University of Vermont

UVM Course Directory

SOC 101 – Developm't Sociological Theory

Credits: 3.00

Course Description: Classical sociological theory including Marx, Weber, Durkheim, and Mead, as well as DuBois and early female theorists such as Martineau. Reading and writing intensive. Prerequisites: SOC 001; three additional hours of Sociology; minimum Sophomore standing.

Section Description: Course Description This course will focus on the work of four major foundational sociological theorists: Weber, Durkheim, Marx and Simmel. The theme that will unify the course is their take on the effect of the coming of modern, urban-industrial society on the development of freedom and individuality. In addition, relevant portions of each author’s work will be examined to discover the assumptions each theorist makes about the nature of human nature and society, the sources and mechanics of social change, the forms of social organization unique to modern societies, and the implications of these forms for the quality of human life. The purpose of these particular foci is to allow for discussion of how the work of these theorists gives rise to sociology as a unique discipline. Because these theorists were white, middle-class, European males, who, for the most part theorized about people like themselves or from the perspective of people who were similarly situated socially, feminist, race-based and class-based critiques of these theories will be an ongoing part of the course. In addition to introducing students to a representative sample of the thinking of four major theorists of society whose work constitutes the foundation of the discipline of sociology, this course aims to develop students’ analytical skills and to polish their written communication skills. Moreover, through close reading and comparison of primary texts (albeit often in translation), students should become better readers of challenging scholarly material of all sorts. These goals of the course should, in turn, provide students with a firm basis upon which to: 1) begin to see how they might discover situations in which these theories can be profitably applied and tested, 2) begin to see how they might construct, test and use social theories independently, and 3) come to understand how contemporary social theories and schools of sociology emerged from the work of these four theorists or in response to it.

CRN: 90267

Section: A

Enrolled/Seats: 37/35

Days Time Location
TR 10:05 - 11:20 LAFAYETTE HALL L411

Instructor(s): Eleanor M. Miller

Meeting Dates: 26 Aug 2019 - 06 Dec 2019