SOCI-158-01 Political Sociology
Spring for 2016-2017
MW 6:30-7:45PM

The purpose of this course is to familiarize students with a range of concepts, theories, and issues in the sociological area commonly referred to as “political sociology.” In fact, the questions, “Who has power?” and, “How is power exercised and/or maintained?” are the central points of this discipline. Further, political sociologists are interested in exploring in whose interests is power applied; is the power of the ruling groups a product of the popular will, or is it created/maintained by the powerful themselves through a combination of “force” and their manipulation of public opinion? All in all, political sociology explores the relationship between society and politics: the fundamental ways in which political structures, processes, and decisions are linked to the social structure.

Students should become more aware of the nature and consequences of politics and realize how politics is present in all aspects of social life. Our approach is historical, global, theoretical, critical, as well as comparative. In addition to the US, we wish to understand the nature of politics in less developed societies, particularly in the Middle East. Therefore, some of the readings will focus authoritarian political systems and what is known as “the dynamics of democratization.”

Finally, we will explore the impact of globalization on the world and, in particular, on the role of Islamic societies. The emergence of some democratic movements in the Islamic world will be highlighted.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None

Course syllabi
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Spring '17: Alexander D (file download)
Spring '17: Alexander D (file download)
Additional syllabi may be available in prior academic years.
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