Second Year Seminar

“Introduction to the Social Sciences” continues to develop the active ‘writing and thinking’ practices in the Core Curriculum.

Second year seminar focuses on ‘scientific’ analysis, in addition to the philosophical and literary traditions in the humanities. As a product of the 20th century, the social sciences have made the claim that they provide the same degree of certitude and validity as natural scientific knowledge and, thus, the basis for a rational and predictable development of society. Such claims seem an old-fashioned anachronism today. At the same time, people need to have reasonably justified knowledge about society, its structural components and functional practices, to gain knowledge that will allow us to foresee trends of social development in concrete circumstances. The interdisciplinary course’s main features and concepts explore features of contemporary social processes: modernity, late modernity, postmodernity, globalization, network society, risk society, history/memory, space, time, normativity, publicity, technology, communication, mediatization, everyday life, power, freedom, and others. The course recognizes social knowledge as always mediated by the value orientations of acting individuals and is formed into specific social practices as a means of making decisions that emerge within these practices. The course contributes to developing competencies required in any area of social and professional life.

Students will:

  • identify, describe and attempt to understand human behaviours and how they are influenced by social structures, institutions, and processes within the contexts of diverse communities
  • articulate how beliefs, assumptions, values and ethics are influenced by factors such as history, economics, politics, culture, religion, and social institutions
  • improve their ability to apply social scientific methodologies and to use the theoretical knowledge base of the social sciences to identify, describe, explain, and critically evaluate relevant issues, ethical dilemmas, and arguments in practical situations
  • creatively generate ideas and assignments within a social and team framework
  • be able to convey basic ideas from the social sciences to a non-specialist audience or to practitioners of other disciplines
  • analyze information (sources, texts, scholarly and academic writings), contextualising them and using the analytical results to address relevant social problems
Co-financed by:European Commission