GERMG019 - Classical Traditions in Social and Cultural Theory

Value: 30 credits
Tutor: Dr Mark Hewitson
Teaching structure:
one 6 000 word essay (100%).

Module Description:

This module examines the development of modern social theory by looking in detail at the ideas of European thinkers such Marx, Nietzsche, Weber, Freud, Adorno and Horkheimer. It aims to investigate how such thinkers conceived of society and social change, exploring themes such as historical materialism and capitalism, religion and suicide, rationalisation, civilisation and taboo, and communication and the culture industry. It also explores the methodological and philosophical premises of social theory.

Preparatory Reading and Set Texts:

  • D. McLellan, Marx, 2nd ed. (Modern Masters).
  • A. Giddens, Capitalism and Modern Social Theory.
  • Anthony Storr, Freud.
  • David Held, Introduction to Critical Theory.
  • J. Elster, An Introduction to Karl Marx.
  • G. Cohen, Karl Marx’s Theory of History.
  • L. M. Hunt, Character and Chaos.
  • R. Hayman, Nietzsche: A Critical Life.
  • Frank Parkin, Max Weber, Chps. 1, 3, 4.
  • P. Gay, Freud: A Life for Our Time.
  • E. Gellner, The Psychoanalytic Movement.
  • T. Bottomore, The Frankfurt School, Intro.
  • Martin Jay, The Dialectical Imagination.
  • Simon Jarvis, Adorno: A Critical Introduction.
  • K. Morrison, Marx, Durkheim, Weber.
  • J. Abramson, Liberation and Its Limits.
  • I. Hampshire Monk, A History of Modern Political Thought, Ch. 10.
  • W. J. Mommsen, The Political and Social Theory of Max Weber.
  • P. Roazen, Freud: Political Theory and Social Thought.