Faculty of Arts


Advanced Problems in Sociological Theory

Please note: this is archived course information from 2018 for SOCIOL 700.


Max Horkheimer wrote that critical theory sheds "critical light on present-day society ... under the hope of radically improving human existence". Advanced Problems in Sociological Theory takes this approach. Theory is deployed as a tool to understand and explain the embedded structures and relationships that give form to life and weapon to bring about their transformation.

Each semester the course will be organised around three major contributions to critical thinking such as Marx, Adorno, Lacan, Foucault, and Deleuze and Guattari. Students utilise concepts from these thinkers to develop projects of their own that critically interrogate phenomena of their choice. Having decided on a theoretical angle, students will initially work together to developing their understanding of it. They will then apply the theory to examine a social problem or issue. 

Students in the past have studied a wide variety of topics – for, example, protest movements such as Occupy Wall Street; social media and group think; the Māori struggle; feminism and commodification; the ideology of videogames and so on. Students who have taken the course have published their work and gone on to do MAs and PhDs developing from their projects.

View the course syllabus

Availability 2018

Semester 1


Coordinator(s) Dr Ciara Cremin

Recommended Reading

Marcuse Eros and Civilisation
Žižek The Sublime Object of Ideology
Žižek The Ticklish Subject
Fink The Lacanian Subject
Deleuze and Guattari Anti-Oedipus
Deleuze and Guattari A Thousand Plateaus


SOCIOL 700: 30.0 points



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