Classical Sociological Theory

Term: Fall 2012

Subject Code: GSOC

Course Number: 5101

This course seeks to explore the relationship between the emergence of 'modernity' and the invention of 'social science.' Our readings include selections from a range of modern thinkers who created some of social sciences most memorable and influential narratives; we continue to use them today to make sense of our own world and each others place in it. We will focus on the following four thinkers and the various narratives that they created to make sense of modernity: Adam Smith on the impartial spectator and market society; Alexis de Tocqueville on revolutionary change and democratic life; Karl Marx on alienation and exploitation; Max Weber on social action and rationalization; Emile Durkheim on the socio-moral foundations of group life; Sigmund Freud on the libido and unconscious; and Georg Simmel on the nature of urban life and individualism.

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