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Michael Stoff, Director 305 East 23rd St, CLA 2.102, (G3600) Austin, TX 78712-1250 • 512-471-1442

Course Descriptions

S S 301 • Hon Soc Sci: Clas/Contemp Socl

43295 • Gregg, Benjamin
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm PAR 103
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INSTRUCTOR: Benjamin Gregg

 

 

 

COURSE: SS 301

 

 

 

SEMESTER: Fall 2014

 

 

 

MEETS: TTH 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

 

 

 

TITLE: Honors Social Science

 

 

 

FLAG: Writing

 

 

 

DESCRIPTION

 

 

 

Drawing on primary sources, this seminar introduces social theory as the systematic investigation of social life: how it is organized, continually transforms itself, is challenged by problems and conflicts, and is influenced by the behavior of groups and individuals. Topics in classical theory include social equality in democratic societies (Tocqueville), how social structure influences knowledge (Marx), individuals as influenced by the social collective (Durkheim), society as influenced by individual actors (Weber), how social structure influences even intimate relationships (Simmel), mass deception and manipulation through modern culture (Horkheimer and Adorno), and the relationship between the individual’s purposes and the needs of society (Merton). Contemporary topics include how rituals bind us together (Collins), the nature of social cooperation and trust (Cook, Hardin, Levi), the social consequences of economic structure (Granovetter), the phenomenon of racial difference (Patterson), power and inequality (Giddens), and the coming transformation of the nation state (Sassen).

 

 

 

REQUIRED TEXTS

 

 

 

Classical Sociological Theory, 3rd ed. (2012). Calhoun, Gerteis, Moody, Pfaff, Virk, eds. Wiley-Blackwell

 

 

 

Contemporary Sociological Theory, 3rd ed. (2012). Calhoun, Gerteis, Moody, Pfaff, Virk, eds. Wiley-Blackwell

 

 

 

EVALUATION

 

 

 

Average of four 5-page essays, adjusted for quality of class participation

 

 

 

ABOUT THE PROFESSOR

 

 

 

Professor Gregg, who grew up in Berkeley, California, is a social and political theorist with a BA from Yale, a PhD from Princeton (in political science), and a PhD from the Free University of Berlin (in Philosophy). He is the author of Human Rights as Social Construction; Thick Moralities, Thin Politics: Social Integration across Communities of Belief; and Coping in Politics with Indeterminate Norms: A Theory of Enlightened Localism. This year he published The Human Rights State and is now at work on his fifth book, Second Nature: The Genetic Self-Transformation of the Human Species, his second for Cambridge University Press. His research is supported by a three-year Humanities Research Award that will take him to Princeton, Harvard, and Case Western Reserve University; in Germany, to the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics and to the University of Göttingen; and in Singapore, to the Genome Institute (Biopolis Biomedical City) and National University. In his spare time he patiently pursues a long-term project that draws on files of East German dissidents monitored by the secret police (“Stasi”) until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. These books and current projects all deploy classical and contemporary sociological theory to solve problems that otherwise confound political philosophy. He has taught at universities in Germany, Austria, China and Japan. The College of Liberal Arts Committees on Research and Teaching awarded him the Silver Spurs Fellowship in recognition of outstanding scholarship and teaching. He is partial to theater and hopes someday to become a playwright.

 

S S 301 • Hon Soc Sci: Macroeconomics

43300 • Kendrick, David A
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm UTC 1.116
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This course provides an introduction to macroeconomics in a political economy setting. The course begins by addressing the traditional goals of macroeconomics policy, such as low unemployment and inflation, and then turns to discussion of policies that can be used to achieve them, such as taxes, expenditures, and interest rate changes. The third part of the course then links the policy tools to the goals through consumption, investment, wages, and prices.

The style of teaching is Socratic with considerable emphasis on understanding macroeconomics in the context of the economic problems experienced in the U.S. since World War II. Yet by this method students are expected to gain an understanding of macroeconomic theory at the level usually required of sophomore level economics students.

Finally, there is a course paper to permit students to develop their own ideas about an economic problem of interest. Some use of computer models will also augment our learning.

Texts/Readings:

David A. Kendrick, Goals and Policies for the Economy (mimeo)

Robert E. Hall and David H. Papell, Macroeconomics: Economic Growth, Fluctuations, and Policy

Paul Krugman, Peddling Prosperity

Assignments:

Two one-hour exams:           44%

Some exercises:                   13%

Term paper:                         15%

Final exam:                          28%

About the Professor:

David Kendrick, Sen. Ralph Yarborough Centennial Professor of Liberal Arts, has been teaching macroeconomics to Plan II students since 1988. His specialties are macroeconomics and computational economics.  Professor Kendrick holds a doctorate from M.I.T. and was the winner of a President's Associates Teaching Award in 1991-92. He has published nine books.

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