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Introduction to Social Theory

Course Code: SOCI 2235
Faculty: Humanities & Social Sciences
Department: Sociology
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15
Learning Format: Lecture
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This course introduces classical and contemporary social theories by examining their social and historical development. The connection between sociological research and the development of sociological theories is emphasized as well as the relevance of theory to the critical examination of current social issues.

Course Content

  1. Introduction: the aims of Sociology and the role of theory within the discipline.
  2. The origins of social theory (i.e. Auguste Comte; Herbert Spencer and Social Darwinism; Harriet Martineau; W.E.B. Dubois; Jane Addams)
  3. Emile Durkheim and the origins of functionalism
  4. Karl Marx
  5. Max Weber
  6. Classical theories of everyday life
  7. Contemporary functionalism
  8. Contemporary theories of everyday life
  9. NeoMarxism
  10. Classical and contemporary feminism
  11. Critical race theory
  12. Theories of modernity
  13. Post-Structuralism
  14. Postmodernism
  15. Theories of globalization

Methods of Instruction

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.

Means of Assessment

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:

Three Exams


Research Outline


Term Paper Assignment


Class Participation




 Students may conduct research with human participants as part of their coursework in this class. Instructors for the course are responsible for ensuring that student research projects comply with College policies on ethical conduct for research involving humans.

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course the successful student will be able to:

  1. Outline the historical development of sociological theory.
  2. Distinguish between the different schools of thought within sociological theory.
  3. Identify major sociological theorists and the theoretical concepts associated with them.
  4. Compare and contrast different types of sociological theory.
  5. Evaluate and discuss sociological theories critically.
  6. Analyze sociological concepts and issues using various forms of sociological theory.
  7. Discuss the relevance of sociological research to the development of sociological theory and vice versa.

course prerequisites

SOCI 1125 or SOCI 1145 or SOCI 1155

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.