RHI-11306 Social Transitions in Historical Perspective


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Problem-based learning12
Course coordinator(s)dr. AJAM Schuurman
Lecturer(s)dr. AJAM Schuurman
Examiner(s)dr. AJAM Schuurman

Language of instruction:



This course entails six lectures and six working group sessions. The lectures will provide the students with an introduction into the main historical transitions of the 19th and 20th centuries. Each lecture will focus on one specific dimension: the economic transition (how society changed from an agrarian into a (post)-industrial society), the demographic transition (changes accompanying the falling down of high birth and death rates to low ones) the political transition (from oligarchy to the nation-state and upcoming democracy and citizenship), the social transition (from estates, via social classes to configurations and accompanying efforts to achieve class, ethnic, religious and gender equality), the cultural transition (the cultural impact of the Enlightenment, secularisation and fundamentalism), and the spatial transition (from local to global and back). In the working group sessions, students will review and discuss texts that illustrate the interdependency of these transitions and present case studies, which are derived from these discussions and are related to the main field of their major.

Learning outcomes:

After this course students are expected to be able to:
- name the main historical transitions of the 19th and 20th centuries;
- understand the general mechanisms of change in these transitions;
- connect changes in the field of their major with these historical transitions;
- assess new events against the background of long term development;
- use and criticize historical literature for the field of their major.


The exam consists of a written exam and an essay.


B. Altena, D. van Lente, Vrijheid en rede. Verloren 2006.

Compulsory for: BCLCommunication and Life SciencesBSc3WD
BGMHealth and SocietyBSc3WD