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    Macalester College
   
 
  Nov 20, 2017
 
 
    
College Catalog 2012-2013 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

SOCI 272 - Social Theories


This course is designed to engage students with the most sophisticated and useful schools of thought available in the social science disciplines. The course raises a number of questions: How can we best understand the complexities of self and society? Are these units of analysis useful in and of themselves? Are they contained in an essential body or polity that we can identify as some unitary entity called Jenny and John Doe, American, French, Arab/Jew, black/white, modern/primitive, developed/underdeveloped, Oriental/ Occidental, homo/heterosexual, male/female? Or are they socially produced units that have no essence in-of-themselves, produced and made real only through performance with the “Other”? Furthermore, is there something unique about modernity that has fundamentally transformed the notions of our selves, bodies, polities, races, and civilizations? If the answer to the last question is in the affirmative, how and why did this come to be the case, and what consequences does it hold for our understanding of the past and of the future? These are the kinds of questions that great figures in sociology have been asking since the nineteenth-century, including classic theorists like Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, and Karl Marx, as well as more recent writers such as Ervin Goffman, Michel Foucault, Immanuel Wallerstein, and Edward Said. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level course in sociology, MCST 110 - Texts and Power: Foundations of Media and Cultural Studies , or permission of the instructor. (4 Credits)