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Critical Sociological Theories of Knowledge, Education and Modernity

This module presents critical sociological theories as a foundation for the analysis of knowledge, education and modernity. It focusses on ideologies within school and education, and their relation to social pathologies, such as radicalization, nationalism, and exclusion, as well as to current, critical debates on identity politics.

The following types of questions are raised:

- how can we explain the social pathologies of modern society?

- can knowledge and education counteract social pathologies?

- how do we distinguish between knowledge and ideology?

- how do we understand today's controversial issues of gender, ethnicity and identity from a sociological perspective?

- what is the connection between (technical) progress, knowledge and science and (political) discomfort, alienation and dehumanization?

The module presents two theoretical traditions, which are defended by the respective teachers, namely the critical theory in the tradition of Adorno, Fromm and Marcuse, and a functionalist understanding of knowledge and modern society in the tradition of Durkheim, Cassirer and Goffman.

Thus, the teachers will each present and defend their position in order to give the students a basis for choosing their own position, and the students will develop their own projects in presentations and group work and position their own thinking in relation to alternative theoretical schools, and contemporary dominating discourses

Exam info and full course description

Exam info and full course description can be found in the course catalogue.  

Admission Requirements

Course specific:

To apply for the course you must hold a bachelor's degree in sociology of education, education studies or a related degree. 


Exchange students: nomination from your home university

Freemovers: documentation for English Language proficiency

You can read more about admission here.