Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo / Portale Web di Ateneo


HISTORY OF SOCIOLOGICAL AND SOCIO-JURIDICAL THOUGHT/II
STORIA DEL PENSIERO SOCIOLOGICO E SOCIOLOGICO-GIURIDICO/II

Sociological theories in the social context
Teorie sociologiche e contesto sociale

A.Y. Credits
2016/2017 5
Lecturer Email Office hours for students
Emanuela Susca
Teaching in foreign languages
Course with optional materials in a foreign language English
This course is entirely taught in Italian. Study materials can be provided in the foreign language and the final exam can be taken in the foreign language.

Assigned to the Degree Course

Sociology and Social Services (L-39 / L-40)
Curriculum: PERCORSO COMUNE
Date Time Classroom / Location

Learning Objectives

The course aims to enable students to acquire a basic knowledge, with reference to general theories in the sociological and sociological-legal thought and the social and cultural context in which they emerge and develop.  On the basis of the knowledge acquired, students will develop analytical skills in relation to the theoretical and epistemological content of sociological and sociological-legal thought of the past and present.

The acquisition of such knowledge within the first year will enable students of the B.A. course in Sociology and Social Service to continue their studies in successive years with the necessary basic knowledge of the historical and theoretical foundations of sociological studies (special sociologies) and of the social policies enacted since the nineteenth century to the present day. They will also verify their cultural interests to better define their preferences in view of the choice of the topic of their dissertation and of third year programme .

Program

The course presents a historical profile of contemporary sociological thought.

Course topics:

1) The Understanding of Society. The Structure of Sociological Theory: Matter; Assumptions; Methodology; Objectives. Theory and Understanding: The Examples of Formal education and the Role of Women in Contemporary Society.

2) Functionalism: Introduction; Functionalism Defined; Intellectual Roots: Durkheim and His Forerunners. T. Parsons: Grand Theory; Background; System Levels; Parsons's Theory of Action; The Pattern Variables; The Functional System Problems; AGIL; Equilibrium. Robert K. Merton: Middle Range Theory; Theories of the Middle Range; Clarifying Functional Analysis; Merton's Theory of Deviance. Neofunctionalism: Jeffrey C. Alexander; Neil J. Smelser; Niklas Luhmann; Conclusion.

3) Conflict Theory: Introduction; The Two Traditions; Intellectual Roots; Power, Position, and Legitimacy; Marx and Weber; Power, Elites, and Classes; The Web of Conflict; Simmel and the Chicago School. Conflict Theory and the Critique of Society: Marxist and Neo Marxist Sociology; Critical Theory; The Frankfurt School; C. Wright Mills; P. Bourdieu. Conflict Theory and Analytic Sociology: The Legacy of Max Weber; Ralf Dahrendorf ; Lewis Coser; Randall Collins; Conclusion.

4) Evolution and Modernity: Macrosociological Perspectives; Intellectual Roots. Karl Marx and the Classless Society; The End of Capitalism; World Systems Theory. Talcott Parsons's Evolutionary Model. Jürgen Habermas: Rationalization and Communicative Action; Evolution and Crisis; Rationalization of the Lifeworld. Anthony Giddens: Structuration Theory and High Modernity; Social Structure; High Modernity; Conclusion.

5) Symbolic Interactionism: Intellectual Roots; Max Weber and Georg Simmel; George Herbert Mead; The Self ; Self-Interaction; The Development of the Self; Symbolic Meaning. Herbert Blumer: Interpretation and Methodology; Interpretation; The Three Basic Premises; Structure and Process; Methodology. E. Goffman: Dramaturgy and the Interaction Order; Dramaturgy and Everyday Life; The Interaction Order. Expanding the Horizons of Symbolic Interactionism; Arlie Russell Hochschild: Emotional Labor; Other Contributions to Sociology of Emotions; Patricia Hill Collins: Black Feminist Thought; Conclusion.

6) Phenomenology: Intellectual Roots; Husserl and Schutz. H. Garfinkel: The Founder of Ethnomethodology; Ethnomethodology Defined; Accounting; Doing Ethnomethodology; Methodological Comparison. Peter Berger: The Social Construction of Reality. Dorothy E. Smith: Feminist Standpoint Theory. Conclusion.

7) Theories of Rational Choice: Intellectual Roots; Anthropology and the Importance of the Gift; Economics, Profit, and Price; Behaviorist Psychology and the Theory of Games. Rational Choice, Social Exchange, and Individual Behavior. George Homans: Elementary Social Behavior; Power, Equity, and Games . Rational Choice and the Analysis of Social Structure. Peter Blau: Exchange and Social Integration; Norms and Networks. James Coleman and the Foundations of Social Theory; Coalitions, Trust, and Norms; Social Capital. Conclusion.

8) Rediscovering the Body: The Sociology of the Body and Sociobiology. The Sociology of the Body: Representing the Body; Mental Illness: Real or Constructed?; Regulating Populations and Bodies. Sociobiology: Selfish Genes and Kin Selection; Sociobiology and Culture.

9) Evaluating Sociological Theory. The Future of Sociological Theory: Modernism and Postmodernism; Introduction; Historical Trends; The Postmodernist Critique. Sociological Theory and Understanding: The Value of Multiple Perspectives; Exploring Formal Education: The Role of the School; Exploring the Role of Women in Contemporary Society.

Learning Achievements (Dublin Descriptors)

It is expected that students will acquire:
1. knowledge and understanding: mastery of basic knowledge about the history of sociologica thought in the social context, with particular reference to its constituent elements (problems and methods) in relation with other social sciences.
The students will attain these basic knowledge: by participating in lessons and through the analytical study of the texts proposed by the teacher and discussed in the classroom.
2. Applying knowledge and understanding: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the concepts and theories provided by the course; developing new insights, both from a theoretical and empirical point of view.
To be achieved through classroom discussions, interacting with the teacher, reading texts.
3. Capacity of judgment: critical reflection on themes, topics, texts presented.
This capability will mature in the interaction in the classroom, with the teacher and with fellow students, in reading essays, articles, scientific papers.
4. Communication skills: the ability to communicate their knowledge in a clear and correct manner.
Outcomes to be achieved by discussions in the classroom, interacting actively during lectures, workshops, seminars, asking and answering questions, and also through written contributions.  
5. Learning Skills: methods of analysis of the problems, independent judgment. Skills to be acquired primarily discussing with other students and with the teacher the themes of the course. Knowledge of the study materials will offer a greater capacity for further learning. The teacher in the course will encourage the acquisition of such skills, which will be evaluated during the exam.

Teaching Material

The teaching material prepared by the lecturer in addition to recommended textbooks (such as for instance slides, lecture notes, exercises, bibliography) and communications from the lecturer specific to the course can be found inside the Moodle platform › blended.uniurb.it

Supporting Activities

Through the Moodle platform  will be made available to students numerous materials, consisting both in texts and in significant pictures and photographs to allow them to put in context the social and legal changes that will be covered in the course. 

The teaching material made available by the lecturer can be found, together with other supporting activities, inside the Moodle platform › blended.uniurb.it


Didactics, Attendance, Course Books and Assessment

Didactics

Frontal lessons. Explanation of the best use of the work materials uploaded by the teacher in the Moodle platform. contextual study, in all the parts shown, of the course texts and materials provided by the teacher .

Attendance

The  qualification is obtained through the verification of the attendance to the lessons, for a share of at least 3/4 of the actual hours taught.

Course books

Wallace R.A. - Wolf A., La teoria sociologica contemporanea, Il Mulino, Bologna 2008.

A list of alternative texts in the English (or French) language can be provided by the teacher.

Assessment

The assessment is done individually on the occasion of regular exams by a committee chaired by the form teacher, by oral examination.

At the end of the lessons, students who have fulfilled the compulsory attendance can participate to a written test.

In the exams, provided according to the official calendar, the outcome for those who have passed the written tests will be certified. In other cases, the student will take an oral exam on the course program (in its entirety, or on one only, if the other has  already been successfully verified).

Additional Information for Non-Attending Students

Didactics

Individual study of the course program in all its part.

Attendance

Not required.

Course books

Wallace R.A. - Wolf A., La teoria sociologica contemporanea, Il Mulino, Bologna 2008.

Assessment

The assessment is done individually on the occasion of regular exams by a committee chaired by the form teacher, by oral examination.

The examination aim is to establish the ability to use knowledge and concepts acquired during the course, with particular reference to the following aspects: mastery of basic knowledge about the historical development of sociological and sociological-legal thought in the broader context of the formation and development of the social sciences; awareness of constituent elements of sociological thought (problems and methods); acquisition of cultural foundations as to develop capacity for critical evaluation, avoiding ideological simplifications.

At the end of the lessons, students who have fulfilled the compulsory attendance can participate to an intermediate written test . Similarly, they can take part in a second written test on the remainder of the program, to be held at the end of AMI 2 teaching module.

In the exams, provided according to the official calendar, the outcome for those who have passed the written tests will be certified. In other cases, the student will take an oral exam on the course program (in its entirety, or on one only, if the other has  already been successfully verified).

Notes

The student can request to sit the final exam in English with an alternative bibliography in this language.

L'examen et la bibliographie seront en langue française à la demande de l'étudiant.

« back Last update: 16/07/2017

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