Contemporary Social Issues
Cod: 41047
Department: DCSG
Scientific area: Sociology
Total working hours: 156
Total contact time: 15

This curricular unit has the objective of allowing a theoretical and factually informed vision about some of the main contemporary problems, as well as of the diverse theoretical forms of its framework and of the practical types of its resolution. It will be analysed, on the one side, the principal theoretical viewpoints about social problems, and, on the other, the way this problems are possibly dealt with at the sight of the main contemporary political and doctrinal lines.
After this framework it will be analysed some of the current big social problems.


Social problems study
Sociological Problem

It is intended that the student acquire the following skills:
• Establish a framework of social problems from the perspective of the concepts and theoretical perspectives of the social sciences;
• Critically analyse the modes of interpretation and evaluation of social problems from the perspective of the mainstream contemporary political and doctrinal lines of thought;
• Proceed to the framework, interpretation and critical analysis of contemporary social problems specifically analysed.

It is also intended that the acquisition of knowledge over the big contemporary social problems provides each student with the increase of critical analysis and reflection capacity about current events and, being such, a reinforcement of a civic conscience about the challenges globally shared by Humanity at our common house: The Planet Earth.


1 - Social problems study
2 – Social and doctrinal perspectives on social problems
3 – Big environmental problems
4 – Demographical problems
5 – Economic Globalization
6 – Sociological origin problems
7 – The education as a social problem


Carmo, Hermano (coord.) (2001), Problemas Sociais Contemporâneos, Lisboa, Universidade Aberta.

Barata, Óscar Soares (2003), Demografia e Sistema Internacional, Lisboa, ISCSP.

Bobbio, Norberto (1992), A Era dos Direitos, Rio de Janeiro, Editora Campus.

Giddens, A. (2000), O Mundo na era da globalização, Lisboa, Presença.

Giddens, A. (2004), Sociologia, Lisboa, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian.

Lijphart, A. (1989), As democracias contemporâneas, Lisboa, Gradiva.

Moreira, Adriano (1997), Ciência Política, Coimbra, Almedina.

Morin, Edgar et al (1991), Os problemas do fim de século, Lisboa, Notícias.

Naisbitt, J. (1988), Macrotendências, Lisboa, Ed. Presença.

Rubington, E. e Weinberg, M. S. (1995), The study of social problems. Seven perspectives, Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Wieviorka, M. (dir.) (1995), Racismo e modernidade, Venda Nova, Bertrand Editora.


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%).