SO403 Social Theory

for S1T 2011

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SO 403 Social Theory


S1T 2011 DL


Josephsohn, Thomas J.




B.A. Sociology, University of Missouri, Columbia
M.A. Sociology, University of Missouri, Columbia

Office Hours

I will respond within 24 hours to emails except on Sundays

Daytime Phone



Semester Dates


Class Days


Class Time



SO141: Introduction to Sociology

Credit Hours


Classical and Contemporary Sociological Theory. Appelrouth and Edles. Pine Forge Press ISBN 978-0-7619-2793-8

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Additional Resources:

Guide to Reading Social Science: How to Work Through Long Reading Assignments

Writing for Social Scientists. Howard Becker University of Chicago Press ISBN-10 0226041328 ISBN-13 978-0226041322

Sociology: Web-Linked Dictionary.  David Jary and Julia Jary Collins ISBN-10: 0060851821, ISBN-13: 978-0060851828

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Course Description:
SO403 Social Theory: Surveys the historical development of sociological theory, examines the nature of social theory and theory construction and reviews the principal contemporary perspectives and debates in the field of social theory.3:0:3 Prerequisite: SO141

Educational Philosophy:
My educational philosophy is that of active learning.  I attempt to ask questions and provoke discussion that provides students with a working knowledge of a subject.  Knowing answers to questions is not enough, a student must be able to find answers and judge their quality.  I do this by emphasizing open ended questions embedded in readings and lectures that are subject to debate using the evidence at hand.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe the history and development of social theory.
  2. Use you sociological imagination to understand the foundational theorists and the social world that influenced them.
  3. Explain the relations among different theoretical paradigms, micro and macro schools of thought, the micro-macro link and research traditions in social theory.
  4. Evaluate the strengths and limitations of social theories to explain real world phenomena.
  5. Associate important concepts and research findings with their traditions and other theories.
  6. Integrate multiple levels of theoretical processes in analytical projects.
  7. Communicate theoretical explanations for important personal and institutional events.
Class Assessment:

Application and Critical Analysis Projects (Mini-Tests) Week 1-7 200 Points 25%
Comprehensive Final Examination Week 8 100 Points 12.5%
Classical Theory paper 50 Points 6.25%
Contemporary Theory paper 50 Points 6.25%
Core Assessment Paper 200 Points 25%

Weekly Participation and Discussion, Peer Review and Self Assessment 200 Points 25%

TOTAL Points 800 Points

*Detailed Descriptions of Assignments and Grading Rubrics Are Provided in the Syllabus.


A 720-800 Points 90-100%
B 640-719 Points 80-89%
C 560-639 Points 70-79%
D 480-559 Points 60-70%
F <479 or <59%

Late Submission of Course Materials:

Late work will be accepted with a 5 Point Grade Reduction PER DAY.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

Please show others the same courtesy and respect you would want from them.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Week 1.
Karl Marx Pgs. 22-85
Emile Durkheim Pgs. 85-139
Discussion, Peer Review and Self Assessment
Mini-Test 1 must be completed by Sunday by 10:00 PM

Week 2.
Max Weber Pgs. 140-195
George Simmel Pgs. 233-273
Discussion, Peer Review and Self Assessment
Mini-Test 2 must be completed by Sunday by 10:00 PM

Week 3.
George Herbert Mead Pgs. 311-347
Talcott Parsons Pgs. 350-381
Discussion, Peer Review and Self Assessment
Mini-Test 3 must be completed by Sunday by 10:00 PM

Week 4
Exchange Theory Pgs. 437-473
Discussion, Peer Review and Self Assessment
Mini-Test 4 must be completed by Sunday by 10:00 PM
Classical Theory Paper Due Sunday by 10:00 PM

Week 5.
Symbolic Interaction and Dramaturgy Pgs. 474-536
Mini-Test 5 must be completed by Sunday by 10:00 PM

Week 6
Phenomonology Pgs. 537-579
Discussion, Peer Review and Self Assessment
Mini-Test 6 must be completed by Sunday by 10:00 PM
Contemporary Theory Paper Due Sunday by 10:00 PM

Week 7.
Feminist Theories Pgs. 580-630
Discussion, Peer Review and Self Assessment
Mini-Test 7 must be completed by Sunday by 10:00 PM

Week 8.
Poststructural and Postmodern Theories Pgs. 631-682
Discussion, Peer Review and Self Assessment
Mini-Test must be completed by Sunday by 10:00 PM
Core Analysis Paper Due Sunday by 10:00
Comprehensive Final Exam

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life. Park University students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty ( or Park University 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. from Park University 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92-93

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.
ONLINE NOTE: An attendance report of "P" (present) will be recorded for students who have logged in to the Online classroom at least once during each week of the term. Recording of attendance is not equivalent to participation. Participation grades will be assigned by each instructor according to the criteria in the Grading Policy section of the syllabus.

Park University 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95-96

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .


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Last Updated:1/3/2011 11:36:21 AM