantes, P., & Katúmua, M. B. (2014). Curso de sociologia. Escolar Editora.
Giddens, A. (2014) Sociologia (9ª ed.). Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian. (exists in English in ISMT’s library)
Rosado, D. P. (2017). Elementos essenciais de sociologia geral. Gradiva.