Soci Sociological Theory

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1 University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Soci Sociological Theory Spring 2007 Professor François Nielsen 1 Times, Places & Contacts Presence Required on These Dates: Fri 2 Mar 10:00 10:50 AM (Midterm) Mon 7 May 8:00 11:00 AM (Final) No Exception You must drop the course if you cannot be present on these dates Classes Meet Mon, Wed, Fri 10:00 10:50 AM in Murphey 104 Instructor Professor François Nielsen Office: Hamilton 163 Hours: by appointment Phone: Fax: Web site nielsen Teaching Assistant Ken Kolb Office: Hamilton 273 (also check Hamilton 228) Hours: TBA & other times by appointment 2 Course Description & Goals (This paragraph is adapted form the syllabus of a course Social Theory taught by Indermohan Virk at Indiana University at Bloomington.) I use the terms sociological theory and social theory interchangeably to mean the set of theories and approaches developed by sociologists and others for understanding society. As members of a society we all use theories in order to make sense of our lives and the institutions, organizations, and groups around us. The authors we will study in this class have created complex explanations of the social world. Many of the theorists we are studying are no longer living. We continue to read their work because their ideas transcend space and time and still contribute to an understanding of our contemporary world. We will read both classical theorists (such as Marx, Pareto, Weber and Durkheim) as well as more contemporary authors. It is important to realize that these varied approaches to understanding social life are not presented here as the truth. We will see that these social thinkers quite often do not study the same social phenomena, and even when they do chances are they will diagree on the proper way to understand them. I do not expect you to agree, or even be interested in all these dead Germans (or French, or Italians). In fact I disbelieve quite a bit of this 1

2 S o c i S o c i o l o g i c a l T h e o ry 2 myself, as will quickly become obvious. This course will have met its main goal if you come out of it able to comfortably assert that the King is naked!, while also empathizing with the thought processes of the thinkers who have produced these sometimes grand and inspiring ideas about the social world. 3 Readings 3.1 Books Most readings are from the following books, available at the bookstore: Calhoun, Craig, Joseph Gerteis, James Moody, Steven Pfaff, and Indermohan Virk, eds. Forthcoming Classical Sociological Theory. 2nd edition. Blackwell. Calhoun, Craig, Joseph Gerteis, James Moody, Steven Pfaff, and Indermohan Virk, eds. Forthcoming Contemporary Sociological Theory. 2nd edition. Blackwell. In addition, the following two books are recommended for background reading: Aron, Raymond Main Currents in Sociological Thought, Vol. 1: Montesquieu, Comte, Marx, de Tocqueville, & Sociologists and the Revolution of New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers. $ Aron, Raymond Main Currents in Sociological Thought, Vol. 2: Durkheim, Pareto, Weber. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers. $ Additional Readings Additional readings are available as pdf files from the course site. A password is needed to access some of these documents. 3.3 Class Notes and Presentations Notes and PowerPoint presentations (including student presentations see below) will be linked to this syllabus for each week. See course schedule. You can download or print these notes as you wish. I must reserve the right to revise/update the notes and presentations at any time during the session. 4 Exams & Requirements 4.1 Honor Code The Honor Code will be in force for all examinations and assignments For more information on student duties under the Honor Code please see Please note in particular the following section: [It is the responsability of students] To maintain the confidentiality of examinations by divulging no information concerning an examination, directly or indirectly, to another student yet to write that same examination.

3 S o c i S o c i o l o g i c a l T h e o ry 3 However in preparing team presentations collaboration among members of a team as well as with students outside the team is allowed and encouraged. All sources (material or non-material) are to be aknowledged in the presentation (just as one does in a scientific or scholarly paper). 4.2 Requirements The midterm and the final are multiple-choice exams. You need to bring a bubble sheet for electronic scanning, available free of charge at Student Stores a pencil (#2 preferred) with an effective eraser (soft, pink,..., not hard and all dried up!) so you can erase your answer completely if you change your mind For examples of multiple-choice questions of the type used in the exams click on a sampler of multiple-choice questions. Your final grade in the class will be based on four requirements. (1) Midtem (30% of course grade) The midterm will take place during regular class time on Fri 2 Mar 10:00 10:50 AM The midterm will consist of multiple choice questions, many of them based on questions submitted by students as part of their team presentation. (2) Final (30% of course grade) The final will take place on Mon 7 May 8:00 11:00 AM The final will consist of multiple-choice questions. The final is not cumulative, except insofar as a question may involve a comparison, say, between an author or theory discussed after the midterm with one discussed prior to the midterm. (3) Attendance (5% of course grade) Attendance will be taken beginning with the 3rd class (Wed 17 Jan). You can miss 5 out of the 40 scheduled classes without giving a reason. After that each unexcused absence will be penalized 1/35th of 5 points (i.e point), up to a maximum of 5 points. You must be present for midterm or final, and it would be extremely bad form to be absent for the days of your team s presentation. (4) Participation (5% of course grade) The participation score will be based on your contribution to the team project and to class discussions. Many intelligent contributions to class discussions bring higher score. A range of contributions will be deemed adequate, so you need not worry if you are just the quiet sort; however gross failure to participate in the team effort will be penalized.

4 S o c i S o c i o l o g i c a l T h e o ry 4 (5) Team Project (30% of course grade) Early in the semester you will be assigned to one of 7 or 8 teams of 3 or 4 students each. Each team will be responsible for preparing a summary presentation and leading class discussions of the readings for two periods of a given week. Each team will be responsible for two class periods (typically Mon and Wed). In addition each team will draft 10 multiple-choice questions on the materials they covered. The draft questions are due on the Wednesday of the week following the presentation, except for the team presenting in the week of the midterm; in this case the questions are due on the firt period (Monday) of the presentation week. List of Team Members 4.3 Grading Each exam (midterm & final) is scored on a percent scale from 0 to 100; the team project is scored on a scale of 0 to 100; attendance & participation are each scored on a scale from 0 to 5. The grade for the course is calculated as the weighted sum of scores CG = 0.30 MIDA FINA TP + AT + PA where MIDA is adjusted midterm score (on 100), FINA is adjusted final score (on 100), TP is team project score (on 100), AT is attendance (on 5) and PA is participation (on 5). (For the meaning of adjusted see below.) Conversion to a letter grade is done only once at the end of the semester to determine the final grade. In principle, the correspondence with letter grades is as follows: A = B = C = D = F = less than 60 Pluses or minuses are added for scores near the cutoff points. 4.4 Posting of Grades Exam scores and final grades will be made available through blackboard. 4.5 Make-Up Exams (Lack Thereof) A make-up exam will be arranged only for true emergencies. The instructor must be notified before the exam takes place (if at all possible). A desire to leave early before the end of the semester, vacation rentals, plane reservations, marriage plans, marriage plans of relatives or friends, other appointments interfering with the exam schedule (including job interviews and routine doctor appointments), or other exams scheduled on the same day are emphatically not valid reasons for requesting a make-up. All make-up exams are oral exams. Although a few students do well on oral exams, my experience from other classes is that make-up grades tend to be lower than grades on the regular multiple choice exams. There is absolutely no make-up for the final exam. Students who anticipate that they will not be able to take the final on the announced date must drop the class at this time.

5 S o c i S o c i o l o g i c a l T h e o ry 5 The following is a useful short version of the Exam Make-Up Policy: There Are No Make-Up Exams In This Course 5 Frequently Asked Questions As this is the first time I am teaching Sociological Theory (Spring 2007) I have not yet collected FAQs. Frequent questions and their answers will be added later on here. 6 Outline & Readings Schedule Key to Readings: ClST refers to Calhoun et al. Classical Sociological Theory CoST refers to Calhoun et al. Contemporary Sociological Theory Important Dates: 1. Mon 26 Feb Team 2 & 3 multiple-choice questions draft due 2. Fri 2 Mar 10:00 10:50 AM Midterm (presence required) 3. Mon 23 Apr Multiple-choice questions for final due (teams 4 8) 4. Mon 7 May 8:00 AM Final (presence required) Week 1 Introduction Nature of Sociological Theory No readings this week Week 1 notes Wed 10 Jan First day of class Fri 12 Jan Lecture Week 2 Roots of Sociological Theory (Instructors) Jean-Jacques Rousseau Of the Social Contract ClST pp Immanuel Kant What Is the Enlightenment? ClST pp Adam Smith Of the Division of Labor ClST pp Alexis de Tocqueville Democracy in America ClST pp Week 2 notes Introduction to Part I Clst pp (See Rousseau reading.) Raymond Aron Alexis de Tocqueville Aron I pp Enlightenment (Wikipedia article) Mon 15 Jan MLK Day NO CLASS Wed 17 Jan Lecture & Discussion Fri 19 Jan Lecture & Discussion

6 S o c i S o c i o l o g i c a l T h e o ry 6 Week 3 Marx I Old Marx (Instructors) Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels. Manifesto of the Communist Party ClST pp Karl Marx. Wage-Labour and Capital ClST pp Karl Marx. Classes ClST p. 130 Week 3 notes Introduction to Part II ClST pp (See German Ideology reading) Raymond Aron Karl Marx Aron I pp Karl Marx (Wikipedia article) Karl Marx and marxism [video] Mon 22 Jan Lecture & discussion Wed 24 Jan Lecture & discussion Fri 26 Jan TGIF Activity Last Years of the Tsar [video] & Lenin Prepares for Revolution [video] Week 4 Marx II Young Marx (Instructors) Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels. The German Ideology ClST pp Karl Marx. Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844 ClST pp Karl Marx. The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte ClST pp Week 4 notes See also Week 3 Mon 29 Jan Lecture & discussion Wed 31 Jan Lecture & discussion Fri 2 Feb TGIF Activity Red Flag [video] Week 5 Pareto (Instructors) Pareto, Vilfredo. [1927] Manual of Political Economy. (Translated by Ann S. Schwier.) New York: Augustus M. Kelley. (Chapter VII Paragraphs [ pp ]) Pareto, Vilfredo. "Elites and Their Circulation." Pp in Heller, C Structured Social Inequality. 2nd ed. New York: MacMillan. Week 5 notes Raymond Aron Vilfredo Pareto. Aron II pp François Nielsen Inequality, Pareto, & Sociology: The Route Not Taken. American Behavioral Scientist 50 (5):

7 S o c i S o c i o l o g i c a l T h e o ry 7 Vilfredo Pareto (Wikipedia article) Mon 5 Feb Lecture & discussion Wed 7 Feb Lecture & discussion Fri 9 Feb Discussion Week 6 Durkheim (Team 1) The Rules of Sociological Method ClST pp The Division of Labor in Society ClST pp The Elementary Forms of Religious Life ClST pp Suicide ClST pp Raymond Aron Emile Durkheim Aron II pp Introduction to Part III Emile Durkheim (see Rules of Sociological Method reading) ClST pp Mon 12 Feb Lecture & discussion (Team 1) Wed 14 Feb Lecture & discussion (Team 1) Fri 16 Feb TGIF Activity 42 Up! [video] Week 7 Weber I (Team 2) Objectivity in Social Science ClST pp Basic Sociological Terms ClST pp The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism ClST pp Introduction to Part IV Max Weber (see Objectivity in Social Science reading) ClST pp Raymond Aron Max Weber Aron II pp Max Weber (Wikipedia article) Mon 19 Feb Lecture & discussion (Team 2) Wed 21 Feb Lecture & discussion (Team 2) Fri 23 Feb TGIF activity & discusion Week 8 Weber II (Team 3) The Distribution of Power Within the Political Community: Class, Status, Party ClST pp The Types of Legitimate Domination ClST pp Bureaucracy ClST pp Mon 26 Feb Lecture & discussion (Team 3) Wed 28 Feb Lecture & discussion (Team 3) Fri 2 Mar MIDTERM Presence required

8 S o c i S o c i o l o g i c a l T h e o ry 8 Week 9 Functionalism: Parsons & Merton (Team 4) Check: choose 2 of 3 Parsons below. Talcott Parsons. An Outline of the Social System. ClST pp. TBA Talcott Parsons. Structural Components of the Social System. ClST pp. TBA Talcott Parsons. Sex Roles in the American Kinship. Robert Merton. Manifest and Latent Functions. ClST pp. TBA Robert Merton. On Sociological Theories of the Middle Range. ClST pp. TBA Robert Merton. Social Structure and Anomie. ClST pp. TBA Mon 5 Mar Lecture & discussion (Team 4) Wed 7 Mar Lecture & discussion (Team 4) Fri 9 Mar TGIF Activity & discussion Week 10 Spring Break Spring Break No Classes Week 11 Structuralism (Instructors) de Saussure, Ferdinand. Arbitrary Social Values & the Linguistic Sign. Pp Lévi-Strauss, Claude. The Structural Study of Myth. Pp Lacan, Jacques. The Mirror Stage. Pp Mon 19 Mar Lecture & discussion. Wed 21 Mar Lecture & discussion. Fri 23 Mar TGIF Activity & discussion. Week 12 Micro-Sociological Analysis (Instructors Ken Kolb) Alfred Schutz. The phenomenology of the Social World. CoST pp Peter L. Berger & Thomas Luckmann. The Social Construction of Reality. CoST pp Erving Goffman. The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. CoST pp Herbert Blumer. Symbolic Interactionism. CoST pp Mon 26 Mar Lecture & discussion Wed 28 Mar Lecture & discussion

9 S o c i S o c i o l o g i c a l T h e o ry 9 Fri 30 Mar TGIF Activity & discussion Week 13 Rational Model (Team 5) George C. Homans. Social Behavior as Exchange. CoST pp Mancur Olson. The Logic of Collective Action. CoST pp James S. Coleman. Rights to Act. CoST pp Mon 2 Apr Lecture & discussion (Team 5) Wed 4 Apr Lecture & discussion (Team 5) Fri 6 Apr Good Friday NO CLASS Week 14 Foucault& Baudrillard (Team 6) Michel Foucault. The History of Sexuality. CoST pp Michel Foucault. Truth & Power. CoST pp Jean Baudrillard. Simulacra & Simulations. Pp Mon 9 Apr Lecture & discussion (Team 6) Wed 11 Apr Lecture & discussion (Team 6) Fri 13 Apr TGIF Activity & discussion Week 15 Pierre Bourdieu (Team 7) Social Space & Symbolic Space. CoST pp Structures, Habitus, Practices. CoST pp The Field of Cultural Production, or: The Economic World Reversed. CoST pp Check in Grusky. Mon 16 Apr Lecture & discussion (Team 7) Wed 18 Apr Lecture & discussion (Team 7) Fri 20 Apr TGIF Activity & discussion Week 16 Feminism & Darwinian Revival (Team 8 or Instructors) Betty Friedan. The Problem That Has No Name. Pp Nancy Chodorow. Gender Personality & the Reproduction of Mothering. Pp Dorothy E. Smith. The Conceptual Practice of Power. CoST pp

10 S o c i S o c i o l o g i c a l T h e o ry 10 Lawrence H. Summers. Remarks at NBER Conference on Diversifying the Science & Engineering Workforce, 14 January 2005 American Sociological Association. ASA Council Statement on Causes of Gender Differences in Science and Math Career Achievement, 28 February Steven Pinker. Gender. (Chapter 18) The Blank Slate pp Mon 23 Apr Lecture & discussion (Team 8 or Instructors) Wed 25 Apr Lecture & discussion (Team 8 or Instructors) Fri 27 Apr Review. Mon 7 May 8:00 11:00 AM Final Exam Last modified 16 Feb 2007

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