|Professor of Sociology
126 Grise Hall
Department of Sociology -- WKU
1906 College Heights Blvd. #11057
Bowling Green, KY 42101-1057
|Phone: (270) 745-3750
Fax: (270) 745-6493
Office Hours: Mondays, Wednesdays 3:00-4:30 or by appointment
This course is a survey of sociological theories.
Most broadly understood, any social theory (including sociological theories) is
a story about the nature of human life. Some are big and some are
small. Some social theories are more fleshed out than others. Still,
each is an attempt to make sense of our selves and our society.
Sociological theory, in particular, developed as a way to try to understand society and social relations at the dawn of the modern age. Theorists of this period confronted several key issues in attempting to understand the nature of modern life, including the following: democracy, individualism, community, class, and bureaucracy. These issues and the theories developed around them are still relevant today, though not always in the same way as they were then; the ideas of previous generations of sociologists are being continuously critiqued and reshaped by the current generation of sociologists. We stand on these shoulders because knowing and understanding past theory is imperative for sociologically understanding the present.
Collins, Randall and Michael Makowsky. 2009. The Discovery of Society, 8th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill
Additional readings by particular theorists will also be made available to you.
Keeping a dictionary handy (or www.dictionary.com open on your computer) while reading would be advisable. These theorists often write in a much different style and language than we do today. You may need to look up a word or two to understand them. Do this while reading and well before coming to class.
I will lecture to provide background information and context. However, I would like our class to discussion issues about the readings and theorists that you raise, so you must come to each class prepared to discuss the topics covered in the assigned readings.
This course will require both individual and group commitment to create a lively, interesting, and challenging experience.
Attendance. To get anything out of the class you got to be there. Thus, I expect you to be in class. To encourage class attendance I will distribute sign-in sheets on randomly selected days. I will also pass out a sign-in sheet if it is requested by any class member. Attendance points will be levied based on your attendance on the days the sign in sheets are passed out. This will account for 10% of your grade.
Discussion Question. A useful technique that will help prepare you for these discussions is to take notes on the readings, focusing on what is said and on what you find unclear. You are to write one question for each section. These questions may be discussed in the class meeting. I may ask some or all of you to write your questions on the board. You will turn in your question at the end of each class. These questions will account for 10% of your final grade.
Exams. There will be a midterm and a final. They will account for 15% and 25% of your grade, respectively.
Photo-essays. At the end of the first week I will place you into groups. Your group will be assigned a letter (A, B, or C). Every three weeks your group will be expected to produce a photo-essay. A photo-essay is a collection of images that are stylistically or thematically unified to tell a story. It can be a linear or nonlinear story and can explore a wide variety of topics. [For some more insight try http://digital-photography-school.com/5-photo-essay-tips] The photo-essay will include the following: eight (8) photographs representing a concept or theory that we have been discussing in class, a definition of the theory or concept, and an explanation what these photographs represent and how they exemplify the concept. There will be four photo-essays in total for 40% of your grade (10% each photo-essay)
Group A photo essays will be due: February 11,
March 4, April 1,
and April 22
Group B photo essays will be due: February 18, March 18, April 8, and
Group C photo essays will be due: February 25, March 25, April 15, and May 6
Resource: The WKU Technology Resource Center is in Tate Page Hall 101. The TRC is a digital media laboratory for Students and Faculty to produce technology enhanced instructional projects. Their goal is to provide WKU students and faculty the resources to create an enriched, successful learning experience in the class room. If you need access to a digital camera to do your project, you can check one out here. The TRC provides the peripherals, computers, software, and some consultation for these projects.
Please do not request accommodations (academic adjustments and/or auxiliary aids or services) directly from the professor without a letter of accommodation from the Office of Student Disabilities Services (OSDS). Students with disabilities who require accommodations for this course must contact the OSDS. The OSDS office is in DUC A201 in the Student Success Center. The OSDS contact numbers are: Phone (270) 745-5004; TDD: (270) 745-5121; FAX: (270) 745-3199.
Note: This schedule is subject to change and thus all dates are tentative. I will announce assignments for the next class at each session. Assignments and other announcements will also be posted on Black Board for this course. If you are absent, it is your responsibility to check the announcements page. Keeping up with the reading is essential in this course. Underlined readings are to be accessed on the internet; be sure to plan ahead if you do not have easy access to a computer with internet access.
What is Sociological Theory and What Does It Do? (Jan. 24)
Early Visions (Jan. 26-Jan. 28)
Collins and Makowsky, Ch. 1. The Prophets of Paris: Saint Simon and Comte, pp. 15-25.
Saint-Simon and Comte (http://si-vs1267.com/faculty/annbg/darwin/comte.pdf)
Auguste Comte (http://membres.lycos.fr/clotilde/)
The Founding Mother of Sociology: Harriet Martineau (Jan 31-Feb. 2)
Goodwin and Scimecca, Ch. 3. Harriet Martineau, pp. 41-68
Harriet Martineau (http://media.pfeiffer.edu/lridener/DSS/#martineau)
Karl Marx: Mode of Production and Class Struggle (Feb. 4 - Feb. 16) NO CLASS ON MONDAY -- FEBRUARY 7
Collins and Makowsky, Ch. 2. Sociology in the Underground: Karl Marx, pp. 26-47.
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, Manifesto of the Communist Party, "Section I: Bourgeois and Proletarians (1848)" (http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1848/communist-manifesto/ch01.htm)
Karl Marx, "Preface to a Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy (1859)" (http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1859/critique-pol-economy/preface.htm)
Marx-Engels Internet Archive (http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/index.htm)
Alexis de Tocqueville: Democracy and Liberty (Feb. 18)
Collins and Makowsky, Ch. 3: The Last Gentleman: Alexis de Tocqueville, pp. 48-59.
Tocqueville, "Ch. 17: Principal Causes Which Tend to Maintain the Democratic Republic in the United States" (http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/DETOC/1_ch17.htm)
Democracy in America (http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/DETOC/home.html)
Friedrich Nietzsche: The Discovery of the Irrational and the Death of God (Feb. 21)
Collins and Makowsky, Ch. 4: Nietzsche's Madness, pp. 60-73.
Friedrich Nietzsche, "The Madman". pp. 129-131 in Social Theory: Roots and Branches, Peter Kivisto (ed.).
Nietzsche's Features (http://turn.to/nietzsche)
Social Darwinism, Evolutionism and Liberalism/Utilitarianism (Feb. 23 - Mar. 4)
Collins and Makowsky, Ch. 5: Do-Gooders, Evolutionists, and Racists, pp. 74-90.
Herbert Spencer, "Progress: Its Law and Cause." pp. 526-533 in Sociological Theory: A Book of Readings, Lewis Coser and Bernard Rosenberg (eds.).
William Graham Sumner, "The Mores." pp. 85-87 in Sociological Theory: A Book of Readings, Lewis Coser and Bernard Rosenberg (eds.).
Adam Ferguson (http://cepa.newschool.edu/het/profiles/ferguson.htm)
The Adam Smith Page (http://www.utdallas.edu/~harpham/adam.htm)
Adam Smith Archive (http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/smith-adam/index.htm)
Jeremy Bentham (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/Bentham-Project/index.htm)
John Stuart Mill (http://cepa.newschool.edu/het/profiles/mill.htm)
Charles Darwin (http://www.anselm.edu/homepage/dbanach/ph31d.htm#dw)
Herbert Spencer (http://cepa.newschool.edu/het/profiles/spencer.htm)
William Graham Sumner (http://cepa.newschool.edu/het/profiles/sumner.htm)
SPRING BREAK -- NO CLASS
Emile Durkheim: Social Solidarity and Anomie (Mar. 14 - Mar. 21)
Collins and Makowsky, Ch. 6: Dreyfus's Empire: Emile Durkheim, pp. 91-104.
Emile Durkheim, "On Mechanical and Organic Solidarity" pp. 38-42 in Social Theory: Roots and Branches, Peter Kivisto (ed.).
Emile Durkheim "What is a Social Fact?" from Rules of the Sociological Method (http://media.pfeiffer.edu/lridener/DSS/Durkheim/SOCFACT.HTML)
Emile Durkheim, "Suicide and Modernity" pp. 75-83 in Social Theory: The Multicultural and Classic Readings, Charles Lemert (ed.).
Emile Durkheim, "The Human Meaning of Religion" pp. 60-67 in Social Theory: Roots and Branches, Peter Kivisto (ed.).
The Emile Durkheim Archive (http://durkheim.itgo.com/main.html)
The Durkheim Page (http://www.hewett.norfolk.sch.uk/curric/soc/durkheim/durk.htm)
The Development of Sociological Social Psychology--Self to Symbolic Interaction (Apr. 15 - Apr. 18)
Collins and Makowsky, Ch. 9: The Discovery of the Invisible World: Simmel, Cooley, and Mead, pp. 142-159.
Georg Simmel, "The Problem of Sociology" pp. 107-113 in Social Theory: Roots and Branches, Peter Kivisto (ed.).
Georg Simmel, "Conflict as Sociation" (http://media.pfeiffer.edu/lridener/DSS/Simmel/SOCIAT.HTML)
Georg Simmel, "The Stranger" (http://media.pfeiffer.edu/lridener/DSS/Simmel/STRANGER.HTML)
Charles Horton Cooley, "The Looking-Glass Self" (http://media.pfeiffer.edu/lridener/DSS/Cooley/LKGLSSLF.HTML)
George Herbert Mead, "Mind, Self, and Society" (http://media.pfeiffer.edu/lridener/DSS/Mead/MINDSELF.HTML)
Theory and Early American Sociology: The Chicago School and the Rise of Symbolic Interactionism (Apr. 20 - Apr. 22)
Collins and Makowsky, Ch. 10: The Discovery of the Ordinary World: Thomas, Park, and the Chicago School, pp. 160-168.
Robert E. Park, Ernest W. Burgess, and Roderick D. McKenzie, "The Growth of the City: An Introduction to a Research Project".
W.I. Thomas, "Disorganization of the Polish Immigrant" pp. 247-253 in Social Theory: The Multicultural and Classic Readings, Charles Lemert (ed.).
Frederic M. Thrasher, "Personality and Status Within the Gang" pp. 253-255 in Social Theory: The Multicultural and Classic Readings, Charles Lemert (ed.).
Blumer, "Society as Symbolic Interactionism" pp. 351-358 in Readings in Social Theory: The Classic Tradition to Post-Modernism, Farganis (ed.)
Voices in the Wilderness: The Beginnings of Race and Gender Sociology (Apr. 25-Apr. 27)
Collins and Makowsky, Ch. 11: The Emergence of African-American Sociology: DuBois, Frazier, Drake, and Clayton, pp. 169-182.
W.E.B. DuBois, "Black Reconstruction and the Racial Wage" pp. 238-241 in Social Theory: The Multicultural and Classic Readings, Charles Lemert (ed.).
W.E.B. DuBois, "Double-Consciousness and the Veil." pp. 162-168 in Social Theory: The Multicultural and Classic Readings, Charles Lemert (ed.).
Jane Addams, "The Settlement as a Factor in the Labor Movement" pp. 67-70 in Social Theory: The Multicultural and Classic Readings, Charles Lemert (ed.).
Anna Julia Cooper, "The Colored Woman's Office." pp. 174-180 in Social Theory: The Multicultural and Classic Readings, Charles Lemert (ed.).
The Development of Modern Structural Functionalism (Apr. 29)
Collins and Makowsky, Ch. 12: The Construction of the Social System: Pareto and Parsons, pp. 183-196.
Parsons, "The Unit Act of Action Systems." pp. 208-211 in Social Theory: The Multicultural and Classic Readings, Charles Lemert (ed.).
Parsons, "Action Systems and Social Systems." pp. 297-299 in Social Theory: The Multicultural and Classic Readings, Charles Lemert (ed.).
Parsons, "Sex Roles in the American Kinship System." pp. 300-304 in Social Theory: The Multicultural and Classic Readings, Charles Lemert (ed.).
Merton, "Manifest and Latent Functions." pp. 304-309 in Social Theory: The Multicultural and Classic Readings, Charles Lemert (ed.).
Vilfredo Pareto (http://media.pfeiffer.edu/lridener/DSS/#pareto)
Vilfredo Pareto (http://cepa.newschool.edu/het/profiles/pareto.htm)
The Talcott Parsons Page (http://www.hewett.norfolk.sch.uk/curric/soc/PARSONS/Parsons.htm)
Sociological Theory and the Effects of the Second World War (May 2)
Collins and Makowsky, Ch. 13: Hitler's Shadow: Michels, Mannheim, and Mills, pp. 197-218.
Mannheim, "The Sociology of Knowledge and Ideology." pp. 213-217 in Social Theory: The Multicultural and Classic Readings, Charles Lemert (ed.).
Mills, "The Sociological Imagination." pp. 348-352 in Social Theory: The Multicultural and Classic Readings, Charles Lemert (ed.).
Lazarsfeld, "Relations between Methodology and Social Theory" pp. 260-263 in On Social Research and Its Language.
C. Wright Mills Homepage (http://www.faculty.rsu.edu/~felwell/Theorists/Mills/)
Modern Micro-level Sociology (May. 4)
Collins and Makowsky, Ch. 14: Erving Goffman and the Theater of Social Encounters, pp. 219-231.
Goffman, "Performances." pp. 252-255 in Sociological Theory: A Book of Readings, Lewis Coser and Bernard Rosenberg (eds.).
Goffman, "On Face Work." pp. 332-336 in Social Theory: The Multicultural and Classic Readings, Charles Lemert (ed.).
Erving Goffman (http://www2.fmg.uva.nl/sociosite/topics/sociologists.html#GOFFMAN)
Sociology of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (May 6)
Sorokin, Pitirim A. 1965. "Sociology of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow." American Sociological Review 30(6)833-843.
Gouldner, Alvin W. "Toward a Reflexive Sociology." pp. 422-427 in Social Theory: The Multicultural and Classic Readings, Charles Lemert (ed.).
Lemert, Charles. 1995. "Chapter 1: After the Crisis" pp. 1-11 in Sociology After the Crisis.
Wallace and Wolf, Ch. 9, Part One: The Future of Sociological Theory: Modernism and Postmodernism.
Habermas, "Three Normative Models of Democracy" pp. 413-422 in Readings in Social Theory: The Classic Tradition to Post-Modernism, Faranganis (ed.).
Giddens, "Notes on the Theory of Structuration." pp. 384-390 in Social Theory: Continuity & Confrontation, Roberta Garner (ed.).
Wallerstein, "The Three Instances of Hegemony in the History of the Capitalist World-Economy." pp. 448-454 in Social Theory: Roots and Branches, Peter Kivisto (ed.).
Foucault, "The Body of the Condemned" pp. 436-440 in Social Theory: Continuity & Confrontation, Roberta Garner (ed.).
Foucault, "Panopticism" pp. 410-416 in Social Theory: Roots and Branches, Peter Kivisto (ed.).
Maines, "On Postmodernism, Pragmatism, and Plasterers: Some Thoughts of a Curmudgeon Interactionist."
Postman, "Narratives." pp. 99-115 in Building a Bridge to the 18th Century: How the Past Can Improve Our Future.
Maines, "The Interactionism of Contemporary Sociology" pp. 1-29 in The Faultline of Consciousness: A View of Interactionism in Sociology.
Finally, my standard disclaimer:
|DISCLAIMER||The university may have adopted a business model; however, education is NOT a business. It is an avocation. Moreover, the syllabus is not some sort of sacred contract (at the very least, the course calendar is not a sacred contract), but more along the lines of a road map. The readings in the course calendar are places we are scheduled to visit. Anyone who has taken a preplanned road trip or vacation knows that the trip is not fun unless you stop at interesting roadside attractions even though they might divert from your original route or time table. It's the process of getting there that is relaxing, intriguing, and or enjoyable. In that light, the above schedule and procedures for this course are subject to change by the professor in the event of extenuating circumstances.||DISCLAIMER|