Introduction to Social Sciences
Cod: 41036
Department: DCSG
Scientific area: Sociology
Total working hours: 156
Total contact time: 15

The course provides content which permit an overview of the social, everyday life and the process of learning how to become a member of a given society, with the analysis of social relations and forms of sociability. It also aims to clarify the criteria and conditions for the formation of the Social Sciences in the world of science, as well as propose the analysis of the main epistemological and methodological vectors of social science, as scientific knowledge. In this sense, is explored the requirement to break with common sense, explaining and reflecting on the epistemological obstacles towards the construction of objectivity and neutrality in the social sciences. To complete, Is studied also the scientific domain of the various social sciences in their complementarity and interdisciplinarity with an overview of the specific fields of study.

Social sciences
Common Sense
Social Theory
Knowledge and explanation in Social Sciences

Identify and characterize the specificity of the social and social facts as own domain of social sciences.

Distinguish in is the process of learning to be a member of a society and the cultural relativism.

Identify what constitutes scientific knowledge and the common sense knowledge.

Know and relate the key factors of explanation and understanding of social facts.

Develop critical and reflective spirit to enable argues about the knowledge produced by the social sciences.


1.    Learning to be a member of society: forms of sociability
2.    Perspective on everyday life and social specificity
3.    Construction of scientific knowledge
4.    Objectivity and neutrality in the social sciences: the epistemological obstacles
5.    The explanation and understanding in the social sciences
6.    The field of social sciences - unity and plurality
7.     Overview of the social sciences


Obligatory bibliography
MAGANO, Olga (2014), Introdução às ciências sociais, Lisboa. Universidade Aberta, e-book
Complementary bibliography
CAMPENHOUDT, L. V. (2003). Introdução à Análise dos Fenómenos Sociais. Lisboa, Gradiva
DURKHEIM, Émile (1985). As Regras do Método Sociológico. Lisboa. Editorial Presença.
LUCKMAN, Thomas e BERGER, Peter I. (1985). A construção social da realidade. Um livro sobre a sociologia do conhecimento. Lisboa. Dinalivro
NUNES, Sedas (1973). Questões preliminares sobre as ciências sociais. Lisboa. Presença /GIS
SANTOS, Boaventura de Sousa (1986). Um discurso sobre as ciências. Coimbra. Universidade de Coimbra
SILVA, Augusto Santos e PINTO, José Madureira (1986). (orgs.). Metodologia das ciências Sociais. Porto. Ed. Afrontamento.

Note: In addition to the compulsory literature will be available in the virtual classroom another texts for the study of each topic.



Continuous assessment is privileged: 2 digital written documents (e-folios) during the semester (40%) and a final digital test, Global e-folio (e-folio G) at the end of the semester (60%). In due time, students can alternatively choose to perform one final exam (100%).

Students registered in this course unit should enter in the Moodle Platform:, in the virtual classroom e-learning