Two of the most widely studied issues in the discipline of sociology have been modernity and globalization. These issues have been at the centre of much debate in contemporary social thought both within the academic setting and in the society at large. Economic globalization represents a single most powerful social force that is reshaping the lives of all people around the globe at unprecedented pace. This topic attempts to find out how global economic processes influence social change on a global, national, and local levels.
The first part of the topic focuses on modernisation and its consequences'. It covers the classical foundations of modernity as well as critiques of its shortcomings. Also included in this section is an exploration of postmodern thought and its relationship to modernism. For the second part of the topic, attention is shifted onto globalisation. A range of modern social problems and issues including development, economic inequality, and environmental degradation are examined using economic globalization as explanatory framework.
This topic will engage with a myriad of different authors who span across many different disciplines and time periods. Thus, students will have the opportunity to read the work(s) of Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Max Weber, Emile Durkheim, Sigmund Freud, Anthony Giddens, Immanuel Wallerstein, Charles Lemert, Nancy Fraser, David Held, Hardt and Negri, and others.