SO403 Social Theory

for F1T 2012

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SO 403 Social Theory


F1T 2012 DL


Altendorf, Karen


Adjunct Faculty


Ph.D. Sociology
M.S. Sociology
B.S. Sociology

Daytime Phone



Semester Dates

8/20/12 to 10/14/12

Class Days


Class Time


Credit Hours



Classical and Contemporary Sociological Theory

Appelrouth and Edles

Pine Forge Press ISBN 978-0-7619-2793-8

Additional Resources: Suggested but not required.

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

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

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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

  Instructor Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe the history and development of social theory.
  2. Use your 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-Quizzes) Week 1-8            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



Letter Grade and Point Range           

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:
At the Discretion of the Instructor.

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-Quiz 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-Quiz 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-Quiz 3 must be completed by Sunday by 10:00 PM


Week 4            Exchange Theory Pgs. 437-473


                        Discussion, Peer Review and Self Assessment

                        Mini-Quiz 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-Quiz 5 must be completed by Sunday by 10:00 PM



Week 6            Phenomonology Pgs. 537-579

                        Discussion, Peer Review and Self Assessment

                        Mini-Quiz 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-Quiz 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-Quiz must be completed Saturday by 10:00 PM

                        Core Analysis Paper Due Saturday 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 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95-96

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 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95

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: Students must participate in an academically related activity on a weekly basis in order to be marked present in an online class. Examples of academically-related activities include but are not limited to: contributing to an online discussion, completing a quiz or exam, completing an assignment, initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a course related question, or using any of the learning management system tools.

Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 98

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:7/16/2012 2:01:46 PM