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Introduction to Sociological Theory

This course will address sociological theory with a strong focus on historical developments. We will trace developments in sociological theory through time from the 19th century to the 21st century. This will allow us to see how sociological theory has undergone changes. For instance, we will see the ebbs and flows in the popularity of some theories that have had a substantial impact on sociology (including structural functionalism and neo-Marxism). To give another example, we will see how previously over-looked early theorists who addressed gender and racial inequality have increasingly been recognized (as theories of feminism and theories of race 2 or racism have grown in importance within sociology). We will see how many of these changes in sociological theory are connected to changes in the political and ideological climate. Due to the historical orientation of the course, both classical and contemporary sociological theory will be examined. In Part I of the course, we will begin by discussing aspects of classical sociological theory. The focus will be on three thinkers who had a substantial impact on sociology in the late 19th century and early 20th century (Karl Marx, Émile Durkheim, and Max Weber). We will then consider the continuing impact of these important thinkers throughout the 20th century and into the early 21st century while turning our attention to further developments in sociological theory. It is impossible to address all of the perspectives that constitute contemporary sociological theory, but we will undertake an in-depth analysis of some major approaches. In Part II of the course, which covers the period from the early 20th century to the late 20th century, we will analyse early developments involving contemporary theory. The perspectives to be discussed include structural functionalism, neo-Marxism, symbolic interactionism, phenomenology, and ethnomethodology. With the exception of structural functionalism, these perspectives are still employed by many sociologists. In Part III of the course, which addresses the period from the late 19th century to the early 21st century, we will consider later developments involving contemporary theory. Theories of feminism, race and racism, and globalization will be examined. These approaches have historical roots that go back to the period of classical sociological theory, but they only started to have a significant impact on the work of sociologists in the late 20th century.In

SOCIOL 2S06

Introduction to Sociological Theory

Unit(s): 6.0 Level(s): II Term(s): Summer Offered?: Yes

This course will address sociological theory with a strong focus on historical developments. We will trace developments in sociological theory through time from the 19th century to the 21st century. This will allow us to see how sociological theory has undergone changes. For instance, we will see the ebbs and flows in the popularity of some theories that have had a substantial impact on sociology (including structural functionalism and neo-Marxism). To give another example, we will see how previously over-looked early theorists who addressed gender and racial inequality have increasingly been recognized (as theories of feminism and theories of race 2 or racism have grown in importance within sociology). We will see how many of these changes in sociological theory are connected to changes in the political and ideological climate. Due to the historical orientation of the course, both classical and contemporary sociological theory will be examined. In Part I of the course, we will begin by discussing aspects of classical sociological theory. The focus will be on three thinkers who had a substantial impact on sociology in the late 19th century and early 20th century (Karl Marx, Émile Durkheim, and Max Weber). We will then consider the continuing impact of these important thinkers throughout the 20th century and into the early 21st century while turning our attention to further developments in sociological theory. It is impossible to address all of the perspectives that constitute contemporary sociological theory, but we will undertake an in-depth analysis of some major approaches. In Part II of the course, which covers the period from the early 20th century to the late 20th century, we will analyse early developments involving contemporary theory. The perspectives to be discussed include structural functionalism, neo-Marxism, symbolic interactionism, phenomenology, and ethnomethodology. With the exception of structural functionalism, these perspectives are still employed by many sociologists. In Part III of the course, which addresses the period from the late 19th century to the early 21st century, we will consider later developments involving contemporary theory. Theories of feminism, race and racism, and globalization will be examined. These approaches have historical roots that go back to the period of classical sociological theory, but they only started to have a significant impact on the work of sociologists in the late 20th century.In


J. Hristov

Prerequisite(s): SOCIOL 1A06 and registration in a Sociology program