How do we make sense of modern societies? What is distinctive about the times we are living through? How does broad social change impact on our everyday lives? In this subject we consider some of the most ground-breaking explanations of the modern social world, including theories about capitalism, class, gender, race, consumerism, power, exclusion and community. This subject works its way from 'classical' social theories, that attempted to make sense of the massive changes brought about by industrialisation, through to contemporary theories about life in 'liquid modernity' or 'postmodernity.' Thinking sociologically goes beyond an attempt to understand societies as they currently exist, it also invites us to imagine 'alternative futures.' This subject addresses La Trobe's Sustainability Thinking Essential. Sustainability Thinking entails deep appreciation of how the choices we make affect economic, social, political and cultural systems - now and in the future.