Sociology 360

SOCY 360

Catalog Entry

SOCY 360. Sociological Theory
Three hours lecture (3).

Prerequisites: SOCY 110 or SOCY/ANTH 121

This course surveys a variety of sociological theories and provides an overview of the critical differences in their assumptions and foci.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

I. Theories and Theory Construction
II. Structural Functionalism

A. Durkheim and Weber
B. Merton's Contributions to Functional Analysis
C. Critiques of Structural Functionalism
D. Contemporary Developments

III. Conflict Theory

A. Marx's Social Theory
B. Critical Debates Within Contemporary Marxism
C. Critical Theory
D. World System's Theory

IV. Symbolic Interactionism

A. Cooley, Mead, and the Development of Symbolic Interactionism
B. Blumer: the Basic Principles and Methods of Symbolic Interactionism
C. Goffman: A Bridging Figure Between Functionalism and Symbolic Interactionism?
D. Other Varieties of Symbolic Interactionism

V. Phenomenological Sociology and Ethnomethodology

A. The Theories of Alfred Schutz
B. Berger and the Social Construction of Reality
C. Garfinkel's Ethnomethodology

VI. Feminist Critique

A. Gender, Reality, and the Critique in Sociological Theory
B. Varieties of Contemporary Feminist Theories

VII. Current Trends in Sociological Theories: A Review


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The course will feature lectures in combination with class discussion organized around key issues raised by each theoretical perspective. Students will be encouraged through written assignments and class presentations to find examples of each perspective in current literature and to utilize these perspectives to analyze features of the modern world.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

At the completion of this course students will demonstrate considerable knowledge about key issues in contemporary sociological theory. Those going to graduate school will profit considerably from this preparation. All students will heighten their awareness of the distinctiveness of the sociological perspective and increase analytical abilities.


Assessment Measures

Students will be given tests which assess their command of the content of the course. In addition, class presentations and written assignments will reflect their skills at applying these perspectives to contemporary issues.


Other Course Information



Review and Approval

January, 2004 Reviewed Peggy A. Shifflett

February 2009, Dr. Paula Brush