SOCI-202 Sociological Theory
Fall for 2017-2018
Spring for 2017-2018
TR 2:00 – 3:15pm
Walsh 391

This course is an introduction to sociological theory, explanations for what social life is like (empirical arguments) and what social life should be like (normative arguments). The discipline began during a time of incredible social change, in the 19th and early 20th centuries. We will read the “classical” sociological works of Durkheim, Marx, Simmel, and Weber, as well as some contemporary theoretical developments. Our goals are twofold: a) to understand the arguments the authors make, and b) to see how these arguments relate to current issues and events in our own society. During class time, we will be discussing real-life examples and engaging in assignments that relate to the theories; these are meant to inspire you to see how these social theories can be used to explain phenomena that we are familiar with.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: SOCI-001


SOCI-202-01 Sociological Theory
Fall for 2017-2018
MW 12:30 - 1:45 PM

This course examines major theories of society exemplified in the work of sociological theorists. We will give special emphasis and about half of the term to those classical theorists whose insights formed the foundation of contemporary sociology: Karl Marx, Max Weber, and Émile Durkheim. In the latter part of the course we will survey and "map out" a variety of contemporary perspectives on society--most are heavily indebted to those three classical roots--including symbolic interactionism and its variants, structural-functionalism, conflict and exchange theories, neo-Marxisms and critical theory, feminism, and varied approaches to culture. In addition, we will give some attention to the social and organizational contexts in which classical and contemporary theory have emerged.

The writing for the course will consist of a series of short writing assignments, numbering eleven in all. You may skip three (3) of these; thus you will have to write eight (8) of these in all, together contributing 80% of your final grade. Each assignment will be either (1) a short essay (ca. 3 pages) or (2) a series of roughly paragraph-length answers to a series of questions I pose to you.

Required Bookstore Texts: Robert C. Tucker, ed., The Marx-Engels Reader, 2d ed. only; From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology, eds. Gerth & Mills. Émile Durkheim, Suicide: A Study in Sociology; Peter Kivisto, Social Theory: Roots and Branches Readings, 4th ed. only (2011). Plus many Blackboard readings.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: Sociology Majors and Minors Only
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