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Sociological Theory Syllabus
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social theory
sociological theory
social thought

How to Cite

Ward, Matthew. 2018. “Sociological Theory Syllabus”. TRAILS: Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology, January. Washington DC: American Sociological Association.


This course teaches students about key theoretical traditions within sociology, as well as the philosophies of social science underlying these perspectives, including Positivism and Interpretivism. The course relies on a variety of primary and secondary texts, individual and group-based writing assignments, in-class activities, and discussions. The...

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Subject Area(s):
Resource Type(s):
Class Level(s):
College 400
Class Size(s):

Usage Notes

This syllabus was designed for use at a teaching oriented institution where upper division class sizes typically range from 15-25 students. Students are often juniors and seniors and are usually majoring in sociology. This course would be a good way to fulfill any 'writing intensive' requirements for the major, since it does involves a significant amount...

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Learning Goals and Assessments

Learning Goal(s):

  1. Students will be able to articulate the major philosophies of social science, the assumptions associated with each, and their connections to classical and (select) contemporary sociological theories.
  2. Students will understand major theoretical traditions within sociology, including key assumptions and concepts.
  3. Students will learn to weave together theory and original data collection (involving participant observation) to develop a competently written, original analysis of the social world.

Goal Assessment(s):

  1. Four exams and four learning group discussion meetings. Discussion meetings occur in groups after students have visited their field sites. Question sets guide the discussion and should focus on the practical application of theory to the field site.
  2. Four exams and four learning group discussion meetings.
  3. Four learning group discussion meetings, four field note assignments, and a final theory application paper.

When using resources from TRAILS, please include a clear and legible citation.

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Requires Subscription DOC

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