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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Maureen A. Eger
SOC 316
Seattle Campus

Introduction to Sociological Theory

Introduction to sociological theory. Includes classical theorists Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, and Max Weber and their influence on contemporary theoretical debate.

Class description

Unlike many equivalent courses, this class will not teach ‘social theory’ as a history of sociology nor emphasize the role of specific theorists in the development of the discipline. Rather, this course will first focus on theory itself—its definition and function in the social sciences—and second will use theory to explain a phenomenon that is central in the field—the problem of social order. Throughout the course, we will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the various theories, and attempt to relate them to contemporary events whenever possible.

Student learning goals

Understand the role of theory in social science.

Move beyond mere memorization of theories.

Use theories to explain social phenomena.

Adjudicate between theoretical perspectives.

Further develop analytic writing and oral presentation skills.

General method of instruction

A combination of lecture and discussion.

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

Hechter, Michael and Christine Horne. (2009). Theories of Social Order: A Reader, 2nd Edition. Stanford, CA: Stanford Social Sciences.

W credit course


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Maureen A. Eger
Date: 02/17/2010