Introduction to Sociology

Academic year
Subject Area
Language of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
1st Cycle Studies

Recommended Prerequisites

Basic knowledge of history, geography or sociology.

Teaching Methods

This is a curricular unit based on TP (theoretical-practical) classes. Therefore, the evaluation combines the involvement of students in classes (oral participation and texts presentations), the performing of small written essays and answers with consultation,. The collection of examples and phenomena removed from everyday life is strongly encouraged and valued.

Learning Outcomes

The main concern of this curricular unit is to familiarize students with the language, concepts and key issues that define the specificity of sociology as a scientific discourse. It is intended to lead students to distinguish the sociological perspective from the common sense and discourse, which requires special attention to the epistemological component, particularly with regard to the need to deconstruct and break with the commonplaces about the false evidence of the social.

It is intended to adopt a critical stance simultaneously throughout the teaching sessions, while confronting some of the main theoretical perspectives of sociology, emphasizing the importance of plurality in the theoretical construction of sociological knowledge. Accordingly, students are encouraged to think sociologically about issues and problems of the present

Work Placement(s)



1. The sociological perspective: individual, society and social relations: sociological issues; The practical meaning of sociology; the scientific nature of sociological knowledge; Sociological research; Social structures and human action. 2. Culture and Society: socialization processes and structuring of social relationships: primary and secondary socialization; Socialization and multiple plurality of contexts; The normativity of the “social”: social roles, norms, values​​, institutions; Social control, conformity and deviation. 3. Power structures and social inequalities: A marxist and weberian theory of social inequalities; New axes of class differentiation; Inequalities in contemporary societies: classes, sexual differentiation and generational differentiation; Capitalist societies as political constellations: the basic modes of production of power; Social hierarchies and cultural hierarchies.

Head Lecturer(s)

Maria Madalena Santos Duarte

Assessment Methods

Continuous Assessment
Group work, presentations in the classroom: 50.0%
Final Exam: 50.0%

Final Assessment
Exam: 100.0%


BERGER, Peter L.; LUCKMANN, Thomas-A construção social da realidade: um livro sobre sociologia do conhecimento. 2ª ed. Lisboa: Dinalivro, 2004. [BP 165 BER]

BERGER, Peter- Perspetivas sociológicas. Petrópolis: Vozes, 1980. [316 BER]

COSTA, António Firmino — O que é Sociologia. Lisboa: Difusão Cultural, 1992

GIDDENS, Anthony -“Sociologia: problemas e perspetivas”, in A. Giddens, Sociologia. Lisboa: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, pp. 19-40, 1997.

LAHIRE, Bernard - “O actor plural”, in B. Lahire, O homem plural. As molas da ação. Lisboa: Instituto Piaget, pp. 21-47, 2003.

MILLS, C. Wright- “A promessa”, in C. W. Mills, A imaginação sociológica. Rio de Janeiro: Zahar Editores, pp. 9-32, 1980.

RODRIGUES, Carlos Farinha (coord.) -Desigualdades Sociais. Lisboa: Fundação Francisco Manuel dos Santos, 2011. 

SANTOS, Boaventura de Sousa- “Cinco desafios à imaginação sociológica”, in B. S. Santos, Pela Mão de Alice: o social e o político na pós-modernidade. Porto: Afrontamento, pp. 19-24, 1999