SOCG 471, History of Social Theory
Office: GW 203 Instructor: Dr. Kristin Marsh
Telephone: 654-1501 Class meets: TR 9:30-10:45, Annex A 115
e-mail: email@example.com OH: TR 3:30-6:00 & by apptmt
This course is designed to provide an overview of select major social theorists of the 19th and early 20th centuries. We read original writings by Marx, Durkheim, Weber, Simmel, Gilman, DuBois, and Cooper, locating their ideas in context of the larger socio-historical processes that informed and shaped them. We also take these theorists’ ideas on their own terms, focusing on the text and considering their continued relevance for understanding issues we face in contemporary society.
Course Requirements, Grading and Evaluation:
Requirement Counts Due Date
Participation & attendance 25 % —-
Mid-term exam 25 % Th, Oct 7
Final exam 25 % T, Dec 7, 8:30-11:00 a.m.
Portfolio Project 25 % Th, Oct 14 & T/Th, Nov 30/Dec 2
Class Participation and Attendance
While I lecture in this class more often than in others, student attendance and participation is still essential. Do not assume that these are automatic points. You must earn them by contributing in class. Please see the hand-out, “Tips for successful class participation.”
The classroom should be a learning environment where all viewpoints are respected. If you have a question or comment, raise the issue in class for everyone’s benefit. If you feel uncomfortable participating in class for any reason, please feel free to talk with me about your concerns during office hours (the earlier we discuss and take care of these concerns, the better).
In-class written exams
Closed-book in-class exams consist of questions requiring written responses (some just a word or name, some very brief, and some paragraph-long); a take-home portion is open book/note and is due on the exam day at the beginning of class (one or two essay-length responses). Unless unavoidable due to serious illness or similarly critical situation, I do not give make-up exams. In the event a make-up exam is necessary, points will be automatically deducted for each day the exam is delayed. The final exam is cumulative, but will emphasize the 2nd half of the course.
Theory Portfolio Project
This is an on-going, semester-long project containing several assignments. Please see the document “Theory Portfolio: Project Guidelines,” available at HYPERLINK “http://theory.umwblogs.org” http://theory.umwblogs.org
All students should conduct themselves according to the policies of Mary Washington with respect to academic honesty. Anyone engaging in plagiarism, cheating, or any form of academic dishonesty will be referred to the Honors Council. Write and sign the pledge on all written work:
I hereby declare, upon my word of honor, that I have neither given nor received
unauthorized help on this work. (Signature)
If you have or acquire a disability that requires accommodation, I urge you to discuss it with me. I want to help everyone who wants to succeed in this course. To find available services on campus, contact the Office of Disability Services, George Washington Hall, Rm 207, 654-1010.
Lemert, Charles and Esme Bhan, eds. 1998. The Voice of Anna Julia Cooper. Rowman & Littlefield.
Edles, Laura Desfor and Scott Appelrouth. 2010 (2nd edition, paper), Sociological Theory in
the Classical Era: Text and Readings, Pine Forge Press.
Hurst, Charles E. 2005 (2nd edition, paper). Living Theory: The Application of Classical Social
Theory to Contemporary Life, Pearson Education.
Please complete each reading prior to the class session for which it is listed. Any necessary changes to the reading assignments or class schedule will be announced in class.
Note: Please bring your book to every class session.
T, Aug 24 Introduction to course; what is theory and why should you/we care?
Please read the syllabus all the way through for today’s class session.
Th, Aug 26 Overview—a brief history of social theory.
Re-read syllabus. Read “Tips for Successful Class Participation.”
Edles and Appelrouth, Introduction (pp. 1-16, including discussion questions).
Browse rest of text, including introduction to each author and readings.
T, Aug 31 Lab session on umwblogs, with Jim Groom. If you have a laptop, please bring it to this
class session. In preparation, please explore UMW Blogs at http://umwblogs.org/
Things you might explore: featured articles; featured courses and the courses
page; the UMW Clubs page. Eventually, you’ll need to sign up for an
account—so, if you feel like it, go ahead and do so now!
Th, Sep 2 Review readings on order and action. Be prepared to explain the difference. If you are
having trouble with this section, be prepared with questions for discussion.
T, Sep 7 Karl Marx
Edles and Appelrouth, Ch 2, pp. 17-93 (especially 17-41)
Th, Sep 9 Edles and Appelrouth, Ch 2, pp. 17-93 (especially 42-65)
T, Sep 14 Edles and Appelrouth, Ch 2 (especially 65-93)
Th, Sept 16 Emile Durkheim
Edles and Appelrouth, Ch 3, pp. 94-152 (especially 94-119)
T, Sept 21 Edles and Appelrouth, Ch 3, pp. 94-152 (especially 119-152)
Th, Sept 23 Max Weber
Edles and Appelrouth, Ch 4, pp. 153-220 (especially 153-181)
T, Sept 28 Edles and Appelrouth, Ch 4, pp. 167-220 (especially 191-220)
Th, Sep 30 Simmel
Edles and Appelrouth, Ch 6, pp. 267-324 (especially 267-301)
T, Oct 5 Edles and Appelrouth, Ch 6, pp. 267-324 (especially 301-324)
Th, Oct 7 Mid-term exam—in class (take-home portion is due in class, 9:30 a.m.)
T, Oct 12 Fall Break—no classes
Th, Oct 14 Mid-term portfolios due. In-class presentation of select portfolios as works-in-
progress. We will not get to everyone’s portfolio, but please be prepared to present in
case you are called on.
T, Oct 19 Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Edles and Appelrouth, Ch 5, pp. 221-266 (especially 221-242)
Th, Oct 21 Edles and Appelrouth, Ch 5, pp. 221-266 (especially 242-266)
T, Oct 26 W. E. B. DuBois
Edles and Appelrouth, Ch 7, pp. 325-370 (especially 325-345)
Th, Oct 28 Edles and Appelrouth, Ch 7, pp. 301-346 (especially 346-370)
T, Nov 2 Anna Julia Cooper
Lemert and Bhan (eds.), Ch 1, p. 1-28, “Anna Julia Cooper: The Colored Woman’s
Office,” by Lemert
Also, Chs 2 “Our Raison d’Etre”; 3 “Womanhood”; and 5 “Woman versus the Indian.”
Th, Nov 4 Lemert and Bhan (eds.), the following selections by Anna Julia Cooper:
Ch 13 “The Social Settlement, What It Is and What It Does,” pp. 216-223.
Ch 14 “Sketches from a Teacher’s Notebook,” pp.224-229.
Ch 19 “On Education,” pp. 248-258
T, Nov 9 George Herbert Mead
Edles and Appelrouth, Ch 8, pp. 371-415 (especially 371-389)
Th, Nov 11 Edles and Appelrouth, Ch 8, pp. 371-415 (especially 389-415)
T, Nov 16 Hurst, Chs 1 and 2
Th, Nov 18 Hurst, Ch 3 & 4
T, Nov 23 Hurst, Ch 6
Th, Nov 25 Thanksgiving—no classes
T/Th, Nov 30 & Dec 2 Final portfolio presentations & crits. Attendance at both is required.
Tuesday, Dec 7, 8:30-11:00 a.m. Final Exam in class (take-home portion due in class at 8:30).