SOC 201 Social Theory
What is society? What makes and holds societies together? Why and how do societies change and develop - or else fail to do so? This introductory sociology course presents an overview of the major theories of society proposed through the 19th and 20th centuries, ranging from classical theory through Marx and Weber to critical theory, hermeneutics and the interpretive tradition, psychoanalysis, structuralism, post-structuralism , post-colonial theory, feminist and post-modernist theories. Key issues for the study of (post)modern society include: the relationship between knowledge, power and representation; consumption, commoditization and electronic forms of exchange; the impact of new information technologies; transnationalism, global cities and hybrid identities; and local knowledge and everyday life viewed as text and performance. While the last few decades' decline of master narratives or "grand theories" has fed into the current emphasis on interdisciplinarity, the main premise of this course is that the need for interdisciplinarity brings with it a further need: that of a firm grounding in social theory.