Department of Sociology

PhD Proficiency Exam Recommended Readings List








The readings given below are intended to serve the PhD candidates as a guideline for their preparation for the PhD proficiency exam. So that the candidates are expected to have a comprehensive knowledge of the sociological theory and methodology before being eligible to write a PhD dissertation. It is intended that the questions that a candidate may face in the exam should not necessarily and directly be related or driven from the reading list. The main idea in the selection of these readings is to prepare the candidates from the very beginning of their PhD studies to develop a strong background in sociological theory and methodology. However, the Department of Sociology reserves the right to review this reading list and announce it at the webpage of the department.



Download as PDF


Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)

Leviathan or the Matter, Forme, and Power of a Common-Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civill (1651), Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1996, pp. 13-37 (I Part, Chps 1-5), 86-100 (I Part, Chps 13-14), 117-129 (II Part, Chps 17-18) (50 pages).


John Locke (1632-1704)

Two Treatises of Government and A Letter Concerning Toleration (1690), New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 2003, pp. 100-121 (Of Civil Government, Of the State of Nature, Of the State of War, Of Slavery, of Property) (22 pages).


Adam Smith

An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Vol. 1 (1776), Indianapolis, Liberty Fund, 1981, pp.13-64 (Book 1, Chps 1-5) (51 pages).


Montesquieu (1689-1755)

“Selections from The Spirit of the Laws”, in Melvin Richter (ed.), Montesquieu – Selected Political Writings, Cambridge: Hackett Publishing Company, 1990, pp. 109-133, 25 pages.


Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)

A Discourse on Inequality, Middlesex: Penguin Books, 1984, pp. 77-137, 61 pages (Discourse on the Origins and the Foundations of Inequality among Men; Part One; Part Two).

The Social Contract, Middlesex: Penguin Books, 1968, pp. 49-100, 52 pages (Book I; Book II).


Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)

“Idea for a Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Purpose” in Political Writings, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1991, pp. 41-50 (10 pages).

“What is Enlightenment?” in Political Writings, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1991, pp. 51-60 (10 pages).

“Perpetual Peace”, in Political Writings, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1991, pp. 93-130 (37 pages).


Georg Wilheim Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831)

Hegel’s Philosophy of Mind, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 153-178 (25 pages).

Phenomenology of the Mind (1807), New York, Harper & Row, 1967, pp. 228-267 (Independence and Dependence of Self-Consciousness: Lordship and Bondage, Freedom of Self-Consciousness) (40 pages).


Auguste Comte (1798-1857)

Introduction to Positive Philosophy, Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1970, 70 pages.


John Stuart Mill (1806-1873)

The Basic Writings of John Stuart Mill, New York: The Modern Library, 2002, pp. 3-16, 123-152, 44 pages (On Liberty; The Subjection of Women).


Karl Marx (1818-1883)

Capital, a Critique of Political Economy: The Process of Capitalist Production, Vol. 1, ed. by Friedrich Engels, New York: International Publishers, 1967, pp. 35-83, 713-774, 111 pages (Commodities; The So-called Primitive Accumulation).

“Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844”, in Robert C. Tucker (ed.), Marx-Engels Reader, pp. 66-125, 1978, 60 pages.

The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, New York: International Publishers, 1988, 161 pages.

The Communist Manifesto, London and New York: Penguin Books, 2002, pp.193-275, 82 pages (The Communist Manifesto).

The German Ideology, New York, International Publishers, 1974, pp. 37-123 (87 pages).


Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

On the Genealogy of Morality, ed. by Keith Ansell Pearson, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1995, pp. 3-37, 35 pages (Preface; First Essay: ‘Good and Evil’, ‘Good and Bad’).


Vilfredo Federico Damaso Pareto (1848-1923)

The Rise and Fall of the Elites, Bedminster Press, Totowa, 1968, pp.25-41 (17 pages: Some Sociological Laws), 90-101 (12 pages: The Subjective Phenomenon).


Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)

Interpretation of Dreams (1900), New York, Basic Books, 1955, pp. 513-615 (102 pages).

Civilization and its Discontents, New York: W. W. Norton, 1962 (109 pages).


Gaetano Mosca (1858-1941)

The Ruling Class, McGraw-Hill, New York and London, 1939, pp. 50-69 (20 pages: Chapter II, The Ruling Class).


Ferdinand de Saussure (1857-1913)

Course in General Linguistics, ed. by Charles Bally, Albert Sechehaye and Albert Riedlinger, New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1966, pp. 1-37, 65-100, 73 pages (Introduction; General Principles).


Thorstein Veblen (1857-1929)

The Theory of Leisure Class, New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 1992, pp. 21-80, 60 pages (Introductory; Pecuniary Emulation; Conspicuous Leisure; Conspicuous Consumption).


Emile Durkheim (1858-1917)

The Division of Labour in Society, New York: Free Press, 1960, pp. 39-132, 93 pages (The Problem; The Method for Determining This Function; Mechanical Solidarity through Likeness; Organic Solidarity Due to the Division of Labour).

The Elementary Forms of Religious Life, New York: Free Press, 1995, pp 1-44, 418-448, 75 pages (Introduction; Preliminary Questions; Conclusion).

Suicide: A Study in Sociology, ed. by George Simpson, Glencoe: Free Press, 1951, 297-325, 361-392 (59 pages) (The Social Element of Suicide, Practical Consequences).

The Rules of Sociological Method, New York: Free Press of Glencoe, 1964, pp. 1-75, 89-124, 111 pages (What is a Social Fact?; Rules for the Observation of Social Facts; Rules for Distinguishing between the Normal and the Pathological; Rules for the Explanation of Social Facts).


Georg Simmel (1858-1918)

The Philosophy of Money, London and New York: Routledge, 1990, pp. 283-354, 72 pages (Individual Freedom).

The Sociology of Georg Simmel, ed. by Kurt H. Wolff, New York: Free Press of Glencoe, 1964, pp. 3-57, 118-169, 402-424, 130 pages (The Field of Sociology; The Social and the Individual Level; Sociability; The Stranger; The Metropolis and Mental Life).


Edmund Husserl (1859-1938)

Cartesian Meditations: An Introduction to Phenomenology, The Hague: M. Nijhoff, 1973, 157 pages.


George Herbert Mead (1863-1931)

Mind, Self and Society from the Standpoint of a Social Behaviourist, ed. by Charles W. Morris, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, pp. 135-226, 91 pages (The Self).


Max Weber (1864-1920)

Basic Concepts in Sociology, London: Peter Owen, 1962, 123 pages.

Max Weber on the Methodology of the Social Sciences, ed. by Edward A. Shils and Henry A. Finch, Glencoe: Free Press, 1949, 188 pages.

The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, London and New York: Routledge, 2007, pp. 1-50, 50 pages (Religious Affiliation and Social Stratification; The Spirit of Capitalism; Luther’s Conception of the Calling; Task of the Investigation).

The Theory of Social and Economic Organization, New York: The Free Press, ed. by Talcott Parsons, 1964, pp. 87-157, 424-429, 77 pages (The Fundamental Concepts of Sociology; Social Stratification and Class Structure).


Martin Heidegger (1889-1976)

“The Question Concerning Technology” (1955), in Heidegger, Martin, The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays, Garland Publishing, New York and London, 1977, pp. 3-35 (33 pages).

“The Age of World Picture” (1938), n Heidegger, Martin, The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays, Garland Publishing, New York and London, 1977, pp. 115-154 (50 pages).

“Letter on ‘Humanism’” (1946), in Heidegger, Martin, Pathmarks, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1998, pp. 239-276 (38 pages).

“On Time and Being” (1962), in Heidegger, Martin, On Time and Being, Harper & Row, New York, 1972, pp. 1-24 (25 pages).


Georg Lukacs (1885-1971)

“Preface to the New Edition” (1967) in Lukacs, Georg, History of Class Consciousness (1923), The MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1971, pp. ix-xxxix (31 pages).


Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937)

Selections from the Prison Notebooks of Antonio Gramsci, London: Lawrence and Wishart, 2005, pp. 5-23, 206-276, 90 pages (The Intellectuals; State and Civil Society).


Karl Mannheim (1893-1947)

Ideology and Utopia: An Introduction to the Sociology of Knowledge, New York: Harcourt, Brace, pp. 55-108, 264-311, 102 pages (Ideology and Utopia; The Sociology of Knowledge).


Max Horkheimer (1895-1973) and Theodor W. Adorno (1903-1969)

Dialectic of Enlightenment, New York: Continuum, 1972, pp. xi-xvii, 3-42, 47 pages (Introduction; The Concept of Enlightenment).


Herbert Marcuse (1898-1979)

Reason and Revolution; Hegel and the Rise of Social Theory, New York: Humanities Press, 1968, pp. 3-29, 389-419, 58 pages (Introduction; Conclusion).


Jacques Lacan (1901-1981)

The Seminar of Jacquies Lacan, Book II: The Ego in Freud’s Theory and in the Techique of Psychoanalysis 1954-1955, , pp. 27-39 (“The Symbolic Universe”, 1954), pp. 40-52 (“A Materialist Definition of Consciousness”, 1954), pp. 191- 201 (“The Purloined Letter”, 1955), pp. 235-247 (“Introduction of the Big Other”, 1955), pp. 277-293 (“Where is Speech? Where is Language”, 1955) (49 pages).

“The Mirror Stage as Formative of the Function of the I” (1936), in Lacan, Jacques, Ecrits: A Selection, London: Routledge, 2001, pp. pages.

“Of Structure as an Inmixing of an Otherness Prerequisite to Any Subject Whatever” (1966), in Macksey, Richard and Eugenio Donato (eds), The Structuralist Controversy: The Languages of Criticism and the Sciences of Man, The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 1975, pp. 186-200. (14 pages).


Talcott Parsons (1902-1979)

The Structure of Social Action; A Study in Social Theory with Special Reference to a Group of Recent European Writers, New York: Free Press, 1949, pp. 3-74, 72 pages (Introductory; The Theory of Action).


Karl Popper (1902-1994)

The Logic of Scientific Framework, Hutchinson Co., London, 1972, pp. 27-56, 251-282, 62 pages (A Survey of Some Fundamental Problems; On the Problem of a Theory of Scientific Method; Corroboration, or How a Theory Stands up to Tests).

The Myth of the Framework – In Defense of Science and Rationality, Routledge, London and New York, 1997, pp. 1-64, 185-209, 89 pages (The Rationality of Scientific Revolutions; The Myth of the Framework; Epistemology and Industrialization).


Robert King Merton (1910-2003)

Social Theory and Social Structure, New York: Free Press, 1968, pp. 1-138, 138 pages (On the History and Systematics of Sociological Theory; On Sociological Theories of the Middle Range; Manifest and Latent Functions).


Claude Levi-Strauss (1908-2009)

The Elementary Structures of Kinship (1949), Beacon Press, Boston, 1969, pp. 29-119 (100 pages: “The Universe of Rules,” “Endogamy and Exogamy,” “The Principle of Reciprocity,” “Dual Organization,” “The Archaic Illusion,” “Alliance and Descent”), pp. 478-499 (20 pages: “The Principles of Kinship”).

“Language and the Analysis of Social Laws” (1951), in Levi-Strauss, Claude, Structural Anthropology, Basic Books, New York and London, 1963 (1958), pp. 55-66 (12 pages).

“Linguistics and Anthropology” (1952), in Levi-Strauss, Claude, Structural Anthropology, Basic Books, New York and London, 1963 (1958), pp. 67-80 (14 pages).

“Postscript to Chapters III and IV” (1958), in Levi-Strauss, Claude, Structural Anthropology, Basic Books, New York and London, 1963 (1958), pp. 81-97 (17 pages).


Robert A. Nisbet (1913-1996)

Community and Power, Oxford University Press, London, 1968, pp. 3-74 (70 pages: Part I: Community and the Problem of Order).


Barrington Moore (1913-2005)

Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World, Becon Press, Boston, 1969, pp. 413-483 (70 pages: Ch. 7, 8, 9: “The Democratic Route to Modern Society”, “Revolution from above and Fascism”, “The Peasants and Revolution”).


Roland Barthes (1915-1980)

Mythologies, New York: Hill and Wang, 1972, pp. 109-159, 51 pages (Myth Today).

“Introduction to the Structural Analysis of Narratives” (1966), in Barthes, Roland, Image, Music, Text, Fontana Press, London, 1977, pp. 79-124 (46 pages).

“The Death of the Author” (1968), in Barthes, Roland, Image, Music, Text, Fontana Press, London, 1977, pp. 142-148 (7 pages).

“From Work to Text” (1971), in Barthes, Roland, Image, Music, Text, Fontana Press, London, 1977, pp. 155-164 (10 pages).

“Change of the Object Itself: Mythology Today” (1971), in Barthes, Roland, Image, Music, Text, Fontana Press, London, 1977, pp. 165-169 (5 pages).


Charles Wright Mills (1916-1962)

Sociological Imagination, New York: Oxford University Press, 1959, pp. 3-24, 195-226, 54 pages (The Promise, On Intellectual Craftsmanship).


Harold Garfinkel (1917-

Seeing Sociologically: The Routine Grounds of Social Action, ed. by Anne Warfield Rawls, Boulder: Paradigm Publishers, 2006, pp. 101-117, 145-179, 52 pages (Social Identity; Identity Constancy and Identity Transformation).


Louis Althusser (1918-1990)

For Marx (1965), London and New York: Verso, 2005, 87-128 (“Contradiction and Overdetermination”) (41 pages).

Reading Capital, Surrey: The Gresham Press, 1977, pp. 73-90, 119-144, 182-193, (56 pages: Introduction; Marx and His Discoveries; Marxism is not a Historicism; Marx’s Immense Theoretical Revolution).

“Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses (Notes towards and Investigation)” (1969), in Althusser, Louis, Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays, Monthly Revies Press, New York, 1971, pp. 127-186 (60 pages).


Erving Goffman (1922-1982)

The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh, Social Sciences Research Center, 1959, pp. 13-27, 231-247, 32 pages (Introduction; Conclusion).


Jean-François Lyotard (1924-1998)

The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge (1979), Manchester University Press, Manchester, 1984 (117 pages, including “Forword” by Fredric Jameson and “Answering the Question: What is Postmodernism?” (1982) by J-F. Lyotard).


Gilles Deleuze (1925-1995) and Felix Guattari (1930-1992)

Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, New York: Viking Press, 1977, pp. 1-50, 222-262, 90 pages (Desiring-Production; The Body without Organs; The Subject and Enjoyment; A Materialist Psychiatry; The Machines; The Whole and its Parts; The Civilized Capitalist Machine; Capitalist Representation).

Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, pp. 3-25, 149-166, 501-514, 55 pages (Introduction: Rhizome; November 28, 1947: How Do You Make Yourself a Body without Organs; Conclusion: Concrete Rules and Abstract Machines).


Zygmund Bauman (1925-

Liquid Modernity, Polity Press, Cambridge, 2000, pp. 1-15 (15 pages: “Forword: On Being Light and Liquid”), 91-130 (40 pages: “Time/Space”), 168-201 (34 pages: “Community”).


Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Archeology of Knowledge, London and New York: Routledge, 2002, pp. 3-85, 83 pages (Introduction; The Discursive Regularities).

Foucault, Michel (1991) "Governmentality", in Graham Burchell, Colin Gordon, and Peter Miller (eds.), The Foucault Effect: Studies in Governmentality, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, pp. 87-104 (18 pages).

Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, New York: Vintage Books, 1979, pp. 3-31, 170-228, 293-308, 104 pages (The Body of the Condemned; The Means of Correct Training; Panopticism; The Carceral).

History of Sexuality: An Introduction Volume I, New York: Vintage Books, 1990, 168 pages.

"Governmentality", in Graham Burchell, Colin Gordon, and Peter Miller (eds.), The Foucault Effect: Studies in Governmentality, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1991, pp. 87-104.

“Afterward: The Subject and Power”, in H. L. Dreyfus and P. Rabinow, Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics, 1982, pp. 208-226, 19 pages.


Niclas Luhmann (1927-1998)

Theories of Distinction, Stanford University Press, Stanford, 2002, pp. 79-155 (76 pages: “Paradox and Observation”).


Jean Baudrillard (1929-2007)

Jean Baudrillard – Selected Writings, ed. by Mark Poster, Cambridge: Polity Press, 2004, pp. 13-59, 101-151, 169-187, 117 pages (The System of Objects; Consumer Society, The Mirror of Production; Symbolic Exchange and Death; Simulacra and Simulations).


Jurgen Habermas (1929-

Legitimation Crisis, Boston: Beacon Press, 1975, 166 pages.

The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity: Twelve Lectures, Cambridge: MIT Press, 1987, pp. 294-326, 32 pages.

The Theory of Communicative Action Vol. 2 – Lifeworld and System: A Critique of Functionalist Reason, Boston: Beacon Press, pp. 113-197, 85 pages (Intermediate Reflections: System and Lifeworld).

Habermas, Jurgen (1991) On the Logic of the Social Sciences, The MIT Press, Cambridge, 1991, pp. 1-42, 171-189, 61 pages (The Dualism of the Natural and Cultural Sciences; Sociology as Theory of the Present).


Pierre Bourdieu (1930-2002)

Distinction – A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1984, pp. 1-7, 466-484, 26 pages (Introduction; Conclusion: Classes and Classifications).

Outline of a Theory of Practice, Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008, pp. 72-95, 159-197, 63 pages (Structures and the Habitus; Structures, Habitus, Power: Basis for a Theory of Symbolic Power).


Jacques Derrida (1930-2004)

“Force and Signification” (1963) in Derrida, Jacques, Writing and Difference, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1978, pp. 3-30 (27 pages).

“Structure, Sign and Play” (1966) in Derrida, Jacques, Writing and Difference, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1978, pp. 278-293 (15 pages).

Of Grammatology (1967), The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London, 1976, pp. 6-26, 141-164 (43 pages).

“The Ends of Man” (1968), in Derrida, Jacques, Margins of Philosophy (1972), The Harvester Press, Sussex, 1982, pp. 109-136 (38 pages).

“The Right to Philosophy from the Cosmopolitical Point of View (The Example of an International Institution)” (1991), in Derrida, Jacques, Ethics, Institutions, and the Right to Philosophy, Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, New York, 2002, pp. 1-18 (18 pages)

“The Last of the Rogue States: The ‘Democracy to Come,’ Openning in Two Turns” (2002), in Derrida, Jacques, Stanford University Press, Stanford, 2005, pp. 78-94 (17 pages).


Luce Irigaray (1930-

Speculum of the Other Woman (1974), Cornell University Press, New York, 1987, pp. 13-34 (22 pages: “Woman: Science’s Unknown”, “The Little Girl is (Only) a Little Boy”), pp. 319-352 (34 pages: “Life in Philosophy”, “Divine Knowledge”, “An Unarticulated/Inarticulate Go-Between: The Split Between Sensible and Intelligible”, “Return to the Name of the Father”).


Immanuel M. Wallerstein (1930-

World-system Analysis: An Introduction, Durham: Duke University Press, 2004, 109 pages.


Sandra Harding (1935-

The Science Question in Feminism, Cornell University Press, Ithaca and London, 1993, pp. 15-57, 136-162, 163-196, 104 pages (From the Woman Question in Science to the Science Question in Feminism; Gender and Science: Two Problematic Concepts; From Feminist Empiricism to Feminist Standpoint Epistemologies; Other “Others” and Fractured Identities: Issues for Epistemologies).


Friedrich Jameson (1934-

“Postmodernism, or The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism”, ed. by Michael Hardt and Kathi Weeks, The Jameson Reader, 2004, pp. 188-232, 45 pages.


Edward Said (1935-2003)

Orientalism, London: Penguin, 2003, pp. 1-28, 28 pages (Introduction).


David Harvey (1935-

The Condition of Postmodernity, Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1990, pp. 327-359, 33 pages (The Condition of Postmodernity).


Ernesto Laclau (1935- and Chantal Mouffe (1943-

Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: Towards a Radical Democrat Politics, London: Verso, 1985, pp. 93-148, 56 pages.


Anthony Giddens (1938-

The Constitution of Society: Outline of the Theory of Structuration, Cambridge: Polity Press, 1986, 1-40 (Elements of the Theory of Structuration); 281-304, 334-343 (Structuration Theory, Empirical Research and Social Critique), (95 pages).


Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (1942-

“Can the Subaltern Speak?”, in Diana Brydon (ed.), Postcolonialism Volume IV, London and New York: Routledge, 2001, pp. 1427-1477, pp. 51 pages.


Michael Mann (1942-

The Sources of Social Power, Vol. 1: A History of Power from the Beginning to AD 1760, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1986, pp. 1-33 (34 pages: Ch. 1: “Societies as Organized Power Networks”).

The Sources of Social Power, Vol. 2: The Rise of Classes and Nation States, 1760-1914, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1993, pp. 23-91 (68 pages: Ch. 1 and 2: “Economic and Ideological Power Relations”, “A Theory of the Modern State”).


Richard Sennett (1943-

The Corrosion of Character, New York and London: W. W. Norton and Company, 1998, pp. 1-63, 63 pages (Drift; Routine; Flexible).

The Fall of the Public Man, New York: Vintage Books, 1978, pp. 3-44, 42 pages (The Public Domain; Roles).


Slavoj Zizek (1949-

The Sublime Object of Ideology, London and New York: Verso, 1989, pp 1-129, 129 pages.


Root, Michael

Philosophy of Social Science, Blackwell Publishers, Oxford, 1994, pp. 10-53, 124-228, 149 pages (The Liberal Ideal; Max Weber and the Methodology of the Social Sciences; Collecting Data in the Social Sciences; Sorting Data into Kinds; Explaining the Data; The Fact/Value Distinction).


Wallace, Walter L.

The Logic of Science in Sociology, Aldine and Atherton, Chicago and New York, 1972.






Hughes, John A. and Wesley W. Sharrock (1997) The Philosophy of Social Research, London and New York: Longman, pp. 1-23, 196-209, 37 pages (The Philosophy of Social Research; Conclusion).


Mrydal, Gunnar (1969) Objectivity in Social Research, New York: Pantheon Books.


Bailey, Kenneth D. (1987) Methods of Social Research, New York: The Free Press.


Crotty, Michael (1998) The Foundations of Social Research, London: SAGE.