Sociology | Social Theory
S340 | 4819 | Gieryn


THIS SECTION COAS INTENSIVE WRITING SECTION & ALSO REQUIRES
REGISTRATION IN COAS W333

“Social Theory” is not a bunch of dusty old books and ideas – but
rather a process through which we can describe the social world in
which we live, explain it, and anticipate its future.  Our emphasis is
on theorizing as an activity; it is something for us to do right now
(not just to read about how other smart people did it).  We will talk
about the kinds of things that sociologists theorize – events,
statistics, media images, material artifacts, stories, behavior
patterns, beliefs, strange texts.  What makes something worthy of
being theorized sociologically?  And we will learn exactly what it is
to do theory in sociology:  establish similarities and differences
among phenomena; take social phenomena back upstream to their causes,
and downstream to their effects (all the while asking “why?”); develop
theoretical orientations, sensitizing concepts and against-the-grain
readings; find resonation passages in assigned texts.