SYLLABUS

SOCIOLOGY 4391

SOCIAL THEORY


Instructor: Dr. Larry R. Ridener

SOC 4391

Office: D 425

Call #12156 (Section F1)

Phone: 755-1165 (Department Office)

MTWRF 8:00 - 9:30 a.m.

Office Hrs: MTWRF 9:30 - 11 a.m.

D 341

or by appointment

Summer 1997

E-mail: Larry_Ridener@Baylor.edu

Website: http://diogenes.baylor.edu/WWWproviders/Larry_Ridener/RIDENER.HTML


DESCRIPTION: This course is designed to give the studentan overview of the study of sociological theory. It will presentviews from classical perspectives (TheDead Sociologists Society) within sociology as well as some ofthe current perspectives within the discipline. The purpose of thiscourse is to introduce the student to a variety of theoreticalorientations, past and present, with an emphasis on the strengths andweaknesses of each approach. By analyzing a variety of theories, itis also hoped that the student will develop a theoretical view of herown and a critical (i.e., analytical) orientation toward theory inparticular and social interaction in general.

TEXTBOOKS: 1. Classical Sociological Theory (2nd Ed). byGeorge Ritzer. New York: McGraw Hill, 1996. ISBN 0-07-053017-3 (R1)

2. Modern Sociological Theory (4th Ed.). by George Ritzer.New York: McGraw Hill, 1996. ISBN 0-07-053018-1 (R2)

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 readings as thecourse progresses. This is a major reading course, so don'texpect anything less! There will also be short readings formerlyplaced on Reserve in the Moody Library for each of the majortheorists but which are currently available on-line at myWebsite.

ATTENDANCE: Your attendance at all class sessions isexpected. Roll will be taken everyday. If for some unforeseen reasonyou miss a class, it is your responsibility to get class notes from afriend. Notes will not be provided by the instructor--please do notask. The lack of attendance may adversely effect your grade.

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

Class discussion is encouraged. If there are questions aboutreading assignments or topics presented in class, please feel free toask questions or make comments.

EXAMS: There will be three exams during the short session.The third exam will be your final, which is scheduled at the timeassigned by the university. Each exam will consist of questions inboth objective and subjective formats covering the material for bothreadings and lectures assigned during that portion of the course.Each exam will be given equal weight and will count for one fourth ofyour final course grade. The final exam may be slightly longer thanthe others. This class operates on the honor system. Academicdishonesty will NOT be tolerated.

In addition to the three exams, there will be one short paper (3-5pages) required. The short paper will be a scholarly interpretiveanalysis of the book, Ishmael. It should include sociologicaltheory, terms, and concepts learned during the term. This will countas one test grade. More details of the paper will be given as thesemester progresses. All papers must be typed and double-spaced.Hand-written copies will not be accepted. A guide to preparing thispaper is available on-line.

MAKE-UP POLICY: Make-up exams are HIGHLY DISCOURAGED. Ifyou miss an exam, you MUST contact me within 48 hours. If you fail tolet me know that you need a make-up exam, you will automaticallyreceive a zero for the exam you missed. All make-ups will be given atthe 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 beconsidered, if necessary, in determining your final grade. There isNO extra credit work offered--don't ask (no whining).

The exams and the paper count equally. Each will consist of 25% ofyour course grade.

TENTATIVE COURSE OUTLINE

EXAM ONE

JUNE 11 (WEDNESDAY)


EXAM TWO

JUNE 20 (FRIDAY)


ISHMAEL PAPER DUE

JUNE 30 (MONDAY)

FINAL EXAM

JULY 3 (THURSDAY - LAST DAY OF CLASS)


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

Readings available on the (W) World Wide Web