This course offers an in-depth survey of sociology's foundational theoretical perspectives. Students analyze, compare, and apply the ideas of a range of classic and contemporary social theorists, and in doing so develop a keen appreciation for how the lens we use to think about and perceive various social phenomena profoundly shapes our questions and conclusions about the world. The course focuses on the kinds of questions that have been asked by influential nineteenth- and twentieth-century thinkers, as well as the theories they have constructed to answer them. The first half of the course focuses on the 'classical' theorists, including Marx, Durkheim, and Weber. The second half is devoted to several contemporary perspectives that build on and extend the classical theories, including feminist theory, Goffman, Bourdieu, and Foucault. The idea of 'emancipation' is used as a heuristic tool for thinking through a range of social theories.
Prerequisites: SOAN 101 or 102 or permission of the instructor.