This course is designed to introduce students to the origins of modern sociological thought and to link it to recent theoretical trends. Special emphasis placed on major theorists from the classical tradition of nineteenth century European social thought: Harriet Martineau, Karl Marx, Max Weber, Marianne Weber, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Emile Durkheim. In an era of social and political turmoil, these theorists asked fundamental questions about the nature of industrial society. Their inquiries crossed the boundaries of philosophy economics, history, psychology, and religion, and continue to influence contemporary sociologists. To link these early modernist classics with more contemporary (late-modernist) theory, the concluding segment focuses on central themes from Ulrich Beck, Herbert Marcuse, and Pierre Bourdieu. The course involves careful, analytical reading of primary sources.
Note on the resources mentioned in this course guide. Theories and Theorists contains links to online resources. The best and most reliable sources for students of sociological theory, however, are found in the list of hardcopy resources from Shields Library's Humanities, Social Sciences, and Government Information collection (see tab for Key Reference Works).