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Sociological Perspective by Means of Detailed Case Studies

By sociloco Apr 04, 2013 743 Words
The primary goal of this course is to introduce you to the sociological perspective, to have you – once the term is complete – thinking and reasoning like a sociologist. However, because sociologists tend to use a rather different logic of investigation and explanation, the achievement of this objective is more difficult than it may first appear. We shall approach the study of the sociological perspective by means of detailed case studies, intended to provide examples of and to illustrate the application of the perspective. We will begin with the sociology of deviance (this sub-field is especially appropriate for it is here that the uniqueness of the sociological perspective is most readily apparent). Providing the grist for this particular mill will be Merton’s theory of social structure and anomie. But much of our time will be spent with Erikson's study of seventeenth century Puritan society in New England. From here we shall proceed to a brief examination of the classical sociologists – Durkheim and Weber – concentrating primarily on their theories of religion and its relation to social organization. A further outcome of these examinations will be your acquaintance with some of the tools of sociological investigation – concepts such as class, community, and culture - that are utilized in the application of the sociological perspective. Having become acquainted with the sociological perspective, the next task will be to apply it. By using the theories of Marx (the third of the Classical sociologists) and Mills, we shall utilize the concept of surplus value in an attempt to comprehend the changing structure of North American society. Of particular concern here will be the organization of property and its relation to the class structure. Finally, by using Riesman’s theory, we shall attempt to relate these historical changes in class structure to their corresponding types of character structure. Given that the point of sociology is to provide a more profound understanding of our own society (and therefore ourselves), this will be a fitting conclusion to the course. 2

Course Syllabus
I. General References:
1) Charles Anderson & Jeffrey Gibson. Towards a New Sociology. 2) Charles Anderson. Sociological Essays and Research.
3) Stewart Crysdale & Christopher Beattie. Sociology Canada: An Introductory Text. 4) Stewart Crysdale & Christopher Beattie. Sociology Canada: Readings. 5) Robert Hagedorn. Sociology.
6) Sylvia Hale. Controversies in Sociology.
7) Alexander Himelfarb & C. James Richardson. People, Power, and Process: Sociology for Canadians. 8) Alexander Himelfarb & C. James Richardson. People, Power, and Process: A Reader. 9) Diana Kendell, Jane Murray and Rick Linden. Sociology in our Times. 10) David Lee and Howard Newby. The Problem of Sociology.

11) Metta Spencer. Foundations of Modern Sociology.
12) James J. Teevan. Basic Sociology: A Canadian Introduction. 13) Lorne Tepperman and Jack Richardson. The Social World: an Introduction to Sociology. II. Sociology of Deviance:
1) Kai Erikson, Wayward Puritans, chapters 1 & 3.
2) Howard Becker, Outsiders: Studies in the Sociology of Deviance, chapters 1, 7 & 8. 3) Earl Rubington & Martin Weinberg, The Study of Social Problems: Five Perspectives, chapter 6. III. Classical Sociologists and the Study of Religion:

A) Max Weber and the Protestant Ethic.
1) R.P. Cuzzort & E.W. King, Humanity and Modern Social Thought, chapter 3. 3
B) Emile Durkheim and the Organization of Gods.
1) Cuzzort & King, chapter 2.
2) Randall Collins & Michael Makowsky, The Discovery of Society, chapter 5. IV. Karl Marx and the Theory of Surplus Value.
1) Karl Marx, Capital, Vol. 1, pp. 372-441.
2) Harry Braverman, Labour and Monopoly Capital, chapter 6.
3) Irving Zeitland, Marxism: A Re-examination, chapter 2.
4) Cuzzort & King, chapter 4.
V. Class, Property, and Personality Structure:
A) Mills on Class and Property.
1) C. Wright Mills, White Collar, chapters 1, 2 & 3.
2) C. Wright Mills, The Sociological Imagination, chapter 1. 3) C. Wright Mills, The Power Elite, chapter 12.
4) William Domhoff & H. Ballard, C. Wright Mills and the Power Elite, pp. 37-59, pp.115-132. B) Reisman on Personality Structure.
1) David Reisman, The Lonely Crowd, chapter 1.
2) Cuzzort & King, chapter 10.
VII. Books placed on two-hour reserve at the library:
1) Kai Erikson, Wayward Puritans.
2) R.P. Cuzzort & E.W. King. Humanity and Modern Social Thought. 3) C. Wright Mills. White Collar.
Evaluation Method
First Term: 1) Mid-term Test 15
2) Written Assignment 20
i)Stage I – 10
ii) Stage II – 10
3) Christmas Exam 15
Second Term: 1) Written Essay 25
i) Stage I – 10
ii) Stage II – 15
2) Final Exam 25

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