30 NOV & 2 DEC Beyond Modernity

Giddens/Turner: Structuralism, Post-Structuralism, and Production of Culture
Postmodernism in Encyclopedia of Social Theory
Read lightly Wikipedia on Postmodernism

Saussure, Ferdinand de. 1906-11. "Arbitrary Social Values and the Linguistic Sign" (152-160)
Lévi-Strauss, Claude. 1958. "The Structural Study of Myth" ((313-317)
Barthes,Roland. 1964. "Semiological Prospects" (318-320)

Horkheimer, Max and Theodor Adorno. 1944. "The Culture Industry as Deception" (325-329)
Foucault, Michel. 1976. "Power as Knowledge" (473-479)
Giddens, Anthony. 1990. "Post-Modernity or Radicalized Modernity?" (485-491)
Benjamin, Walter. 1936. "Art, War, and Fascism" (259-261)
Horkheimer, Max and Theodor Adorno. 1944. "The Culture Industry as Deception" (325-329)
Barthes,Roland. 1964. "Semiological Prospects" (318-320)
Derrida, Jacques. 1966. "The Decentering Event in Social Thought" (413-417)
Foucault, Michel. 1975. "Biopolitics and the Carceral Society" (417-421)
Lyotard, Jean-François. 1979. "The Postmodern Condition" (465-468)

23 NOV Early Voices in New Social Movements

Although "Class, Status, and Party" was written in the first decade of the century, social theory only "discovered" race and gender and other dimensions of inequality around mid-century. Today we introduce the idea of social movements beyond class not qua social movements but as topics brought to the attention of the public as well as social scientists.

Beauvoir, Simone de. 1949. "Woman as Other" (345-347)
Césaire, Aimé. 1955. "Between Colonizer and Colonized" (348-350)
Friedan, Betty. 1963. "The Problem That Has No Name" (361-364)
Fanon, Frantz. 1961. "Decolonizing, National Culture, and the Negro Intellectual" (364-369)
Myrdal, Gunnar. (1944) "The Negro Problem as a Moral Issue" [L249-51]

16 November conflict theory

  1. Lecture Slides

See course-part-two for revised syllabus schedule

11 November functionalism-I

  1. Lecture Slides
  2. theory-sampler-wiki-gateway

26 October Jeopardy!

21 October Pre-Review

  1. Email without SOC116 at start of subject line does not exist
  2. Email questions to entire class
  3. If you miss class, query the entire class — do not expect full filling in on website or from me over email
  4. Q&A and "study guides"
  5. What is revision? "British: the work of studying for an examination"

19 October Durkheim, Collective Representations & wrapping up the classics

14 October Talking about Durkheim

12 October Practice Outline Presentations

7 October : Durkheim I and overview

5 October : Weber III

30 September

  1. Weber - more PESC, POLVOC, Bureaucracy

28 September

  1. Annotations are due on time. Period.
  2. Weber Introduction

21 September

  1. The "later" Marx
  2. Annotations: well done. Next thing to add is a little more context. Do some digging.
  3. Don't be silly and not even get done on time the easy stuff.
  4. Exam on Thursday will be self-proctored via honor code. Need a volunteer to pick up and drop off.

16 Septemter

  1. The "early" Marx

14 September

  1. An introduction to Marx
  2. Read most of Marx for Beginners
  3. We'll talk about the "least should should know" approach
  4. We'll hand out theory sampler topics and first assignments

9 September

  1. What is theory anyway and why should we study it?
  2. The ultimate theory: Comte and Social Physics
  3. Choosing a sampler for your course paper
  4. Next week, Marx

1 September


  1. Read "That's Interesting!" — "tweet" or "outline" as you like. Be prepared to talk about the argument of the article and to name the theories and theorists we want to read so as not to feel left out when we read an article like this.
    # Sign-in
  2. Hand back initial assignment
    1. Note commonalities and differences between your "new to me" and master list
    2. Note differences in size of list — watch out for drive-by reading
    3. Think about what you did in response to new concepts, words, etc.
  3. TAKEAWAY from last time.
    1. Tweeting. If you can't tweet a paragraph, you haven't read it.
    2. Rationality — simple means-end calculations — is not sufficient basis for society. Needs to be trust before contract. Trust comes from solidarity & ritual.
  4. That's Interesting!
    1. Attitude adjustment
      1. Check at the door our attitude about reading something with so much "name dropping" or high falutin' vocabulary. That's what we are here to get better at.
    2. Three take-away ideas
    3. Theory is about propositions
    4. Interesting theory denies the assumption of the audience. Index of the interesting.
    5. What is interesting to whom rooted in social structure of knowing, expertise, etc.
      • IOW: (1) you would think that "interesting" is universal but it depends on audience (2) you might think this is stable but it's an ongoing dialectic
    6. Details
      1. Phenomenology of sociology and sociology of phenomenology — How so?
      2. What is "interesting"? Why is this a useful definition? For looking at existing work? For producing work of our own?
      3. Phenomenology and Ontology
      4. Working through the index
    7. Exercise — flashcards and matching examples.
  5. NEXT TIME: read Dennis Wrong on "The Problem of Order"

26 August

  1. Ryan Introduction
  2. Student Introductions
  3. Group Work — cards and twittering
  4. Discussion
  5. Syllabus Review
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