Sociology 723
Seminar in Classical Sociological Theory


Instructor: Dmitri Shalin
http://www.unlv.edu/people/dmitri-shalin

Office: CBC-237, 895-0259, shalin@unlv.nevada.edu
Office hours: Tuesday 2:00-4:00 p.m., 6:30-7:00 p.m., or by appointment
http://www.unlv.edu/centers/cdclv


SYLLABUS

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
83:279-319.

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


Disability Resource Center (DRC)
– The Disability Resource Center (DRC) determines accommodations that are “reasonable” in promoting the equal access of a student reporting a disability to the general UNLV learning experience. In so doing, the DRC also balances instructor and departmental interests in maintaining curricular standards so as to best achieve a fair evaluation standard amongst students being assisted. In order for the DRC to be effective it must be considered in the dialog between the faculty and the student who is requesting accommodations. For this reason faculty should only provide students course adjustment after having received an “Academic Accommodation Plan.” UNLV complies with the provisions set forth in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The DRC is located in the Student Services Complex (SSC-A), Room 143, phone (702) 895-0866, fax (702) 895-0651. For additional information, please visit: http://drc.unlv.edu/.

Academic Misconduct – Academic integrity is a legitimate concern for every member of the campus community; all share in upholding the fundamental values of honesty, trust, respect, fairness, responsibility and professionalism. By choosing to join the UNLV community, students accept the expectations of the Academic Misconduct Policy and are encouraged when faced with choices to always take the ethical path. Students enrolling in UNLV assume the obligation to conduct themselves in a manner compatible with UNLV’s function as an educational institution. An example of academic misconduct is plagiarism. Plagiarism is using the words or ideas of another, from the Internet or any source, without proper citation of the sources. See the Student Academic Misconduct Policy (approved December 9, 2005) located at: http://studentconduct.unlv.edu/misconduct/policy.html.

Incomplete Grades - The grade of I – Incomplete – can be granted when a student has satisfactorily completed all course work up to the withdrawal date of that semester/session but for reason(s) beyond the student’s control, and acceptable to the instructor, cannot complete the last part of the course, and the instructor believes that the student can finish the course without repeating it. A student who receives an I is responsible for making up whatever work was lacking at the end of the semester. If course requirements are not completed within the time indicated, a grade of F will be recorded and the GPA will be adjusted accordingly. Students who are fulfilling an Incomplete do not register for the course but make individual arrangements with the instructor who assigned the I grade.

Copyright – The University requires all members of the University Community to familiarize themselves and to follow copyright and fair use requirements. You are individually and solely responsible for violations of copyright and fair use laws. The university will neither protect nor defend you nor assume any responsibility for employee or student violations of fair use laws. Violations of copyright laws could subject you to federal and state civil penalties and criminal liability, as well as disciplinary action under University policies. Additional information can be found at: http://provost.unlv.edu/copyright/statements.html.

Religious Holidays Policy
– Any student missing class quizzes, examinations, or any other class or lab work because of observance of religious holidays shall be given an opportunity during that semester to make up missed work. The make-up will apply to the religious holiday absence only. It shall be the responsibility of the student to notify the instructor of his or her intention to participate in religious holidays which do not fall on state holidays or periods of class recess. For additional information, please visit: http://catalog.unlv.edu/content.php?catoid=4&navoid=164.

Tutoring
– The Academic Success Center (ASC) provides tutoring and academic assistance for all UNLV students taking UNLV courses. Students are encouraged to stop by the ASC to learn more about subjects offered, tutoring times and other academic resources. The ASC is located across from the Student Services Complex (SSC). Students may learn more about tutoring services by calling (702) 895-3177 or visiting the tutoring web site at: http://academicsuccess.unlv.edu/tutoring/.

UNLV Writing Center
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Rebelmail
– By policy, faculty and staff should e-mail students’ Rebelmail accounts only. Rebelmail is UNLV’s official e-mail system for students. It is one of the primary ways students receive official university communication such as information about deadlines, major campus events, and announcements. All UNLV students receive a Rebelmail account after they have been admitted to the university. Students’ e-mail prefixes are listed on class rosters. The suffix is always @unlv.nevada.edu.



How to Survive Comprehensive Exams in Sociological Theory