Sociology | Social Theory
S340 | 6522 | O'Brien
8:00AM-9:15AM TR SB 140
Above Class COLL Intensive Writing Section
Above Class Open to Majors Only
Social theories are abstract propositions we can use to
explain and predict our social world. In short, they help us make
sense of our everyday lives. In this course, we will explore the
different ways in which social theorists have interpreted society
and social behavior. Analyzing classic texts, we will examine the
big questions posed by social scientists of the late 19th and early
20th centuries—what keeps societies together? What produces
conflict? What shapes human action and decision making? What are the
origins of social power? How and why do societies change?
The discipline of sociology was born from questions like
these more than a century ago. In this class, we will explore why
answers to these questions remain important. Good social theory is
timeless, and we can use theories developed to explain the growth of
capitalism, democracy, and individualism in the 19th century to
understand contemporary issues like the current economic crisis,
terrorism, and the continued social importance of race and gender.
This course also fulfills the College of Arts and Sciences’
intensive writing requirement. Therefore an emphasis will be placed
throughout the semester on developing writing skills.