Department of Sociology

Daniel Jaster

M.S., University of Oregon



Political sociology; social movements; comparative and historical sociology; rural sociology; theory


SOC 308K • Social Change And The Future

44907 • Spring 2015
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM CLA 0.102


This course provides an introduction to using the past to inform understandings of the future via the historical-comparative sociological method. The main goals of the course are: 1) to provide students an introduction to sociological theories about the origins and implications of change in social structures; 2) to teach students how to use these theories through historical case studies; 3) to apply lessons from the past to predict the effects of contemporary changes for society in the near future.

The course is organized thematically, not chronologically. First, the theoretical foundation will be built. Various schools on social change will be illustrated and compared, ranging from Marxism to cultural accounts of change. From there, case studies will illustrate these varying perspectives. We will focus on three types of change: economic, political, and cultural. After case studies illustrate how to analyze past events using theory, we will end with illustrating how these theories are used to predict the future. This will be accomplished by examining how prominent sociologists use current trends to predict the future.

By the end of the course, students should be able to: 1) understand some theories on social change, 2) use them understand historical cases, and 3) understand how to apply these skills in making informed predictions about the near future using long- or short-term trends. They should understand the links between economic, political, and cultural changes and how each affects a wide variety of social structures.


Course Packet

Grading Policy

There will be three multiple choice exams. While not strictly comprehensive, principles from the first exam will appear on the second and third exams. Each exam will be worth 1/3 of the total grade.

The grading scale will be as follows:

A 93-100

A- 90-92.99

B+ 87-89.99

B 83-86.99

B- 80-82.99

C+ 77-79.99

C 73-76.99

C- 70-72.99

 D+ 67-69

D 63-66.99

D- 60-62.99

F 0-59.99


Curriculum Vitae

Profile Pages

  • Department of Sociology

    The University of Texas at Austin
    305 E 23rd St, A1700
    CLA 3.306
    Austin, TX 78712-1086