Seminar in Classical Sociological Theory
Instructor: Dmitri Shalin
Office hours: Tuesday 2:00-4:00 p.m., 6:30-7:00 p.m., or by appointment
EMPHASIS OF COURSE: The course is a comprehensive survey of classical sociological theory. It focuses on nineteenth and early twentieth century sociologists whose pioneering work set the stage for contemporary sociological analysis. The discussion centers on the interplay between the socio-historical context and theoretical positions of early European and American sociologists. Special emphasis is made on the sociologists' grappling with the legacy of classical liberalism. Students are expected to be familiar with basic issues of sociological analysis.
REQUIREMENTS: Mid-term examination is scheduled for the ninth week of the class. Every student is expected to make a presentation on a relevant subject of his/her choice. At the end of the semester, students write a paper on the order of 10-15 double-spaced type-written pages, covering readings, lectures, and class discussions. The final grade will reflect the presentation, mid-term exam, final paper, and student's contribution to class discussions.
OUTLINE OF TOPICS:
1. Introduction. The uses of classical sociological theory
2. The liberal tradition and eighteenth century social thought: Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau
3. The quest for a science of society: Saint-Simon, Comte, Spencer
4. Sociology as social criticism: Marx
5. The rise of interpretative sociology: Weber
6. The study of social integration: Durkheim
7. The inquiry into micro-social forms: Simmel
8. The crisis of liberalism and early American sociology: Sumner, Ward, Giddings, Veblen, Small, Cooley
9. Conclusion. Classical theory in contemporary perspective
READINGS : George Ritzer, The Blackwell Companion to Major Social Theorists, Blackwell Publishers. This volume will serve as the textbook for the class. Students are advised to purchase the book. In the list that follows, required readings are marked with an asterisk. Other works are suggested for independent studies and/or work on term papers. A package of supplementary materials will be provided by the instructor. In the list that follows, the required readings are marked with an asterisk. Required readings are placed on reserve in the Lied Library.
1. Introduction: The Uses of Classical Sociological Theory
*Merton, R.K. Social Theory and Social Structure, ch. 1.
*Nisbet, R. The Sociological Tradition, Introduction, chs. 1-3.
*Ritzer, ed. The Blackwell Companion to Major Social Theorists, Introduction.
*Shalin, D. 1992. “Critical Theory and the Pragmatist Challenge.” American Journal of Sociology,
96:237-279. Ch. 4 in D. Shalin, 2011, Pragmatism & Democracy.
Shalin, D. 2007. “Singing in the Flesh: Notes on Pragmatist Hermeneutics.” Sociological Theory, 25:193-224. Ch. 6 in D. Shalin, 2011, Pragmatism & Democracy.
Shalin, D. 2014. “Interfacing Biography, Theory, and History: The Case of Erving Goffman.” Symbolic Interaction, 2014, Vol. 37, pp. 1-39.
Shalin, D. 2010. “Hermeneutics and Prejudice: Heidegger and Gadamer in their Historical Setting.” Russian Journal of Communication. 2010, Vol. 3, No. 1-2, pp. 7-24.
Seidman, S. Liberalism and the Origins of European Social Theory, pp. 281-91.
Martindale, R.A. The Nature and Types of Sociological Theory, Chs. 1, 3.
Jones, R.A. 1977. “On understanding a sociological classic,” American Journal of Sociology
2. The Liberal Tradition and Eighteenth Century Social Thought: Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau
*Shalin, D. 1986. “Romanticism and the Rise of Sociological Hermeneutics.” Social Research 53:77-123. Ch. 1 in D. Shalin, 2011, Pragmatism & Democracy.
*Hobbes, T. Leviathan, Parts I and II, ch. 1.
*Parsons, T. The Structure of Social Action, Vol. 1, pp. 89-94.
*Rousseau, J. J. Discourse on the Origins of Inequality and Social Contract.
Shalin, D. “Liberalism, Affect Control, and Emotionally Intelligent Democracy.” Journal of Human Rights, 2004, 3: 407-428.
Seidman, S. Liberalism and the Origins of European Social Theory, Part I.
Locke, Two Treatises on the Government.
Durkheim, E. Montesquieu and Rousseau.
Cassirer, E. Rousseau, Kant, and Goethe.
Nisbet, R. “Conservatism,” pp. 80-117 in T. B. Bottomore and R. Nisbet, eds. A History of Sociological Analysis.
Zeitlin, I. Ideology and the Development of Sociological Theory, chs. 3-4.
3. The Quest for a Science of Society: Saint-Simon, Comte, Spencer
*Ritzer, G., ed. The Blackwell Companion to Major Social Theorists, ch. 1.
*Comte, A. August Comte and Positivism, ed. G. Lenzer, chs. 3-6.
*Spencer, H. The Evolution of Society: Selections from Herbert Spencer’s Principles of Sociology, ed. R. Carneiro, pp. 1-60.
*Saint-Simon, H. Social Organization, the Science of Man, and Other Writings, ed. F. Markham, pp. 21-7, 76-80.
Coser, L.Masters of Sociological Thought, pp. 1-128.
Martindale, D. The Nature and Growth of Sociological Theory, ch. 4.
Turner, J. and L. Beeghley, The Emergence of Sociological Theory, chs. 1-5.
4. Sociology as Social Criticism: Marx
*Ritzer, G., ed. The Blackwell Companion to Major Social Theorists, ch. 4.
*Marx, K. The Economic-Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844.
*Marx, K. The German Ideology, Pt. I.
*Marx, K. Grundrisse, Introduction.
Marx, K. Capital, chs. 1, 2, 26, 32.
Seidman, S. Liberalism and the Origins of European Social Theory, Part II.
Coser, L. A. Masters of Sociological Thought, pp. 43-88.
Giddens, A. Capitalism and Social Theory, Part I.
Zeitlin, I.Ideology and the Development of Sociological Theory, chs. 8-10.
Lowith, K. Max Weber and Karl Marx.
Shalin, D. “Marxist Paradigm and Academic Freedom.” Social Research 47 (1980): 361-82.
5. The Rise of Interpretive Sociology: Weber
*Ritzer, G. ed. The Blackwell Companion to Major Social Theorists, ch. 5.
*Weber, M. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism.
*Weber, M. The Methodology of the Social Sciences.
*Weber, M. From Marx Weber: Essays in Sociology, ed. H. H. Gerth and C. W. Mills, chs. 8, 9.
*Seidman, S. Liberalism and the Origins of European Social Theory, Pt. 4.
*Shalin, D. N. 1986. “Romanticism and the Rise of Sociological Hermeneutics.” Social Research 53:77-123.
* Shalin, D. “The Impact of Transcendental Idealism on Early German and American Sociology.” Current Perspectives in Social Theory 10 (1990): 1-29.
Shalin. D. “Critical Theory and the Pragmatist Challenge.” American Journal of Sociology 96:237-279.
Coser, L. Masters of Sociological Thought, pp. 217-62.
Giddens, A. Capitalism and Social Theory, Part. III.
Parsons, T. “Introduction,” pp. XIX-LXVI, in M. Weber, The Sociology of Religion.
Lowith, K. Max Weber and Karl Marx.
Bendix, R. Max Weber: An Intellectual Portrait.
Mitzman, T. The Iron Cage: An Historical Interpretation of Max Weber.
Burger, T. “Max Weber, Interpretative Sociology, and the Sense of Historical Science: a Positivistic Conception of Verstehen.” Sociological Quarterly, 1977, 18:165-76.
6. The Analysis of Social Integration: Durkheim
*Ritzer, G. ed. The Blackwell Companion to Major Social Theorists, ch. 6.
*Durkheim, E. The Division of Labor in Society.
*Durkheim, E. The Rules of Sociological Method.
*Durkheim, E. Suicide.
Seidman, S. Liberalism and the Origins of European Social Theory, Part III.
Durkheim, E. The Elementary Forms of Religious Life.
Coser, L. Masters of Sociological Thought, pp. 129-76.
Giddens, A. Capitalism and Social Theory, Part II.
Zeitlin, I. Ideology and the Development of Sociological Theory, ch. 15.
7. The Study of Micro-Social Forms: Simmel
*Ritzer, ed. The Blackwell Companion to Major Social Theorists, ch. 7.
*Simmel, G. Georg Simmel on Individuality and Social Forms, ed. D. Levine, Parts. I, III.
*Simmel, G. Conflict and the Web of Group Affiliations.
Coser, L. Masters of Sociological Thought, pp. 177-216.
Rock, P. “Simmel and Forms,” pp. 36-48 in P. Rock, The Making of Symbolic Interactionism.
Levine, D.“Introduction,” pp. IX-LXV, in Georg Simmel on Individuality and Social Forms.
Turner, J. and L. Beeghely, The Emergence of Sociological Theory, chs. 12-14.
8. The Crisis of Liberalism and Early American Sociology: Mead, Ward, Giddings, Veblen, Small, Cooley
*Mead, G. H. Mind, Self and Society.
*Cooley, C. Human Nature and the Social Order, chs. 1, 5, 6.
*Ritzer, G. ed. The Blackwell Companion to Major Social Theorists, Ch. 9.
*Shalin, D. “G. H. Mead, Socialism, and the Progressive Agenda.” American Journal of Sociology 92:913-951. Ch. 2 in D. Shalin, 2011, Pragmatism & Democracy.
*Shalin, D. “Pragmatism and Social Interactionism.” American Sociological Review, 51 (February 1986): 9-30. Ch. 3 in D. Shalin, 2011, Pragmatism & Democracy.
*Shalin, D. 1984. “The Romantic Antecedents of Meadian Social Psychology,” Symbolic Interaction, 7:43 -65.
Coser, L. “American trends,” pp. 287-320 in T. Bottomore and R. Nisbet, eds. A History of Sociological Analysi.
J. Kloppenberg, Uncertain Victory. Social Democracy and Progessivism in European and American Thought, 1870-1920, chs. 6, 10.
Shaskolsky, L. “The Development of Sociological Theory in America: a Sociology of Knowledge Interpretation,” pp. 6-30 in L. T. Reynolds and J. M. Reynolds, eds. The Sociology of Sociology.
Sumner, W. Folksways, ch. 1.
Ward, L. F. The Sociology of Lester F. Ward, ed. by C. Wood, chs. 2-4.
Veblen, J. Theory of the Leisure Class, chs. 1-4.
Giddings, F. H. The Principles of Sociology, chs. 1-3.
Small A. and G. E. Vincent. An Introduction to the Study of Society.
Martindale, D. The Nature and Growth of Sociological Theory, pp. 85-7, 291-99, 183-190.
9. Classical Theory in Contemporary Perspective
*Parsons, T. “Revisiting the Classics throughout a Long Career,” pp. 183-94 in B. Rhea, ed. The Future of the Sociological Classics.
*Coser, L.“The Uses of Classical Sociological Theory,” pp. 170-94 in B. Rhea, ed. The Future of the Sociological Classics.
*Shalin, D. “Critical Theory and the Pragmatist Challenge.” American Journal of Sociology 96 (1992): 237-279. Ch. 4 in D. Shalin, 2011, Pragmatism & Democracy.
Shalin, D. 1978. “The Genesis of Social Interactionism and Differentiation of Macro- and Micro-sociological Paradigms,” Humboldt Journal of Social Relations, 6:3-38.
APPENDIX: UNLV POLICIES
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How to Survive Comprehensive Exams in Sociological Theory