Theory and Methodology in Sociology

The Chicago school of sociology: human ecology and urban sociology

Description: Study of investigation strategies and main sociological theories of the Chicago school of sociology, between World Wars I and II, in terms of its formation, structure, applications and meta-theoretical foundations, with special emphasis on the theory of urban structure, aimed at its recreation.

Professor in charge: Mário Antonio Eufrasio (


Sociology in high school

Description: This research project aims to follow and foster discussions of sociology in high school, higher education and distance learning.

Professor in charge: Heloisa Helena Teixeira de Souza Martins (


The German sociological tradition and the genesis of Western Marxism

Description: This project aims to reconstruct the premises of sociological theory that informed the Western Marxism in its early days, more precisely the delineated intellectual configuration in Germany between 1920 and 1930, by the works of Georg Lukács and Max Horkheimer. To this end, first the task of presenting the issue parameters must be established, that is, to reconstruct how the German classical sociological tradition, through its most representative authors - Ferdinand Tönnies, Georg Simmel, and Max Weber - interpreted, incorporated, criticised, and formulated alternatives to the diagnosis of Marx about the origin, nature, and future of capitalism.

Professor in charge: Ricardo Musse (


Current issues of sociological theory

Description: This project aims to follow the contemporary discussion within social theory and its connections with related disciplines.

Professor in charge: Ricardo Musse (


Methodological reconstructions of social research processes

Description: The philosophy of analytical language as the foundation of social sciences. Causal explanations and teleology in social sciences: analysis of methodological controversies.

Professor in charge: José Jeremias de Oliveira Filho (


Urban sociology in Brazil: histories, theories, and methods

Description: The project aims to sociologically inquiry the history of Brazilian social thought in search of different theoretical and methodological perspectives developed in the country on the object of sociological knowledge ‘city.’ To this end, the methodological orientation is of comparative nature: the historical and social specificities of the Brazilian debate since the academic beginnings of social sciences in the country come to the forefront when ‘comparative consciousness’ (Nader, 1994) is exercised in relation to the histories of European, North American, and Brazilian sociology, in the search for studies that are now part of the discipline’s heritage as examples of theoretical and methodological originality in how they approach the city, in its academic scenarios referencing to the time of their publication.

Professor in charge: Fraya Frehse (


Sociology of space in Brazil

Description: The aim is to investigate the spatial dimension of social relations and practices in Brazil; i.e., how they physically materialise and/or how they are affected by the physical materiality that permeates social life in this country. The assumption is that the space is neither restricted to a physical substrate of empirical research, nor is it a mere metaphorical abstraction of theoretical reflection. In particular, it is relevant to inquiry sociologically and anthropologically the ties between everyday life and history ‘in and through’ space according to Henri Lefebvre (1974), assuming the space as a means to understanding social processes notably involved in the production of urban space in Brazil.

Professor in charge: Fraya Frehse (


Time, individuality, and contemporaneity

Description: The reflection that articulates the themes of individualism and contemporaneity, focused on the discussion of emerging processes and relations, allows the review and (re)construction of some paradigmatic concepts from a theoretical point of view, and at the same time, allows the observation of empirical situations, with analytical categories appropriate to the ongoing processes. It assesses meanings, sociability pattern, change of individualisation processes, and, decisive for these transformations, a distinct temporal perception (focused on the ‘now’ and no longer in the future), suggesting the emergence of a new dominant social time.

Professor in charge: Maria Helena Oliva Augusto (


Theory of scientific explanations, methodological rules and methodology of social sciences

Description: It investigates the theory of causal and deductive scientific explanation by the notion of methodological rule.

Professor in charge: José Jeremias de Oliveira Filho (


Theory and history of sociology and social thought

Description: The project investigates various issues from the sociological perspective with special emphasis on the development in the field of social theory and its ramifications and connections with related disciplines.

Professor in charge: José Carlos Bruni (


Sociological theory

Description: Research on contemporary developments (on theorists like Foucault) of classical theories (especially Weber, Simmel, and Durkheim), focusing mainly on issues of morality, individuality, and diversion.

Professor in charge: Maria Helena Oliva Augusto (


Classical sociological theory

Description: The aim is to discuss theoretically, according to Weber and Marx, the production, circulation, legitimate orders, rationality, values, and interests in pre-capitalist social formation. It also addresses the issue related to the public sphere and property, as something independent of the private sphere and personal power that is only historically placed with the constitution of capitalism and social classes.

Professor in charge: Sedi Hirano (


Theories of the formation and structure of cities in modern society

Description: We propose a systematic characterisation of the main themes that compose the field of urban sociology - urbanisation, urban planning, particular cities, urban structure, and urban social movements -, followed by the proposition of a research project that aims to undertake a survey that allows the analysis and evaluation of the main formulations of relations between the general urbanisation process and the development of urban structure in modern society, as it has been perceived by the theories of urban sociology and other social sciences in the city.

Professor in charge: Mario Antonio Eufrasio (