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Robert G. Moser, Chair BAT 2.116, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-5121

Fall 2003

GOV 335M • 8 - Contemporary European Social Theory - W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
35735 W
7:00 PM-10:00 PM
BUR 436A

Course Description

May be repeated for credit when topics vary. Writing component course with heavy reading load. Introduction to and analysis of the state of the European debate on selected aspects of social and political intregration in complex modern societies, in the work of four major contemporary European authors: Jurgen Habermas (theory of communicative action), Anthony Giddens (structuration theory), Niklas Luhmann (systems theory), and Pierre Bourdieu (theories of practice and stratification). Weekly Blackboard Assignments: once a week at a prearranged time, each student is required to submit a list of points of discussion, as well as questions, concerning each week's readings to our seminar's Blackboard site (at Every week, one or two students on a rotating basis will prepare the weekly agendas by selecting and editing, from these submissions, a list of points and questions to direct our discussion that week. The agendamaker(s) will post the agenda to Blackboard by 6pm the day of class, where each student shoupd print out a copy and bring it to class for reference in our discussions, debates, and deliberations. Each failure to submit a list will lower a student's final grade by one letter. No late submissions accepted except in cases of documented medical or other emergency. Attendance: A student with more than the three unexcused absences from class automatically fails the course. Excuses for late essays, as for absences, must be written explanations form a physician or other relevant person.

Grading Policy

Written Assignments: Four essays, each 6-8 pages. Unexcused late essays will be penalized: for every 24 hours, or portion thereof, after the due date and hour, the earned grade for the essay will drop by one grade. Evaluation: The average of the grades for the four essays, to be raised or lowered significantly according to the quality of the student's weekly in-class participation and weekly submissions to the Blackboard forum. A student cannot pass this course without submitting all essays, all on time.


Niklas Luhmann, Essays on Self-Reference (1990) Anthony Giddens, Central Problems in Social Theory (1994) Pierre Bourdieu, Logic of Practice (1990) Jurgen Habermas, Theory of Communicative Action, Vol. 2 (1988) Benjamin Gregg, Thick Moralities, Thin Politics (2003)


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