Sociology | Social Theory
S340 | 10407 | Gieryn
S340 Social Theory T. Gieryn
What does it mean to explain something? In this course, we
treat "theory" as a verb: how should one theorize inequality, the
ascendancy of capitalism, or the persistence of religious
fundamentalism? Social theory is not a bunch of dusty old books and
ideas––but rather an active process through which we describe the
social world in which we live, explain it, and anticipate its
future. We shall read widely from classic and contemporary works in
social theory, trying to figure out how other smart people have
theorized the fundamental social problems of their day. You will
learn how to read challenging texts, construct persuasive arguments,
organize your ideas for oral presentation and write coherent prose.
The class meets three days per week (MWF), but each session is only
50 minutes long: there won't be time to get bored.