This course provides an overview of major works of social thought from the beginning of the modern era through the 1920s. Attention is paid to social and intellectual contexts, conceptual frameworks and methods, and contributions to contemporary social analysis. Writers include Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Montesquieu, Adam Smith, Marx, Weber, and Durkheim.
This Yale College course, taught on campus twice per week for 50 minutes, was recorded for Open Yale Courses in Fall 2009.
About Professor Iván Szelényi
Ivan Szelenyi is Dean of Social Sciences at NYU Abu Dhabi. When "Foundations of Modern Social Theory" was recorded for Open Yale Courses, he was William Graham Sumner Professor of Sociology and Professor of Political Science at Yale. Professor Szelenyi, who specializes in the comparative study of social stratification across cultures over time, received his Ph.D. from Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 1973, and is the author of The Intellectuals on the Road to Class Power, Urban Inequalities Under State Socialism, Socialist Entrepreneurs, Making Capitalism Without Capitalists, Poverty, Ethnicity and Gender in Eastern Europe During the Market Transition (with R. Emigh), and Theories of the New Class: Intellectuals and Power (with L. King, 2004). His most recent book Patterns of Exclusion was published in 2006 and was awarded the Karl Polanyi Prize.