LSO230 - Modern Social and Political Thought

Outline info
Last revision date 2019-03-18 09:11:09.326
Last review date 2019-03-18 09:17:18.874

Subject Title
Modern Social and Political Thought

Subject Description
The twenty-first century begins with the promise of new ideas, new technologies as well as the challenges associated with these apparent changes. This course introduces students to the seminal ideas of major Western thinkers of the modern period. Using an integrated, interdisciplinary approach, students will enhance their capacity to think critically and historically about their own time, the recent past, and the social movements that have shaped our age and our ways of thinking. 

Credit Status
This is a lower level Liberal Studies elective for students in Applied Degree Programs

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

1. Identify central ideas and concepts of modern Western thought  relevant to contemporary social movements.  
2. Discuss examples of the interaction of ideas and events in the sciences, humanities and the arts during the 19th and 20th centuries.
3. Describe trends in western thought using an historical perspective.
4. Represent, in debate and in written prose form, different perspectives on central issues in the modern world. 
5. Create a personal vision on a significant social issue that synthesizes a variety of ‘modern’ perspectives. 

Academic Integrity
Seneca upholds a learning community that values academic integrity, honesty, fairness, trust, respect, responsibility and courage. These values enhance Seneca's commitment to deliver high-quality education and teaching excellence, while supporting a positive learning environment. Ensure that you are aware of Seneca's Academic Integrity Policy which can be found at: Review section 2 of the policy for details regarding approaches to supporting integrity. Section 2.3 and Appendix B of the policy describe various sanctions that can be applied, if there is suspected academic misconduct (e.g., contract cheating, cheating, falsification, impersonation or plagiarism).

Please visit the Academic Integrity website to understand and learn more about how to prepare and submit work so that it supports academic integrity, and to avoid academic misconduct.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Accessibility Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.

ENG106 or equivalent.

Topic Outline

1. Introduction: Dialectics and Ideology
2. Ideologies and the Democratic Ideal
3. Liberalism
4. Conservatism
5. Early Socialism and Communism
6. Socialism and Communism after Marx
7. Nationalism
8. Fascism
9. Populism
10. Politics of Entitlement and Identity
11. Green Politics
12. Radical Islamism
13. The Future of Ideology

Mode of Instruction

Online:  All class work is completed in a fully online environment.  Students do not attend any classes on campus; however, the final exam must be written in-person at the Test Centre of the College at which you registered. If you are unable to do so, please make alternative arrangements through the College at which you registered.  

Prescribed Texts
Perry, John A. and Erna K. Perry. Contemporary Society: An Introduction to Social Science (13th Edition). Toronto: Pearson, 2012. ISBN 9780205020898

Student Progression and Promotion Policy

Grading Policy

A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online ( or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices (

Modes of Evaluation

To be successful in this course, you must complete all course work as specified and achieve an overall grade of 50% or higher. For further information on evaluation and academic standing, see a copy of the Academic Policy available at Seneca registration offices.

Term Work

All term work assignments must be completed prior to the time of the final exam or last class.  Students must contact faculty in advance of the assignment due date to discuss the possibility of an extension.  Late assignments may be subject to the awarding of a penalty resulting in a lower grade assigned. 
Make-up opportunities for assignments must also be made in advance of the scheduled due date.  If an assignment is missed due to class absence, official documentation must be submitted to the faculty member on or before the next scheduled class. Make-up opportunities may not apply to all graded assignments.

Term Work                 70%
Final Examination    30%

Student Success

Please access the course every week (or more) and keep up with assigned readings. Make sure you participate in online discussions and hand in any assigned work on time. Following these suggestions will increase your chances of success.

Approved by: Fiona Bain-greenwood