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Online classes

Effective: Late Spring 8-Week, 2017/2018

SOCI 460: Classical Social Theory

Course Description

Reinforcement of major schools of thought in sociology from the Enlightenment through World War II.  Emphasis on theoretical thinking in sociology and analysis of the underlying principles and major works of Comte, Marx, Spencer, Weber, Durkheim, Simmel, Mannheim, Martineau, Perkins Gilman, DuBois, Mead, Veblen, Adorno, Horkheimer, Parsons.  

Prerequisite: Junior Standing

Proctored Exams: Midterm and Final



Syllabus Contents

Textbooks

Required

  • Allan, K., & Daynes, S. . (2017). Explorations in Classical Sociological Theory: Seeing the Social World (4th). Thousand Oaks: CA: Sage Publications, Inc. .
    • [ISBN-978-1483356693]

MBS Information

Textbooks for the course may be ordered from MBS Direct. You can order

For additional information about the bookstore, visit http://www.mbsbooks.com.


Course Overview

This course provides you with an overview of the development of sociological theories from the 1700s until 1945.

The course revolves around the core terms used in social theory and emphasizes the importance of the basic assumptions that theorists make about human nature, as well as their assumptions about how society operates. An understanding of these assumptions enables us to gain an appreciation for the key contributions made by the most prominent contributors to classical social theory. We will cover approximately a dozen of different theorists, whose ideas we will compare and contrast.

The goal of this course is to provide you with the theoretical toolkit that will enable you to see society through the eyes of different theorists. The central task is to understand the different theorists’ basic outlook on society, not to memorize the minute details of their theories. By understanding how social theorists see society, you will also learn to think theoretically about society -- to interpret the same social phenomena from different theoretical perspectives. This is achieved by examining society from the viewpoints of the different theorists. Where one theorist sees order, another theorist sees disorder; where one theorist sees only individuals, another sees only social structures; where one theorist sees conflict, another sees a consensus, etc.



Technology Requirements

Participation in this course will require the basic technology for all online classes at Columbia College:
  • A computer with reliable Internet access
  • A web browser
  • Acrobat Reader
  • Microsoft Office or another word processor such as Open Office

You can find more details about standard technical requirements for our courses on our site.


Course Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe the major theoretical traditions in sociology and the emergence of each out of their particular socio-historical contexts.
  2. Articulate the role of theory in sociology.
  3. Identify the influence of Enlightenment thought on the development of classical sociological theory.
  4. Identify and describe the theoretical perspectives of the classical social theorists.

Grading

Grading Scale
Grade Points Percent
A 576-640 90-100%
B 512-575 80-89%
C 448-511 70-79%
D 384-447 60-69%
F 0-383 0-59%
Grade Weights
Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussions (16) 160 25%
Paper Assignments (3) 180 28%
Midterm Exam 100 16%
Final Exam 200 31%
Total 640 100%


Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1
Assignment Points Due
Introduction Discussion 10 Wednesday
Discussion 1 10 Wednesday/Sunday
Week 2
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 2 10 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 3 10 Friday/Sunday
Proctor Information N/A Sunday
Week 3
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 4 10 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 5 10 Friday/Sunday
Paper Assignment 1 60 Sunday
Week 4
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 6 10 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 7 10 Friday/Sunday
Midterm Exam 100 Sunday
Week 5
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 8 10 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 9 10 Friday/Sunday
Paper Assignment 2 60 Sunday
Week 6
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 10 10 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 11 10 Friday/Sunday
Week 7
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 12 10 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 13 10 Friday/Sunday
Paper Assignment 3 60 Sunday
Week 8
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 14 10 Wednesday/Saturday
Discussion 15 10 Friday/Saturday
Final Exam 200 Saturday
Total Points 640

Assignment Overview

Discussion

There will be 16 (sixteen) discussion posts in the course worth 10 points each. Besides Discussion 1, Week 1 will also have an Introduction Discussion. Weeks 2 through 8 will have two discussion posts every week. Your initial posting should not be less than 10 sentences long. In addition to your own posting, you need to make a substantive response to two other students’ postings (in each topic, not per week). 

Your initial post in the first topic each week is due no later than 11:59 pm CT on Wednesday. Your responses to classmates are is due on 11:59 pm CT on Sunday. Your initial post in the second discussion topic is due no later than 11:59 pm CT on Friday. Your responses to classmates are due by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday. For Week 8, your First initial post on Wednesday and second initial post on Friday and responses to classmates for both the discussions must be completed by 11:59 pm CT on Saturday, so be sure not to wait until the last minute before you submit your discussion posting. Discussions will cover major concepts from the textbook and any online sources that are assigned. It is essential that you read each chapter completely rather than just look material up for the information. Be sure to address the question asked for and be sure to provide your own insights rather than repeating what is already in the textbooks. Discussions count for 25% of your final grade.


Paper Assignments

There are three (3) papers assigned for this course, worth 60 points each, due by Sunday 11:59 pm CT of Weeks 3, 5, and 7. The paper should consist of a side-by-side comparison of the two theorists, not two separate papers merged into one document. The Papers are to be no less than 1,500 words in length. Make sure you adhere to the APA formatting rules. Be sure to address the various elements that make up social theory, discussed in Chapter 1 of the textbook, e.g. levels of analysis. You should make sure that your paper provides an in-depth, original analysis rather than a superficial description of your topic, and also that it meets the length requirement.

Each Paper Assignment will be graded according to the grading rubric posted in the Content Area of the course. The papers will be graded on content as well as formatting, so be sure to rely on valid academic sources, provide appropriate citations for all sources, and avoid plagiarism (i.e. all direct quotes must be in quotation marks). The three papers count for 28% of your final grade.


Exams

There are two exams, Midterm and Final in this course, and both are proctored. You must submit the “Student Proctor Information Submission Form” to the Proctor Information Dropbox by the end of Week 2. This form and additional information about Proctoring is located in the Content area of the course.

You have 2 (two) hours to finish the Midterm Exam and 2(two) hours to complete the Final Exam. Only one attempt is allowed per exam. The Midterm Exam, worth 100 points, will consist of five (5) long-answer questions over chapters 1-4, and count for 16% of your final grade. The Midterm Exam is due Sunday at 11:59 pm CT of Week 4.

The Final Exam, worth 200 points, will consist of five (4) long-answer questions over chapters 5-9, and twenty (20) multiple-choice questions, covering all of the major topics/theorists covered throughout the course, and will count for 31% of your final grade. The Final Exam is due Saturday at 11:59 pm CT of Week 8.

Thus, it is important that you read all the chapters completely and carefully because there might be questions on the final exam over material that is not covered in the discussions.



Course Outline

Click on each week to view details about the activities scheduled for that week.

Week 1: Historical and Social Context of the Emergence of Sociology as a Discipline
Readings
Chapter 1
Introduction Discussion

Introduce yourself in the "Introductions" topic of our class Discussion, our "virtual classroom." Please give us more than your name. Include your profession, hobbies, interests, and any other information that can help us get to know you better.

Discussion 1

How was Comte’s approach to the study of society different from the philosophers who preceded him?

Why is positivism so central in producing knowledge about society?

Week 2: Herbert Spencer and Functionalism
Readings
Chapter 2
Discussion 2

What are system needs and how do they contribute to the proper functioning of society?

Discussion 3

What are the functions of social institutions? Why and how do social institutions emerge or disappear from society?

Proctor Information
Submit your proctor form to the appropriate Dropbox folder by the end of the week. Remember to “Save” the form before placing it in Dropbox. See the Content area for more information.
Week 3: Karl Marx and Conflict Theory
Readings
Chapter 3
Discussion 4

In Marx’s theory, what is the relationship between commodification and industrialization?

What are the consequences for workers when they themselves become commodities?

Discussion 5

In Marx’s theory, how is life as a species-being different from life as an alienated industrial worker?

Paper Assignment 1

Compare and contrast Spencer's theory with Marx's theory of society. What are some similarities between Spencer and Marx's assumptions about society (e.g. in terms of ontology and levels of analysis)?

How are their views of human nature and society different (e.g. in terms of consensus vs. conflict)?

What are some differences in how they view capitalism?  How are their different views of society rooted in their different assumptions about society and social change?

Week 4: Emile Durkheim
Readings
Chapter 4
Discussion 6

Considering the information provided in chapter 4, how Durkheim see the relationship between religion and solidarity (i.e. how religion might be different under mechanical solidarity than under organic solidarity)?

Discussion 7

Considering the discussion of social facts, anomie, and the division of labor, how can it be said that anomie is a social fact?

How might one measure anomie?

Midterm Exam

This will have 5 long answer questions and covers Chapters 1-4. Only one attempt is allowed. This is for 100 points and allotted time is 2 hours. This should be completed by Sunday 11:59 pm CT.

Week 5: Max Weber
Readings
Chapter 5
Discussion 8

According to Weber, how did the Protestant Reformation represent a process or rationalization?

Discussion 9

What type of authority is most prevalent in contemporary American society? Provide some examples.  To what extent are other types of authority present?

Paper Assignment 2

Compare and contrast Durkheim’s theory of religion with Weber’s theory of religion. What are some similarities in Durkheim and Weber’s observations about how religions evolve over time? How are their views of the role of religion in society different? How are their different views of religion rooted in their different assumptions about society and social change?

Week 6: George Herbert Mead and Georg Simmel
Readings
Chapter 6
Discussion 10

According to Mead, what is the relationship between language development and role taking?

Discussion 11

According to Simmel, how are people in cities different from people in rural areas?  What are the reasons for these differences?

Course Evaluation
Please evaluate the course. You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link sent to your CougarMail will allow you to access the evaluation. Please note that these evaluations are provided so that I can improve the course, find out what students perceive to be its strengths and weaknesses, and in general assess the success of the course. Please do take the time to fill this out.
Week 7: Harriett Martineau and Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Readings
Chapter 7
Discussion 12

According to Martineau, how are women’s lives shaped by marriage? What might she think would happen if women had greater access to higher education (as they did, long after her death)?

Discussion 13

According to Gilman, what have been the impacts of women’s exclusion from the workforce? Why does she see this as detrimental to the evolution of society?

Paper Assignment 3

Compare and contrast Martineau’s theory of gender with Gilman’s theory of gender. What are some similarities in Martineau and Gilman’s observations about how gender shapes women’s lives? How are their views of the role of social institutions such as marriage, education, and religion different? How are their different views of gender rooted in their different assumptions about human nature and society?

Week 8: Frederick Douglass, W. E. B. Du Bois, Talcott Parsons, and the Frankfurt School
Readings
Chapters 8 and 9 
Discussion 14

According to W. E. B. DuBois, why do African Americans have a double consciousness? How is this concept related to Douglass’ concept of race as other?

Discussion 15

According to Walter Benjamin, why is modern society characterized by a lack of authenticity? What are some examples of lack of authenticity in contemporary society (other than the ones mentioned in the textbook)?

Final Exam

This will have 4 long answer questions and 20 multiple choice questions. This covers Chapters 5-9. Only one attempt is allowed. This is for 200 points and allotted time is 2 hours. This should be completed by Saturday 11:59 pm CT.



Course Policies

Student Conduct

All Columbia College students, whether enrolled in a land-based or online course, are responsible for behaving in a manner consistent with Columbia College's Student Conduct Code and Acceptable Use Policy. Students violating these policies will be referred to the office of Student Affairs and/or the office of Academic Affairs for possible disciplinary action. The Student Code of Conduct and the Computer Use Policy for students can be found in the Columbia College Student Handbook. The Handbook is available online; you can also obtain a copy by calling the Student Affairs office (Campus Life) at 573-875-7400. The teacher maintains the right to manage a positive learning environment, and all students must adhere to the conventions of online etiquette.

Plagiarism

Your grade will be based in large part on the originality of your ideas and your written presentation of these ideas. Presenting the words, ideas, or expression of another in any form as your own is plagiarism. Students who fail to properly give credit for information contained in their written work (papers, journals, exams, etc.) are violating the intellectual property rights of the original author. For proper citation of the original authors, you should reference the appropriate publication manual for your degree program or course (APA, MLA, etc.). Violations are taken seriously in higher education and may result in a failing grade on the assignment, a grade of "F" for the course, or dismissal from the College.

Collaboration conducted between students without prior permission from the instructor is considered plagiarism and will be treated as such. Spouses and roommates taking the same course should be particularly careful.

All required papers may be submitted for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers may be included in the Turnitin.com reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. This service is subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use posted on the Turnitin.com site.

Non-Discrimination

There will be no discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, ideology, political affiliation, veteran status, age, physical handicap, or marital status.

Student Accessibility Resources

Students with documented disabilities who may need academic services for this course are required to register with the office of Student Accessibility Resources. Until the student has been cleared through this office, accommodations do not have to be granted. If you are a student who has a documented disability, it is important for you to read the entire syllabus as soon as possible. The structure or the content of the course may make an accommodation not feasible. Student Accessibility Resources is located in Student Affairs in AHSC 215 and can be reached by phone at (573) 875-7626 or email at sar@ccis.edu.

Online Participation

You are expected to read the assigned texts and participate in the discussions and other course activities each week. Assignments should be posted by the due dates stated on the grading schedule in your syllabus. If an emergency arises that prevents you from participating in class, please let your instructor know as soon as possible.

Attendance Policy

Attendance for a week will be counted as having submitted any assigned activity for which points are earned. Attendance for the week is based upon the date work is submitted. A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday (except for week 8, when the work and the course will end on Saturday at midnight.) The course and system deadlines are based on the Central Time Zone.

Cougar Email

All students are provided a CougarMail account when they enroll in classes at Columbia College. You are responsible for monitoring email from that account for important messages from the College and from your instructor. You may forward your Cougar email account to another account; however, the College cannot be held responsible for breaches in security or service interruptions with other email providers.

Students should use email for private messages to the instructor and other students. The class discussions are for public messages so the class members can each see what others have to say about any given topic and respond.

Late Assignment Policy

An online class requires regular participation and a commitment to your instructor and your classmates to regularly engage in the reading, discussion and writing assignments. Although most of the online communication for this course is asynchronous, you must be able to commit to the schedule of work for the class for the next eight weeks. You must keep up with the schedule of reading and writing to successfully complete the class.

No late discussion posts will be accepted. No late assignments will be accepted without documented extenuating circumstances beyond the control of the student and with instructor notification prior to the due date.

Course Evaluation

You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link will be sent to your CougarMail that will allow you to access the evaluation. Be assured that the evaluations are anonymous and that your instructor will not be able to see them until after final grades are submitted.

Proctor Policy

Students taking courses that require proctored exams must submit their completed proctor request forms to their instructors by the end of the second week of the session. Proctors located at Columbia College campuses are automatically approved. The use of ProctorU services is also automatically approved. The instructor of each course will consider any other choice of proctor for approval or denial. Additional proctor choices the instructor will consider include: public librarians, high school or college instructors, high school or college counseling services, commanding officers, education service officers, and other proctoring services. Personal friends, family members, athletic coaches and direct supervisors are not acceptable.


Additional Resources

Orientation for New Students

This course is offered online, using course management software provided by Desire2Learn and Columbia College. The course user guide provides details about taking an online course at Columbia College. You may also want to visit the course demonstration to view a sample course before this one opens.

Technical Support

If you have problems accessing the course or posting your assignments, contact your instructor, the Columbia College Helpdesk, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. Contact information is also available within the online course environment.

Online Tutoring

Smarthinking is a free online tutoring service available to all Columbia College students. Smarthinking provides real-time online tutoring and homework help for Math, English, and Writing. Smarthinking also provides access to live tutorials in writing and math, as well as a full range of study resources, including writing manuals, sample problems, and study skills manuals. You can access the service from wherever you have a connection to the Internet. I encourage you to take advantage of this free service provided by the college.

Access Smarthinking through CougarTrack under Students -> Academics -> Academic Resources.


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