Classical Sociological Theory

By Prof. R. Santhosh   |   IIT Madras
Learners enrolled: 679
This course introduces students to the formative period of sociology and the socio-cultural as well as the intellectual factors behind the emergence of the discipline. It provides a comprehensive understanding and an in-depth analysis of the stalwarts of classical sociological theory such as Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, and G H Mead. It explains how the theoretical concerns of these scholars laid the foundation for the subsequent development of sociology as a distinct social science discipline with precise theoretical as well as methodological foundations. Thus, the course enables students to develop a sociological perspective and theoretical insights through a systematic analysis of the key theorists of the discipline. 

Undergraduate as well as postgraduate students of sociology, aspirants of competitive examinations and general public who are interested in the discipline of sociology.
Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Core
Duration : 12 weeks
Category :
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit Points : 3
Level : Undergraduate/Postgraduate
Start Date : 25 Jul 2022
End Date : 14 Oct 2022
Enrollment Ends : 08 Aug 2022
Exam Date : 29 Oct 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 to sociology; uniqueness of sociological perspective
Week 2: Historical context of the emergence of sociology: European Enlightenment
Week 3: August Comte, Herbert Spencer and early thinkers of modernity
Week 4: Karl Marx
Week 5: Karl Marx
Week 6: Emile Durkheim
Week 7: Emile Durkheim
Week 8: Max Weber
Week 9: Max Weber
Week 10: GH Mead
Week 11: Classical theory and methodological orientations in sociology
Week 12: Sociology and modernity: wrapping up and conclusion

Books and references

1. Haralambos and Holborn. 2014. Sociology Themes and Perspectives. Harpin Collins
2. Ritzer George. 2016. Classical Sociological Theory. Rawat Publications
3. Royce Edward. 2015. Classical Social Theory and Modern Society. Rawat Publication
4. Aron, Raymond. Main Currents in Sociological Thought (Vol. 1 &II).Routledge Publications.
5. Morrison, Ken 2012. Marx Durkheim Weber: Formations of Modern Social Thought. Sage Publications

Instructor bio

Prof. R. Santhosh

IIT Madras
Dr. R. Santhosh teaches sociology at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Madras. He specializes in field of sociology of religion, focusing on Hindu and Islamic religiosity in the late modern contexts in India.

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: 29 October 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 Madras .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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