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Christine L. Williams, Chair CLA 3.306, Mailcode A1700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-6300

Fall 2008

SOC 379M • Sociological Theory

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
46650 TTh
9:30 AM-11:00 AM
BUR 224
Young

Course Description

The purpose of this course is to introduce the student to some of the more important theoretical foundations of the discipline of sociology and to current debates in modern social theory. The first part of the course covers select classical theorists. The second part provides an introduction to twentieth-century social theory and critical perspectives on the classical foundations of sociology. The third and final part presents a highly influential response to these challenges by a leading sociological theorist of our day. Throughout the course, the main topics of interest are the rise and transformation of modern society, the changing relationship between the individual and social institutions, the role of social structures and agency in social theory, the role of moral and instrumental action in agency theory, the challenge of critical theory to the social sciences, and contemporary attempts at a critical and multidimensional theory of society.

Grading Policy

Exam one 40%
exam two 30%
Exam three 30%

Texts

All texts have been ordered through MonkeyWrench Books (110 E. North Loop, Austin, TX 78751; tel. (512) 407-6925)

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Marx-Engels Reader, ed. Robert Tucker, Norton
Emile Durkheim, On Morality and Society, ed. Robert N. Bellah, Chicago
Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, Roxbury
Georg Simmel, On Individuality and Social Forms, ed. Donald Levine, Chicago
Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents, Norton
Michel Foucault, The Foucault Reader, ed. Paul Rabinow, Pantheon
Jurgen Habermas, Jurgen Habermas on Society and Politics: A Reader, ed. Seidman, Beacon

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