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COURSE NUMBER: SOCI 332
COURSE TITLE: Classical Sociological Theory
NAME OF INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Michelle Bakker
CREDIT WEIGHT AND WEEKLY TIME DISTRIBUTION: credits 3(hrs lect 3 - hrs sem 0 - hrs lab 0)
COURSE DESCRIPTION: A survey of the origin and the development of classical sociological theory, with particular emphasis on the perspectives and concepts articulated by Comte, Spencer, Marx, Durkheim and Toennies.

Prerequisites: Three credits in sociology at the introductory level
REQUIRED TEXTS: Edles, Laura Desfor and Scott Appelrouth. Sociological Theory in the Classical Era: Text and Readings (3rd edition). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications (2015)
MARK DISTRIBUTION IN PERCENT:
Collaborative Classes35%
Midterm 115%
Essay (7-10p)20%
Final Exam30%
100%
COURSE OBJECTIVES:SOCI332 is a focused survey class intended to familiarize you with what (and who) is meant by “classical sociological theory” and its influence in the discipline. Examining these theories and their own social formations (the sociology of sociology, if you will), that is, the contexts within which various and often opposing theorists arrived at their sociological frameworks will provide you with a strong basis for continuing sociological study or for study in any number of other social scientific disciplines, many of which borrow from and overlap with sociology. The course is structured cumulatively, meaning that as we progress assignments and discussions will incorporate aspects of all material covered to date. This is not intended to increase course difficulty but rather to emphasize the role of these theorists as building blocks, and engaged with one another’s thought.

In addition to learning and engaging with fundamental sociological concerns and approaches, the aims of this course are:
  1. to cultivate your capacity to discern and articulate the relevance of sociological ideas for A) contemporary social issues and concerns; and B) your own lives as social, contextual, contingent beings. 
  2. By recognizing sociological (and by extension any other) theory as itself a contextual event, to increase your confidence in exercising a sociological perspective while also recognizing oneself as subject to such examination (and becoming ok with this).
COURSE SCHEDULE:
  • Tues, Sept. 5: Welcome! Introductions and syllabus. 
    • What is classical sociological theory, and where did it come from?
  • Thurs, Sept. 7: Chapter 1, Introduction + Distribution of topics for CC1.
    • Reading: pp. 1-18
  • Tues, Sept. 12: MARX I. 
    • Readings: pp. 20-35, Introduction to The German Ideology, and From The German Ideology (1845-1846). 
  • Thurs, Sept. 14: MARX II.
    • Readings: Introduction to The Communist Manifesto, From The Communist Manifesto (1848), Introduction to Capital, and From Capital (1867).
  • Tues, Sept. 19: MARX III.
    • Readings: Introduction to Friedrich Engels’s The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State, and From The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State (1884).
  • Thurs, Sept. 21:  I.S. Conference -- no class.
  • Tues, Sept. 26: CC1 - MARX.   Hand in notes at end of class.
  • Thurs, Sept. 28: Mid-term Exam + Distribution of topics for CC2.
  • Tues, Oct. 3: DURKHEIM I. 
    • Readings: pp.101-110, Introduction to The Division of Labor in Society, and From The Division of Labor in Society (1893).
  • Thurs, Oct. 5: DURKHEIM II. 
    • Readings: Introduction to The Rules of Sociological Method, From The Rules of Sociological Method (1895), Introduction to Suicide: A Study in Sociology, and From Suicide: A Study in Sociology (1897).
  • Tues, Oct. 10: DURKHEIM III + Mid-term exams returned.
    • Readings: Introduction to The Elementary Forms of Religious Life, and From The Elementary Forms of Religious Life (1912).
  • Thurs, Oct. 12: CC2 - DURKHEIM. Hand in notes at end of class. Distribution of topics for CC3.
  • Tues, Oct. 17: WEBER I.
  •  Readings: pp.164-177.
  • Thurs, Oct. 19: WEBER II + Distribution of essay assignment.
    • Readings: Introduction to The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, From The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, Introduction to “The Social Psychology of the World Religions,” and From “The Social Psychology of the World Religions” (1915).
  • Tues, Oct. 24: WEBER III.
    • Readings: Introduction to “The Distribution of Power Within the Political Community: Class, Status, Party,” “The Distribution of Power Within the Political Community: Class, Status, Party,” Introduction to “The Types of Legitimate Domination,” From “The Types of Legitimate Domination,” Introduction of “Bureaucracy,” and From “Bureaucracy” (1925).
  • Thurs, Oct. 26: CC3 - WEBER.  Hand in notes at end of class. Distribution of topics for CC4.
  • Tues, Oct. 31: GILMAN I.
    • Readings: pp.235-246, Introduction to “The Yellow Wallpaper,” “The Yellow Wallpaper” (1892), and “Why I Wrote ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’.”
  • Thurs, Nov. 2: GILMAN II.  Essay due.
    • Readings: Introduction to Women and Economics and From Women and Economics (1898).
  • Tues, Nov. 7: SIMMEL I.
    • Readings: pp.286-197, Introduction to “Exchange,” From “Exchange” (1907), Introduction to “Conflict,” and From “Conflict” (1908).
  • Thurs, Nov. 9: Fall break -- no class.
  • Tues, Nov. 14: SIMMEL II.
    • Readings: Introduction to “Sociability,” From “Sociability” (1910), Introduction to “The Stranger,” “The Stranger” (1908), Introduction to “Fashion,” From “Fashion” (1904), Introduction to “The Metropolis and Mental Life,” and “The Metropolis and Mental Life.”
  • Thurs, Nov. 16: CC4 - GILMAN & SIMMEL.  Hand in notes at end of class. Distribution of topics for CC5. Essays returned.
  • Tues, Nov. 21: DUBOIS I.
    • Readings: pp.345-357, Introduction to The Philadelphia Negro, and From The Philadelphia Negro (1899).
  • Thurs, Nov. 23: DUBOIS II.
    • Readings: Introduction to The Souls of Black Folk, From The Souls of Black Folk (1903), Introduction to “The Souls of White Folk,” and From “The Souls of White Folk” (1920).
  • Tues, Nov. 28: MEAD I.
    •  Readings: pp. 392-400, Introduction to “Mind,” and “Mind” (1934).
  • Thurs, Nov. 30: MEAD II.
    • Readings: Introduction to “Self,” “Self” (1934), Introduction to “Society,” and “Society” (1934).
  • Tues, Dec. 5: CC5 - DUBOIS & MEAD.  Hand in notes at end of class.
  • Thurs, Dec. 7: Last day of class. Review and exam prep.


Required texts, assignments, and grade distributions may vary from one offering of this course to the next. Please consult the course instructor for up to date details.

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