Sociological Perspectives on Modernity

By Prof. Sambit Mallick   |   IIT Guwahati
Learners enrolled: 285
The objective of the course is to enable students to understand modernity as a socio-cultural product in specific socio-historical contexts. The course exposes students to theoretical perspectives to look at modernity and its constituents as a practice deeply embedded in culture and society. It familiarises students with encountering problems in their everyday life from more rationalist perspectives. It attempts to critically engage with and interrogate the multiple views on modernity.

Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 12 weeks
Category :
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit Points : 3
Level : Undergraduate/Postgraduate
Start Date : 24 Jan 2022
End Date : 15 Apr 2022
Enrollment Ends : 07 Feb 2022
Exam Date : 24 Apr 2022 IST

Note: This exam date is subjected to change based on seat availability. You can check final exam date on your hall ticket.

Page Visits

Course layout

Week - 1: Introduction: Modernity as a project of Enlightenment
Week - 2: Modernist paradigm in sociology: modern science, industrialisation and development
Week - 3-5: Sociological modernism: Marx, Weber and Simmel
Week - 6-7: Structuralist interpretation: Levi-Strauss and Althusser
Week - 8-9: Western Marxism: Lukacs, Gramsci and Touraine
Week - 10: Synthesising modernity: Wallerstein, Giddens and Habermas
Week - 11: Deconstructing modernity, modernity in non-modern contexts, the idea of alternative or multiple modernities
Week - 12: Reflexivity: dialectic of engaging with and interrogating modernity

Books and references

A. Giddens, The Consequences of Modernity, Polity, 1989
J.P.S. Uberoi, The European Modernity: Science, Truth and Method, Oxford University Press, 2002
J. Alam, India: Living with Modernity, Oxford University Press, 1999
S. Hall, D. Held and A. McGrew (Eds.), Modernity and its Futures, Polity/Open University Press, 1992
S. Hegde, ‘Modernity’s Edges: A Review Discussion’, Social Scientist, 28 (9-10): 33-86, 1999
K. Kumar, Prophecy and Progress: The Sociology of Industrial and Post-industrial Society, Penguin, 1986
J. Habermas, The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity, Polity, 1987
M. Foucault, Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings, 1972-1977, Pantheon, 1980
J.F. Lyotard, The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge, University of Minnesota Press, 1984
E. Said, Orientalism: Western Concepts of the Orient, Penguin, 1985
Z. Bauman, Intimations of Postmodernity. Routledge, 1992
P. Abbott and C. Wallace, An Introduction to Sociology: Feminist Perspectives, Routledge, 1990
F. Jameson, Postmodernism, or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, Verso, 1991

Instructor bio

Prof. Sambit Mallick

IIT Guwahati
Sambit Mallick is Professor of Sociology at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati. He specializes in the sociology of science and technology, and also includes historical sociology and philosophy of the social sciences among his research interests. His research and teaching are at the intersection of philosophy, social theory, and science and technology studies. His courses under NPTEL have attracted a large number of students even from the remote areas in India and abroad.

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 24 April 2022 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 8 assignments out of the total 12 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Guwahati .It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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