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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Psychology and Sociology
Course Prefix and Number: SOCI 460
Course Title: Classical Social Theory
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog 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. Offered odd Fall. Prerequisite: Junior standing.

Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s):

Junior standing

Course Rotation for Day Program: Offered odd Fall.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Explorations in Classical Sociological Theory
By Allan, Kenneth D. (Sage)
Category/Comments - Core Text
Sociological Theory: Classical Statements
By Ashley, David and Orenstein, David M. (Allyn & Bacon/Longman)
Category/Comments - Supplemental Text
Classical Sociological Theory
By Calhoun, Craig et. al. (Blackwell)
Category/Comments - Supplemental Text
Social Theory: The Multicultural, Global, and Classic Readings
By Lemert, Charles ed. (Westview Press)
Category/Comments - Supplemental Text
Classical Social Theory
By Tucker, Kenneth and Kenneth Tucker, Jr. (Blackwell)
Category/Comments - Supplemental Texts
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.
Major Topics/Skills to be Covered:
  • The historical development of sociology as an academic discipline.
    • The Enlightenment: philosophical foundations
    • Saint-Simon, Comte
  • Herbert Spencer
  • Karl Marx
  • Emile Durkheim
  • Max Weber
  • George Herbert Mead
  • Georg Simmel
  • Harriet Martineau
  • Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  • W.E.B. du Bois
  • Talcott Parsons
  • The Frankfurt School and the development of critical theory

Recommended maximum class size for this course: 25

Library Resources:

Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

Prepared by: Yngve Digernes Date: September 8, 2015
NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course learning outcomes and cover the subjects listed in the Major Topics/Skills to be Covered section. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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