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Cornell University    
  Jan 21, 2018
Courses of Study 2017-2018
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DSOC 3010 - Theories of Society and Development

(KCM-AG, SBA-AG)      
Fall. 3 credits. Letter grades only.

Prerequisite: development sociology or sociology course.

W. Wolford.

This course explores the development of social theory from the Enlightenment in the eighteenth century to contemporary debates about the status and limits of sociological knowledge. It introduces the key texts of the most influential forerunners of modern sociological thought - Marx, Weber, Durkheim and Simmel - in the context of the social and political transformations of their time. The course is organized into two parts. The first part explores the contrasting accounts of modernity developed by these classical social theorists, placing particular emphasis on aspects of their thought concerned with the nature and direction of society as a whole. The second part examines contemporary critical engagements with the classical heritage from a variety of vantage points: globalization, postmodernism, feminism, race and cultural difference, and notions of multiple or alternative modernities.

Outcome 1: Evaluate competing theoretical frameworks within sociology using reflective skills.

Outcome 2: Explore complex issues in the relationship of theory and history and develop analytic skills.

Outcome 3: Use writing skills developed through composing weekly outlines that require synthesis of key ideas in the assigned readings.

Outcome 4: Use oral skills developed through class presentations and discussions.

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