SYLLABUS - SOCIOLOGY 4391

SOCIAL THEORY


Spring 1997
Instructor: Dr. Larry R. RidenerSOC 4391
Office: D425Call #16545 (Section 01)
Phone: 755-1165 (Department Office)MWF 10:00 - 10:50 a.m.
Office Hours: MWF 1 - 2 p.m.D 346
or by appointment
E-mail:Larry_Ridener@Baylor.edu

DESCRIPTION: This course is designed to give the student an overviewof the study of sociological theory. It will present views fromclassical perspectives (The Dead Sociologists' Society) withinsociology as well as some of the current perspectives within thediscipline. The purpose of this course is to introduce the studentto a variety of theoretical orientations, past and present, withan emphasis on the strengths and weaknesses of each approach. By analyzing a variety of theories, it is also hoped that thestudent will develop a theoretical view of her own and a critical(i.e., analytical) orientation toward theory in particular andsocial interaction in general.

TEXTBOOKS: 1. Sociological Theory: Classical Statements. byDavid Ashley and David Michael Orenstein. Boston: Allyn and Bacon,1995. ISBN 0-205-15626-6 (A & O)

2. Contemporary Sociological Theory: Continuing The ClassicalTradition. (4th Ed.) by Ruth A. Wallace and Alison Wolf. EnglewoodCliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1995. ISBN 0-13-036245-X (paper) (W & W)

3. Ishmael. by Daniel Quinn. New York: Bantam Books, 1995.ISBN 0-553-37540-7 (paper)

These are available at the Baylor Bookstore and other locations. You will be expected to keep up with all the assigned readingsas the course progresses. This is a major reading course, sodon't expect anything less! There will also be short readingsplaced on Reserve (R) in the Moody Library for each of the majortheorists. These also are currently available on-line at my Website.

ATTENDANCE: Your attendance at all class sessions is expected. Roll will be taken everyday. If for some unforeseen reason youmiss a class, it is your responsibility to get class notes froma friend. Notes will not be provided by the instructor--pleasedo not ask. The lack of attendance may adversely effect yourgrade.

"University policy requires that to earn credit in a coursethe student must be officially enrolled by the end of the secondfull week of the semester and attend at least 75% of all classmeetings. . . . . Any student who is not present for at least75% of the scheduled class sessions for any course will automaticallyreceive a grade of "F" in the course". (BaylorUniversity, Undergraduate Catalog, 1996-97, p. 27--emphasis added).

Class discussion is encouraged. If there are questions aboutreading assignments or topics presented in class, please feelfree to ask questions or make comments.

EXAMS: There will be four exams during the long session. Thefourth exam will be your final, which is scheduled at the timeassigned by the university. Each exam will consist of questionsin both objective and subjective formats covering the materialfor both readings and lectures assigned during that portion ofthe course. Each exam will be given equal weight and will countfor one seventh of your final course grade. The final exam maybe slightly longer than the others. This class operates on thehonor system. Academic dishonesty will NOT be tolerated.

In addition to the four exams, there will be two papers required,one short paper (3-5 pages) and one long term paper (10-12 pages). The short paper will be a scholarly interpretive analysis ofthe book, Ishmael. It should include sociological theory, terms,and concepts learned during the term. This will count as onetest grade. The other paper will be more of a major term paper,which will be an assessment of a particular sociological theoryof your choice. The long paper will count as two test grades. More details of both papers will be given as the semester progresses. All papers must be typed and double-spaced. Hand-written copieswill not be accepted.

MAKE-UP POLICY: Make-up exams are HIGHLY DISCOURAGED. If youmiss an exam, you MUST contact me within 48 hours. If you failto let me know that you need a make-up exam, you will automaticallyreceive a zero for the exam you missed. All make-ups will begiven at the time of the final, no exceptions. Absolutely nomake-ups will be given for the final exam.

GRADING: Grades will be assigned on the customary basis, i.e.,90-100= A, 80-89= B, 70-79= C, 60-69= D, 59 or below= F. Classattendance is normally reflected in your grade. It will be considered,if necessary, in determining your final grade. There is NO extracredit work offered--don't ask (no whining).

The exams and the paper count equally. Each will consist of 14.286%of your course grade.

TENTATIVE COURSE OUTLINE

EXAM ONE FEBRUARY 7 (FRIDAY)

EXAM TWO MARCH 7 (FRIDAY)

SPRING BREAK MARCH 10 - 14

EXAM THREE APRIL 10 (FRIDAY)

ISHMAEL PAPER DUE APRIL 14 (MONDAY)

DIADELOSO APRIL 17 (THURSDAY)

TERM PAPER DUE APRIL 21 (MONDAY)

FINAL EXAM MAY 7 (WEDNESDAY) 8 - 10 a.m.

The course outline is subject to change at the instructor's discretionwith due notice given to the student.

Readings available on the World Wide Web (W).