INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY
TTh 10:50-1:00 – COMMUNICATIONS BUILDING 120
Department of Sociology
Office: Savery Hall 272
Office Hours: T, TH, 9:30-10:30
Calhoun, C., J. Gerteis, J. Moody, S. Pfaff, and I. Virk (eds). 2012. Classical Sociological Theory (3rd ed). Wiley-Blackwell Publishers. West Sussex, UK
Calhoun, C., J. Gerteis, J. Moody, S. Pfaff, and I. Virk (eds). 2012. Contemporary Sociological Theory (3rd ed). Wiley-Blackwell Publishers. West Sussex, UK
COURSE OUTLINE AND OBJECTIVES:
This course introduces you to the major theoretical approaches in sociology. We will explore the broad themes of solidarity & social order and social conflict & change through the lens of sociological theory. The course approach is grounded in the conception as theory as a tool for providing answers to questions about human behavior. We will draw much from the “classical” social theories that provide many of the thematic foundations of modern sociology but we will also examine contemporary theories. Learning sociological theory will shed light on many of the fundamental issues in the social sciences and enrich your understanding of contemporary society.
The course is based upon selections from original texts supplemented by lectures and discussion during class. Careful and complete reading of the assigned texts is crucial to your success in the course. Full participation in class discussion is an essential part of learning and applying theory. During lectures and in preparing work you are expected to observe the rules of conduct as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct. Electronic devices such as cell phones should be switched odd or silenced. Laptops are fine but please be respectful of me and your fellow students and restrict your use to note taking. Finally, if you have any questions about the material or the concepts discussed in class, please feel free to some see me during office hours.
Through reading of course content, active participation in class discussions and critical analysis of texts are all crucial to developing you understanding of theory and its role within social science. The requirements of the course have been designed to allow me to assess your proficiency in these areas. Course requirements consist of three pepers, periodic brief homework assignments (credit / no credit) and class participation. Your final grade is a simple weighted average of these assignments, broken down as follows:
First Paper: 10%
Third Paper: 30%
As you can see, the majority of you grade is comprised of three papers. You will be given a prompt with detailed instructions and expectations for each paper later on, but the general structure of the papers is as follows. Your first paper will be 4-5 pages and will require you to put forth and defend an argument for the requirements of good sociological theory and the role that theory plays within the development of sociological knowledge. Your second paper will be 7-9 pages and will require you to identify and explain a sociological phenomenon related to social order or solidarity, drawing upon course readings from the second section of the class as well as outside academic works. Your third and final paper follows the same format as the second, but will focus on explaining conflict and using readings from the third section of the course.
Throughout the quarter I will assign you brief homework assignments. Typically these will take the form of brief written summaries (1-2 pages) of one or more readings. These assignments are intended to be low stakes and to help you further your comprehension of class material. All homework assignments are graded credit / no credit. Usually assignments will be given in class and will be due on Catalyst before the next…