Contemporary Social Thought

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Judy Wajcman STC S203 and Prof Chetan Bhatt TW3 8.02A


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Sociology (Contemporary Social Thought). This course is available on the MSc in Culture and Society, MSc in Economy, Risk and Society , MSc in Political Sociology, MSc in Sociology and MSc in Sociology (Research). This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

The course critically explores cutting edge issues and themes in contemporary social thought. Guest lecturers include Craig Calhoun, Miriam Glucksmann, Richard Sennett and other globally renowned social theorists.

This course deals with themes such as transformations in time and space, social and cultural capital, new technologies, methods and society, cosmopolitanism and post-cosmopolitanism. Topics covered include time, space, speed and technology; money and the economy; the re-emergence of social class divisions; technofeminism/cyberfeminism; cultural capital; cosmopolitanism, and human rights.


30 hours of seminars in the MT. 30 hours of seminars in the LT.

Reading weeks: week 6 (MT) and week 6 (LT).

Formative coursework

One formative essay (1,500 words) and one book review (750-1,000 words).

Indicative reading

Beck, U. The Cosmopolitan Vision;  Calhoun, C, et al. Contemporary Socialogical Theory; Dodd, N. The Sociology of Money; Gane, N. The Future of Social Theory; Sennett, R. The Culture of the New Capitalism; Wajcman, J. Technofeminism, Pressed for Time.


Exam (70%, duration: 3 hours) in the main exam period.
Essay (30%, 3000 words) in the ST.

Two hard copies of the assessed essay, with submission sheets attached to each, to be handed in to the Administration Office, S116, no later than 16:30 on the first Wednesday of Summer Term. An additional copy to be uploaded to Moodle no later than 18:00 on the same day.

Attendance at all seminars and submission of all set coursework is required.

Student performance results

(2012/13 - 2014/15 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 32
Merit 60
Pass 8
Fail 0

Key facts

Department: Sociology

Total students 2015/16: 9

Average class size 2015/16: 7

Controlled access 2015/16: Yes

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills

Course survey results

(2012/13 - 2014/15 combined)

1 = "best" score, 5 = "worst" score

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 88%



Reading list (Q2.1)


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