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SYLLABUS— SYLLABUS—SOCIAL THEORY 3140

Tell me and I forget; teach me and I remember; involve me and I learn—Benjamin Franklin
DR. MARCIE GOODMAN SOC 3140-020 OFFICE--310 BehS Fall 2009 581-3712 Office 6:00 to 8:30 pm Office Hours: Before/after class or by appointment Mon—Bountiful 102 Email: marcie.goodman@soc.utah.edu (Please use judiciously, and NO assignments by email)

COURSE CONTENT
Sociological theories seek to explain how humans behave, interact and organize themselves in certain ways. Sociologists do not agree on the basic issues concerning such explanations. Arguments are centered on: 1) what kind of knowledge about human interaction and organization can be developed; 2) what procedures can and should be used in creating theory; 3) what ends or goals are served by sociological knowledge; and 4) what phenomena should be the topic of study. Because this discord seems to be increasing rather than decreasing, several schools of thought will need to be examined and learned. An undergraduate course in theory contains an overview of the most prominent and accepted ideas currently within the discipline; it additionally gives students an opportunity to begin to read writings of various theorists for themselves. NOTE: Sociology 1010 is a required prerequisite for this course, and the instructor assumes students have at least a minimal understanding of sociology. Those who do not possess such knowledge should re-evaluate their decision to enroll, since such information is usually necessary to successfully apprehend material presented in SOC 3140.

COURSE GOAL
Each student, upon completion of this core course, should be able to understand the most prominent sociological theories, identify those creators of these ideas, conceptualize the most critical aspects of the discipline, and be able to identify the elements requisite for a sound theory.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS
Most upper-level, undergraduate courses in the social sciences require students to demonstrate mastery of material through successful completion of written assignments, attendance and participation. For SOC 3140, five Conceptual Abstracts (a discussion of the criteria for this assignment is included on page 2 of this syllabus) will contribute 17% each to the course grade. Attendance and participation will contribute an additional 15% of the final grade. The purpose of this type of system is to assure maximum results through an ongoing effort by students to stay abreast of course materials, particularly the assigned readings. Success will be greatly impacted by familiarity with information before each class period, with students coming prepared to participate in class discussions.

REQUIRED TEXT
Seidman, Steven. 2009. Contested Knowledge. New York: Wiley-Blackwell.

AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT (ADA)
The University of Utah seeks to provide equal access to its programs, services and activities for people with disabilities. If a student will need accommodations in the class, reasonable prior notice needs to be given to the Center for Disability Services, 162 Olpin Union Building, 581-5020 (V/TDD). CDS will work with students and the instructor to make arrangements for accommodations.

PARTICIPATION
The class will be conducted in a Socratic format with emphasis on professor and student interaction and understanding through questions and comments. No lectures, per se, will be presented, but the professor will use this forum to present key concepts not detailed in the major texts under consideration. The model is employed to encourage analysis, critical thinking, preparation, and long term learning on the part of the student. Each should come prepared to discuss the subject scheduled on the calendar. Note cards will be maintained for every student, and response marks will be given based on the quality of comments offered: + (plus), √ (check), √— (check minus), — (minus), or 0 (zero). Marks represent roughly the grades of A, B, C, D, and E.

ACADEMIC DISHONESTY
Instructors at the University of Utah assume that all work submitted from students is their own work. When you have used ideas of others, you must properly indicate that you have done so. Plagiarism and cheating are serious offenses and may be punished by failure on an individual assignment, failure in the course, and/or expulsion from the university. All students should be familiar with the University of Utah Student Code: www.admin.utah.edu/ppmanual/8/8-10.html.

2. logic. B A competent work with a lapse here or there. E A failing mark. but not good. reductionistic. Students will create five conceptual abstracts for SOC 3140. legal print on final draft (no rough draft or light type printers please—no ragged edged paper). 2. and several class discussions will be held to assist students in the successful completion of this assignment (NO e-mail submittal accepted under any circumstances). space games. 3. logic. An abstract is a well-constructed representation of the most salient information of a particular topic. minimum 2500 words in length. Seidman—Chpt 1 3 Sept LABOR DAY HOLIDAY—NO CLASS! . style acceptable in 3000 level college courses. 4. This assignment should facilitate such a process. academic voice. This is not considered a competent performance. 4. superior depth of thought. D A minimal effort by the student—the work is marred by problems with almost all aspects of the assignment. 6. The student exemplifies originality of ideas. The assignment is effective in meeting all criteria but does not rise to distinction. The abstracts will reflect each major section in the text by Seidman. and lack sufficient explanation or exploration. 6. 5. CONCEPTUAL ABSTRACTS CONCEPTUAL A critical element in understanding sociological theory is the ability to gather a multitude of important ideas and synthesize these into cognitively manageable concepts. conclusion). clear representation of theoretical paradigm under consideration as applied to subject assigned. generally reserved for assignments which are not submitted or miss the target on virtually every criteria of the project. academic voice only (no personal pronouns). punctuation. or ability to express thoughts in a manner reflective of a junior level class. such as extra lines between paragraphs or subheadings will be avoided. body. +/. The idea of a science of society: the enlightenment of Auguste Compte. CLASS CALENDAR--SOCIAL THEORY --SOCIAL CALENDAR-24 Aug 31 Aug Presentation of syllabus Part 1—The rise of the classical tradition. and extensive grasp of topics as well as technical superiority. Ideas are clear and properly expressed. CONTENT 1. grammar. paraphrasing only (no direct quotes—especially from chapter introductions or conclusions) TECHNICAL 1. organized presentation of material (topic paragraph. adding 17% each toward the final grade. the writing is technically solid. A sample abstract will be provided that exemplifies standards elucidated above. Student ideas tend to be oversimplified. Students should discern by this detailed outline that the abstracts are a vital and penultimate expression of their work in this course. standard double spacing or space and ½ throughout 3. 5. Problems may also exist with grammar. relating of facts only (no personal opinion). spelling.GRADING CRITERION A An excellent work in all or nearly all aspects of the assignment. C An adequate work. creative synthesis of the most major ideas of the section.Plus or minus may be given in addition to each of the grade levels when deemed appropriate. Abstracts will be graded on the following criteria: Sample abstracts will be provided as the semester proceeds. and writing befitting a 3000 level college course.

Wright Mills and Robert Bellah Seidman—Chpts 6 & 7 5 Oct 12 Oct FALL BREAK—NO CLASS! 19 Oct Part 3—Rethinking the classical tradition----------ABSTRACT 2 DUE!!—Apply ideas from Part 2 European sociology. to America’s current recession The grand theory of Parsons Seidman--Chpt 5 The scientific theory of Randall Collins and Peter Blau The moral sociology of C.14 Sept 21 Sept The revolutionary theory of Karl Marx Seidman—Chpt 2 The promise of sociology: Emile Durkheim. to global terrorism Feminist theory Seidman—Chpt 14 . The ironic social theory of Max Weber Seidman—Chpts 3 & 4 28 Sept Part 2—Rethinking the classical tradition--------ABSTRACT 1 DUE!!——Apply ideas from Part 1 American sociology. Lyotard. to poverty issues in America The critical theory of Jurgen Habermas Seidman—Chpt 8 Stuart Hall and British cultural studies The critical sociology of Anthony Giddens & Pierre Bourdieu Seidman—Chpts 9 & 10 26 Oct 2 Nov Part 4—Revisions & revolts:--------------------------ABSTRACT 3 DUE!!—Apply ideas from Part 3 the postmodern turn. and Baudrillard Seidman—Chpt 11 Michel Foucault’s disciplinary society. to the power of media The postmodern world of Derrida. Zygmunt Bauman’s sociology of postmodernism Seidman—Chpts 12 & 13 9 Nov 16 Nov Part 5—Revisions & revolts.--------------------------ABSTRACT 4 DUE!!—Apply ideas from Part 4 Identity politics & theory.

peel & stick.23 Nov Critical race theory. Afterword. and queer theory Seidman—Chpts 15 & 16 Colonialism & empire. Lesbian. stamped envelope with their final paper. & Epilogue 30 Nov 7 Dec ABSTRACT 5 DUE!!—Apply ideas from Part 5 to Contemporary current topic of your choice NOTE: Those who wish their grades mailed to them should attach a legal size. gay. Epilogue: social theory today Seidman—Chpts 17. Afterword. self-addressed. That’s all folks!! .