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S S 302C • Hon Soc Sci:methods/Theory

41015 • Gregg, Benjamin
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM RLM 7.114
SB
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Description

Drawing on primary sources, this seminar introduces social theory as the systematic investigation of social life: how society is organized, continually transforms itself, is sometimes beset by conflict, and is also affected by the behavior of its individual members.

Topics in classical theory include how individuals are tied to groups (Adam Smith), social equality in democratic societies (Tocqueville), how social structure influences knowledge (Marx), individuals as influenced by the social collective (Durkheim), society as influenced by individual actors (Weber), how social structure influences even intimate relationships (Simmel), mass deception and manipulation through modern culture (Horkheimer and Adorno), the integration of diverse spheres of any individual’s life as a project for society (Parsons), and the relationship between the individual’s purposes and the needs of society (Merton).

Topics in contemporary theory include how rituals bind us together (Collins), the nature of social cooperation and trust (Cook, Hardin, Levi), power and inequality (Tilly), the social consequences of economic structure (Granovetter), the phenomenon of racial difference (Patterson), the politics of sexual difference (Smith), the peculiar quality of our Western modernity (Elias; Giddens), the transformation of the nation state (Sassen), the modern scholar (with implications for the modern student, i.e., you) (Bourdieu), and the dangers of economic and bureaucratic imperatives (Habermas). Each session combines lecture as well as student-centered, student-initiated discussion.

REQUIRED TEXTS

Classical Sociological Theory, 3rd ed. 2012, and Contemporary Sociological Theory, both 3rd ed. 2012. Calhoun, Gerteis, Moody, Pfaff, Virk, eds. Wiley-Blackwell ● “Value Package” for both volumes combined: ISBN 9781118438725

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

Attendance: Required. A student's course grade decreases by one-half letter grade for each unexcused absence beyond four absences that need no excuse (students remain responsible for everything said in all lectures). Attendance is taken only once each class period. A student is present if he or she responds when I call his or her name during roll call. The relevant category is present/absent not on-time/late.

Evaluation: The final grade is the average of the grades of four essays (adjusted for class participation, as warranted), each 4 to 5 pages in length. No late essays accepted. Grades: A = 4.00, A-= 3.67, B+ = 3.33, B = 3.00, B-= 2.67, C+ = 2.33, C = 2.00, C-= 1.67, D+= 1.33, D = 1.00, D-= 0.67, F = 0.00. Pluses or minuses, as warranted.


S S 302E • Hon Soc Sci: Anthropology-Wb

41020 • Keating, Elizabeth
Meets MW 4:00PM-5:30PM • Internet
SB
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Description

Anthropology is unique in the way it provides knowledge about the human experience from many points of view. Anthropologists often learn about other ways of life by living among people with very different lifeways and lifeworlds, and being a participant observer in these worlds. The challenge of anthropology is to describe, in terms that can be understood cross-culturally, how different groups of people organize their lives and beliefs, for example, relationships, dress, conversation, ritual, stories, how they define what is sacred, and in general make sense of the human condition and organize social life. This course will explore the anthropological approach, especially focusing on the role of language and everyday symbolic systems in creating and sharing culture. We will read in depth about several different communities in different world areas, and about engineers managing in a global workspace. We will discuss social theories that have contributed to anthropological research, and explore how anthropology can be used to understand many issues about behavior, such as the persistence of social inequalities, the adoption and spread of new technologies, conflict and misunderstandings, rites of passage, and global flows of expressive forms. We will emphasize thediverse groups that make up the United States and other world communities, as their distinctive experiences are made manifest through such ideas as gender, the self, social status, age, identity, andpower.

TEXTS/READING

-Delaney, Carol. 2011. Investigating Culture

-Wiley-Blackwell Abu-Lughod, Lila. 1986. Veiled Sentiments, University of California Press

-Keating, Elizabeth and Sirkka Jarvenpaa. 2017. Words Matter: Communicating Effectively in the New Global Office, University of California Press.

-Articles and chapters, most of which are journal articles available through UT Libraries online. If not available online, they are available on the class website onCanvas.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

The two exams will count for 50% of the grade, assignment 1 for 20%, the final project 20%, and the reading responses and journal item written each week for 10% of the grade. Plus and minus grades will be given on assignments and exams. Assignments, the final paper and exams are graded primarily on content and not on style of writing. Grade is based on details included (rather than overgeneralizations) and depth of analysis (not just a cursory job).



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