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2023/2024  BA-BSOCO2023U  Theories of Contemporary Society

English Title
Theories of Contemporary Society

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Bachelor
Duration One Quarter
Start time of the course Third Quarter
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for BSc in Business Administration and Sociology
Course coordinator
  • Justine Grønbæk Pors - Department of Business Humanities and Law (BHL)
Main academic disciplines
  • Political Science
  • Sociology
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 01-12-2023

Relevant links

Learning objectives
On successful completion of the course, the student should be able to:
  • Identify, analyse and assess at an advanced level the central assumptions of the theories covered in the curriculum
  • Identify, analyse and assess the core similarities and differences in how social processes are thematised in the theories covered in the curriculum
  • Make use of these theories to observe, analyse and critique phenomena of everyday life
  • Understand complex social, human and environmental phenomena of contemporary societies on a local and global scale and develop the skills to assess possible implications for organizations and societies to address these
  • Write a paper meeting academic writing standards, particularly correct quotation, citation and referencing of literature.
Theories of Contemporary Society:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Assignment type Written assignment
Release of assignment The Assignment is released in Digital Exam (DE) at exam start
Duration 72 hours to prepare
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Spring
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

Aim of the course

The aim of this course is that the student acquires knowledge of the most important ways to conceptualise and examine the interactions between individuals, organisations and society, which are currently developing in social theory. 

Course description
It is widely acknowledged that modern society has undergone a series of profound transformations since World War II. The media landscape has changed, so have production patterns, modes of organization, networks of communication etc. pp. While most sociologists would agree that much has changed, there is little agreement as to how to theorise these transformations and their implications. The aim of this course is to make students acquainted with a range of influential positions that analyse how modern society has changed throughout the twentieth century, and how it is developing at the beginning of the twenty-first.

While the course builds on Theories of Modern Society (TMS), the theoretical perspectives it presents tend to aim more at a diagnosis of the present than at formulating grand theories of modern society and all its spheres, systems or institutions. Although the theoretical ambitions of the perspectives under scrutiny here may thus be lower than was the case in TMS, their analytical capacities may well be higher. The more targeted observations of specific societal trends and dynamics allow for more thorough discussions of key societal processes and their social, political and economic implications.

The diagnostic emphasis entails that the course is preoccupied with a processual view, i.e. with the changes that have taken place and that are taking place in the structure and the ongoing ordering and disordering of modern or ‘late modern’ society. These societal processes will be discussed with respect to their social, political and economic implications. The course is organized thematically.

Description of the teaching methods
Teaching will consist of lectures as well as interactive sessions. These are supplemented by brief student presentations (in groups of 3–5 people). In these presentations, students are asked to critically discuss the texts under discussion (what are the texts' main theses?; how do they make you think about contemporary society?; what are the analytical strengths and weaknesses of the texts? can the texts be related to examples, so as to ‘probe’ and explicate its power to shed light on contemporary society? How do the texts help you to make critical sense of today’s social forms and processes). Students will be assigned presentations during the first session and are encouraged to consider in advance with whom they would like to form groups.
Feedback during the teaching period
Continuous feedback consists of two parts: Feedback is given to students in class after their oral presentations of class material in each lecture session (and they are encouraged to use staff consultation hours for individual or small group feedback). Furthermore, following the student presentation, the presentation will be critically discussed by another student group - so you will give each other feedback (peer- to peer feedback), then followed by class & lecturer feedback. Finally, collective feedback will be given on the marking and assessment of their exams.
Student workload
Lectures 38 hours
Preparation of lectures (5h per 3h lecture) 68 hours
Preparation of presentations 2 hours
Preparation of the exam 73 hours
Exam - 25 hours
Last updated on 01-12-2023