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Social Science in Context: Historical, Contemporary and Global Perspectives, 7.5 Credits

Swedish name: Samhällsvetenskapernas historia, samhällsroll och globala sammanhang

This syllabus is valid: 2019-12-30 and until further notice

Course code: 2SO133

Credit points: 7.5

Education level: Second cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Sociology: Second cycle, in-depth level of the course cannot be classified

Grading scale: VG Pass with distinction, G Pass, U Fail

Responsible department: Department of Sociology

Revised by: Head of Department of Sociology, 2018-11-06


This course is an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of the history and sociology of the social sciences. Its main focus is concerned with the dynamic relationship between social science and society at large, including issues related to themes such as the rise and establishment of the social sciences, gender and power, science and politics, boundaries and disciplinarity, internationalisation and stratification, global power relations and postcolonial perspectives. The aim is to encourage a contextual and reflexive understanding of the changing roles and functions of the social sciences of the past and in today’s globalised world.

The course is structured in two parts. The first part offers an introductory overview of the field and consists of chronologically and thematically organised lectures as well as seminars and individual literature studies. The second part offers an opportunity for the participants to deepen their knowledge around a specific theme related to the course and to the individual interests of the students. The topic is chosen in dialogue with the teachers. The teaching is carried out in the form of tutorials, seminars and ends with a presentation aimed at training the students practical skills.

Expected learning outcomes

After completion of the course the student:
- will have a deepened knowledge in the area of the history and sociology of the social sciences
- will be able to reflect upon his or her own area of specialisation in the context of the changing roles and functions of the social sciences in historical, sociological and global perspectives
- will be able to write and orally present an academic essay.

Required Knowledge

Univ: Courses of the amount of 90 ECTS credits in Social Sciences (Business Administration 90 ECTS, Economics 90 ECTS, Economic History 90 ECTS, Pedagogy 90 ECTS, Gender Studies 90 ECTS, Human Geography 90 ECTS, Informatics 90 ECTS, Peace and Conflict Studies 90 ECTS, Political Science 90 ECTS, Psychology 90 ECTS, Social Administration 90 ECTS, Social Care 90 ECTS, Social Policy 90 ECTS, Social Work 90 ECTS, Sociology 90 ECTS), or equivalent eligibility.
Proficiency in English equivalent to Swedish upper secondary course English A/5.

Form of instruction

The course content is delivered through lectures, seminars and individual work. All lectures and seminars are held in English, unless all participants have Swedish as their first language.

Examination modes

The examination consists of two parts. Students will write an individual essay on a relevant research question and are expected to hold one presentation. In order to be awarded a Pass grade for the course as a whole, the student must pass both parts of the examination and attend all compulsory sessions as indicated in the course schedule.

Grading decisions are based on an assessment of the individual student’s performance. In case of a student being awarded a “fail” grade, she or he has the right to be re-examined in a form and at a time agreed upon in consultation with the examiner.

Students have the right to be re-examined up to five times per course. Examination and supplementary examination based on the syllabus outlined here can be guaranteed for up to two years after the start of the course. If a student is awarded a “fail” grade on at least two consecutive attempts of the examination of the course or course component, she or he has the right to request a new examiner. The director of studies should be consulted in such circumstances.

Other regulations

Decisions relating to academic credit transfers are made on a case-by-case basis. For further information about this contact the study advisor. See also Umeå University’s set of rules and academic transfer regulations:ågor.html


Valid from: 2020 week 1

Connell Raewyn
Southern theory : the global dynamics of knowledge in social science
Cambridge : Polity : 2007. : 271 s. :
ISBN: 978-0-7456-4249-9 (pbk.)
Search Album, the University Library catalogue

Social knowledge in the making
Camic Charles, Gross Neil, Lamont Michèle
Chicago : University of Chicago Press : 2011. : 471 s. :
ISBN: 978-0-226-09208-9 (inb.)
Search Album, the University Library catalogue

Social science in context : historical, sociological, and global perspectives
Danell Rickard, Larsson Anna, Wisselgren Per
Lund : Nordic Academic Press : 2013 : 288 s. :
ISBN: 9789187351044 (inb.)
Search Album, the University Library catalogue

Wallerstein Immanuel, et al.
Open the social sciences : Report of the Gulbenkian Commission on the Restructuring of the Social Sciences
Stanford, Calif. : Stanford Univ. Press : 1996 : 105 s. :
ISBN: 0-8047-2726-0 (inb.)
Search Album, the University Library catalogue

World social science report 2010
Paris : UNESCO : 2010 : s. :
ISBN: 978-92-3-104131-0
Search Album, the University Library catalogue