The course will employ a variety of instructional methods to accomplish its objectives, including some of the following: formal lectures, class discussions. Audio-visual aids will be introduced when appropriate.
- Introduction: the aims of sociology, the role of theory.
- The emergence of sociology as a discipline, concerns about social order and conflict, and the ideas of Social Darwinism will be examined in light of historic conditions.
- The social integration model will be examined in light of historic conditions. Emile Durkheim - social facts, the division of labour, sociology of religion, anomie, suicide.
- The conflict model: Karl Marx - dialectical and historical materialism, analysis of social class.
- Max Weber: the Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, concepts of charisma, power and bureaucracy value-free sociology.
- The Structural Functionalists: the integration or consensus model of society.
- Conflict theorists: conflict models of society as an alternative to functionalism.
- Systems and structuration theories.
- The Symbolic-Interactionist approach.
- Emerging theory: Feminism, State, Dependency, and World Systems Theories.
- Application of theories to contemporary issues and social changes.
At the conclusion of the course the successful student will be able to:
- Provide a clear understanding of the role of theorizing in the overall work of the sociologist.
- Demonstrate a broad familiarity with the main lines of theoretical development in the history of sociology, as preparation for further study in social science.
- Discuss an understanding of the ways in which theoretical approaches may be applied to present day social issues and social changes.
- Identify the characteristics of different theoretical approaches.
- Demonstrate knowledge of comparisons and contrasts among different theoretical approaches.
Evaluation will be based on course objectives and will be carried out in accordance with Douglas College policy. The instructor will provide a written course outline with specific criteria during the first week of classes.
An example of a possible evaluation scheme would be:
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Texts will be updated periodically. Typical examples are:
- Allan, K. (2010). The Social Lens: An Invitation to Social and Sociological Theory (2nd Ed.). Toronto: Pearson Education Canada.
- Applerouth, S. and L. Desfor Edles (2008). Classical and Contemporary Sociological Theory. London: Sage Publications.