Fall 2004 Instructor: Dr. Alem Kebede, Associate Professor of Sociology



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SOCIOLOGY 301, CLASSICAL SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY

Fall 2004



Instructor: Dr. Alem Kebede, Associate Professor of Sociology


Office: AA206 Dorothy Danhoe; Hours: TR 10:10-11:10 AM

Phone: (661) 664-2306; E-mail: akebede@csub.edu;

Web Cite: http://www.csub.edu/~akebede

OBJECTIVE

The objective of this class is to acquaint students with classical sociological perspectives that provide the conceptual basis for sociological research and analysis. Throughout the quarter emphasis will be placed on the assumptions, terminologies, and implications of the dominant theoretical frameworks in classical sociology. The major sociological figures discussed in this class include August Comte, Herbert Spencer, Karl Marx, Max Weber, Georg Simmel, Emile Durkheim, Vilfredo Pareto, W. E. DuBois, Talcott Parsons and George Herbert Mead. The relevance of their arguments to contemporary issues will also the subject of discussion.


TEXT BOOKS

-Blackwell Companion to Classical Social Theorists, By George Ritzer (ed.), First Edition, 2003, Blackwell Publishing: Malden, MA.

-Social Theory: The Multicultural and Classic Readings, By Charles Lemert (ed.), First Edition, 1999, Westview Press: Boulder, CO.

EXAMNINATIONS, PAPERS, AND GRADING


Grades will be based on three exams (60 points each [180 points total]), attendance and participation in class (20 points), and a conceptual term paper (100 points). A term paper should not be less than 8 pages, nor should it exceed 12 pages. Guidelines for the term paper will be discussed in class.
Grades will be assigned using the standard grading system: 100-90=A; 89-80=B; 79-70=C; 69-60=D. The final grade for the course will be determined as follows: 300-270=A; 269-240=B; 239=210=C; 209-180=D.
ATTENDANCE

You are required to attend all classes. An absence will be regarded as excused if and and only if verification of the reason for the absence is provided. Absences are excused only when a) attendance would have been detrimental to the health of the student, b) attendance would have put other students at risk, c) there is a case of personal emergency or tragedy. In other important cases, the instructor must approve the reason for the absence at least one week in advance of the missed class. The instructor will be happy to discuss any aspect of the course with any student during office hours or during a mutually agreed to meeting time. However, it is unprofessional to approach the instructor seeking information that was missed as a result of unexcused absence.
Active participation and attending class on a regular basis can raise your grade in borderline cases. Excessive absence will result in the letter grade of “I” (Incomplete).
CURVES, MAKE-UPS, ETC.

No grading curves or other such means will be employed during the determination of any grades for this course. There will be no extra credit options unless assigned by the instructor following an excused absence. There will be no make-up exam except in cases where an exam was missed due to an excused absence. If an exam is missed as a result of an excused absence, then either a make-up exam will be scheduled, or the weight assigned to other elements in the course will be adjusted.


ACADEMIC DISHONESTY

Any form of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated during this course. It is the responsibility of each student to learn what academic dishonesty includes. The Office of Student Conduct can provide useful information on this topic. The instructor will seek the gravest possible penalty in accordance with CSUB policies and regulations.


SPECIAL NEEDS

Any student with a disability or having special needs should notify both the instructor and the Office of Disabled Student Services as soon as possible. The instructor welcomes any student who wants to discuss issues pertaining to his/her academic progress, ambition, or problem. Just e-mail, or call me, or drop by to my office anytime.



COURSE OUTLINE


Please note that the following outline does not exhaust all the sociological concepts that we will be discussing in class. The treatment of a particular sociologist in class will depend on the repercussion that his/her perspective has on social analysis.


I: INTRODUCTION

Read: Ritzer 1-12: Lemert 21-27

II: AUGUST COMTE


Read: Ritzer 13-40
III: HERBERT SPENCER

Read: Ritzer 69-92

IV: KARL MARX

Read: Ritzer 93-131; Lemert 29-66

EXAM I Thursday, October 07



V: EMILE DURKHEIM

Read: Ritzer 193-238; Lemert 69-99


VI. MAX WEBER

Read: Ritzer 132-192; Lemert 99-125

VII. GEROG SIMMEL

Read: Ritzer 239-266; Lemert 184-188


EXAM II: Tuesday, November 2
VIII. W. E. DUBOIS

Read 333-354; Lemert 162-171




IX. TALCOTT PARSONS

Read: Ritzer 421-XXX; Lemert 213-215


X: GEORGE HERBERT MEAD

Read: Ritzer 290-332; Lemert 224-229


TERM PAPER DUE: Thursday, November 18, 8:30 AM
EXAM III: Tuesday November 30, 8:00-10:30 AM
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR: Dr. AlemSeghed Kebede is a graduate of Oklahoma State University (MS: Sociology; MA: Philosophy; PhD: Sociology). Prior to joining CSUB, he had a visiting assistant professor position at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Currently, Alem Kebede is associate professor of sociology. His research areas include social theory, social movements, and cross-cultural encounters. His articles have appeared in Sociological Inquiry, Sociological Perspectives, Sociological Spectrum, Sociological Focus, and Research in Social Movements. Currently, Alem is conducting research on two projects entitled “’Emperor Haile GebreSellassie’: The Social Construction of a Hero,” and “Theda Skocpol and the 1974 Ethiopian Revolution.” His recent published article that deals with the notion of “decentered movements”—a concept that he has coined—has been nominated for 2001 Sociological Spectrum Best Paper Award. While at CSUB, Alem Kebede has taught Introduction to Sociology, Theoretical Perspectives in Sociology, Social Stratification, Social Change, Social Movements and Collective Behavior, The African American Experience, and Advanced Sociological Theories. During his spare time, Alem Kebede loves to train for marathons. He has run nine marathons, including the Boston, Los Angeles and New York City Marathons. Alem Kebede is a native of Ethiopia, East Africa, “who has come [to the United States] today and decided to stay tomorrow.”


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