The Historical Sociology Master’s Program at Charles University isa two-year program and applicants with bachelor degrees may be accepted following successful written entrance examinations.
Roughly half of the subjects in the curriculum are theoretical; the other half are focused on learning research methods and techniques, both from quantitative and qualitative methodology. The study is not too closely professionally-oriented and is not based on any one theory or method. In the theoretical part there is a constant emphasis on the multi-paradigmatic character of the field, and equally in the research area on the plurality of methodological approaches. The subjects taught acknowledge a number of overlaps with other disciplines, primarily in history, but also in anthropology, political science or economics.
The aim of this master’s program is not to produce narrowly focused specialists, but rather humanities-educated individuals with a wide range of knowledge and skills.
The courses taught can be divided into three basic blocks as follows:
The first block is the theoretical-historical block, which offers courses dedicated to the general theoretical conceptions of historical sociology and civilizing analysis, and also to the perspectives of historical sociology on the issues of knowledge, culture, religions, nations, nationalism, economics, politics, law, democracy and everyday life. The core subjects include courses in Comparative Historical Sociology (J. Šubrt) and Introduction to Civilising Analysis (J. P. Arnason). Other lecturers include L. Cviklová (the sociology of knowledge and religion), A. Marková (the formation of nations and nationalism), Nicolas Maslowski (the historical sociology of politics and international relations), Karel Muller (economic processes) B. Šalanda (everyday life) and J. Šubrt (collective memory and its examination, specific problems of historical sociology). The teaching in this block may also periodically include such foreign professors as W. Spohn, Georges Mink and Jaroslaw Kilias.
The second block is the methodological-research block, which familiarizes students with the basic approaches and problems of sociology, and to some extent history and methodology. The study of research methods and techniques is focused on the application of both quantitative and qualitative methodologies in areas such as biographical research, oral history, grounded theory, discourse analysis, case studies, stratification research and secondary data analysis from archives. The teaching of these subjects is conducted by Jiří Šafr, Radka Dudová, Martin Vávra among others.
Optional Thematic Block
The third block consists of three optional subject areas of which only one must be chosen:
1. Theory of social change and modernisation processes (Jiří Šubrt)
2. Historical sociology of culture and quotidian (Bohuslav Šalanda)
3. The historical sociology of politics and international relations (Nicolas Maslowski)
Employment of Graduates
The historical sociology master’s program is envisaged to prepare students both in terms of knowledge and also in essential practical skills for the future exercise of their professions, whether in the academic or professional sphere (offices, agencies, educational institutions, consulting firms, editors, etc.). The study program is designed so that students may acquire a relatively broad set of professional bases which can be used in various types of employment dealing with information of a socio-historical nature. Graduates should be skilled in seeking out information and accessing it as well as being able to treat, evaluate, compare and analyse it using quantitative and qualitative approaches. They should also have an expansive intellectual outlook and be able to put the issues they deal with and the dilemmas they encounter into a broader, especially socio-historical, context.