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Robert Crosnoe, Chair CLA 3.306, Mailcode A1700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-6300

Spring 2009

SOC 379M • Sociological Theory

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
45775 TTh
8:00 AM-9:30 AM
BUR 231

Course Description

The constitution of the individual in society, and the constitution of society itself are central concerns for sociology. In this course we take on the individual, who is at once autonomous and socially determined, as our primary subject of inquiry. We will begin with Descartes, and then quickly move onto classical social theorists such as Marx, Durkheim and Weber. Central to their theories is the conceptualization of the individual as social, as constituted only within society. Over the course of the semester we will examine questions of structure, agency, the basis for knowledge, human action, social change, and individual emancipation through looking at classical theorists mentioned above, as well as recent scholars such as Erving Goffman, Michel Foucault, Susan Bordo, and Judith Butler.

Grading Policy

Participation and class attendance 10%
"Surprise" quizzes 10%
Goffman exercise and presentation (to be done in groups) 20%
Take home exams (mid-term and final, 30% each) 60%


Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish
W.E.B. Du Bois, Souls of Black Folk
Reader with excerpts from various books (on Blackbard)


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