Upcoming courses

PhD Course in Modern Sociological Theory



(7,5 higher education credits)

Course details: The course will be given by the Department of Sociology, University of Copenhagen, and the Department of Sociology, Lund University. The instruction language is English.

Course content: The course focuses on sociological theory during the period between roughly 1945 and 2000. It will discuss what is considered to be central theoretical developments and problems and open up for discussions on what has been seen as more peripheral theoretical perspectives. The course aims both at orienting participants in different theoretical areas and traditions, and make possible in-depth studies of particular fields. The course aims at enriching participants’ ability to relate the development of sociological theory to relevant social, cultural, and political contexts. The course will be based on mandatory readings and discussion seminars as well as on readings chosen by the participants according to their interest and in accordance with teachers.

The course may be related to two other courses given in cooperation by the Departments of Sociology in University of Copenhagen, Lund University and University of Gothenburg: – Classical sociological theory (7,5 higher education credits) – Contemporary sociological theory (7,5 higher education credits)

Course goals: On completion of the course, and with regard to its content, the PhD candidate shall be able to:

  • present typical characteristics of the field of sociological theory during the period 1945–2000
  • scholarly, critically and independently identify, assess and compare theories and concepts of society
  • demonstrate a far-reaching ability to relate questions of theory to other core questions of the social sciences (epistemology, methodology, etc.)
  • demonstrate a critical and independent theoretical faculty
  • demonstrate a capacity to relate specific theories to relevant social, cultural and political contexts
  • identify possible applications of theoretical perspectives on the subject of his/her own PhD project
  • present advanced theoretical discussions orally and in text.

Teaching and assessment: The course comprises a combination of lectures and seminars, and the writing of an academic essay. Lectures will cover larger theoretical problems and traditions as well as present more specific perspectives and issues. Seminars are based on lectures and mandatory readings. The course will comprise five days and take place in Lund and Copenhagen.

Assessment is based on oral and written elements. Participants are expected to attend all lectures and seminars and to contribute to these. Participants will also write an essay (5000 words, +/–10%) on a subject that is relevant for the course, making use of literature in addition to the mandatory reading. 

Grades: The grades used are Pass or Fail. To be awarded a Pass the PhD candidate must fulfil the requirements specified for the course.

Admission requirements: Applicants must be admitted to a PhD programme. PhD candidates from the departments of sociology at the universities of Lund, Copenhagen and Gothenburg have priority.

The course will be given from October 2020 through February 2021. There will be a total of three sessions: October 22–23 in Lund, November 26–27 in Copenhagen and February 11 in Lund. The first two sessions will be devoted to lectures and seminars, at the concluding seminar course participants will present papers. The course offers an extensive overview of currents in sociological theory from ca 1945 to ca 2000. It provides great opportunities for participants to develop their own theoretical interests. Participants are expected to read relevant texts, make presentations, and compose a paper. The course is open for PhD candidates from different disciplines. It is recommended you have accumulated some experience in sociological or social theory.

We are presently putting together reading lists and schedules for the seminars in Lund and Copenhagen and will be happy to present these when they are ready. Application deadline is September 18. Please submit your application to Lene Lisbet El Mongy lm@samf.ku.dk The number of participants is limited to around 15. Carl-Göran Heidegren and Bo Isenberg will be in charge of the Lund sessions, Mikael Carleheden and Poul Poder will chair the Copenhagen session.

Please get in touch if you have any questions about the course.

Mikael Carleheden (mc@soc.ku.dk)

The course in modern sociological theory is the result of a collaboration between the sociology departments at Copenhagen University, Lund University and Gothenburg University. The collaboration includes three PhD theory course, which are given regularly: classical sociological theory, modern sociological theory, contemporary sociological theory.