Saint-Louis University - Bruxelles

ESPO1161 - Sociology

Credits : 5

Lecturer :
Mode of delivery :
Face-to-face , first term, 30 hours of theory.

Timetable :
First term
Wednesday from 10:45 to 12:45 at 43 Botanique 6

Language of instruction :

Learning outcomes :
This course will introduce the students within the field of sociology by showing how it can clarify a wide variety of topics and issues. A recurrent theme however will be modernity. The problems it creates still characterize the challenges of present day society. A thorough questioning offering several interpretations of this matter will deal not only with the classics but also with more recent authors.

Prerequisites :

Co-requisites :

Course contents :
This course contains 3 major parts. a) In the introduction we present sociology as an empirical science which distinguishes itself from other behavioral sciences like psychology and biology. Once the specificity of the sociological approach is clarified we tackle its central notions. b) The second part focuses on the central question within the discipline: how to understand the changes of modernity that shake up our society ? Hence we introduce the founding fathers and update their work by referring to more recent authors: Marx - Piketty, Durkheim - Merton / Becker, Weber - Bourdieu / Bauman. If time allows us, the course will also deal with political modernization, populism and the historical sociology of Elias and Foucault. c) To conclude the third part will give an overview of the major trends that mark the second half of the 20th century: secularization, postindustrial society, post materialism, globalization, the power of equality and sustainable development with a risk society.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods :
This course starts with ex cathedra lectures and invites the students to participate in an active way. Several chapters of the course are based on the manual van Hoof, Jacques & Joris van Ruysseveldt (red.) Sociologie en de moderne samenleving. Students are invited to read these beforehand. The chapters that are not based on the manual, will be outlined in a written text that can be found on Moodle. For the whole course, power point presentations will be uploaded on the same digital platform. All this material comes as a support, yet it remains mandatory to attend class and take notes.
Besides the students are requested to listen to a weekly broadcast of the Flemish radio (interne keuken) and to read on their own one of the selected books written by a Flemish researcher or intellectual. The topics selected this academic year will be the following: racism, the limits of the free market, corona as a symptom of risk society, the quest for a social and sustainable economy, populism and the crisis facing representative democracy.
During classes students can evoke what they read and heard on the radio when appropriate so that we can apply and deepen our sociological understanding. The oral exam will mark the comprehension of what was taught during classes and the personal reading that links up with the course.

Assessment methods and criteria :
Oral exam. The relative weight will be the following: ? on terminology, 2/4 on content (open questions), ? on the personal reading (prepared in advance).

Recommended or required reading :
The manual from which several chapters are selected :

• van Hoof, Jacques en Joris van Ruysseveldt (red.) Sociologie en de Moderne Samenleving. Maatschappelijke veranderingen van de industriële omwenteling tot in de 21ste eeuw. Amsterdam: Boom.

Extra required reading, one book out of six:

• Aziz, Rachida (2017) Niemand zal hier slapen vannacht. Berchem: EPO.

• De Grauwe, Paul (2014) De Limieten van de Markt. De slinger tussen Overheid en Kapitalisme. Tielt: Lannoo.

• Geldof, Dirk (2020) Als Risico's Viraal gaan. Welke wereld na corona ? Leuven: Acco.

• Hens, Tine (2015) Het klein Verzet. Berchem: EPO.

• Kochuyt, Thierry en Koen Abts (2017) Ongehoord Populisme. Gesprekken met Vlaams Belang-kiezers over stad, migranten, welvaartstaat, integratie en politiek. Brussel: ASP.

• Van Reybrouck, David (2013) Tegen Verkiezingen. Amsterdam/Antwerpen: De Bezige Bij

A podcast to be listed to weekly : Interne Keuken Radio 1

Other information :