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Syllabus for Sociological Theory
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Social Theory
Sociological Theory

How to Cite

Anderson, Erin. 2020. “Syllabus for Sociological Theory”. TRAILS: Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology, June. Washington DC: American Sociological Association.


Social Theory is one of the core required courses in the discipline of Sociology. This course covers perspectives from early theorists, including Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, and Max Weber, as well as classical and contemporary theories. A primary goal of the course is to help students understand theory in both historical and contemporary contexts and be...

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Subject Area(s):
Resource Type(s):
Class Level(s):
College 300
Class Size(s):

Usage Notes

300-level Social Theory course is taken primarily by students majoring or minoring in Sociology, typically in the junior year, as one of the required courses in the discipline at a small, liberal arts institution. All students who graduate from this institution must complete a Senior Capstone Experience; in Sociology this takes the form of an independent...

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Learning Goals and Assessments

Learning Goal(s):

  1. Understand the role of theory in studying and explaining social issues.
  2. Compare and contrast the major sociological perspectives using the appropriate concepts.
  3. Use sociological theory to frame and discuss contemporary social issues.

Goal Assessment(s):

  1. Students are exposed to this material through the textbook and class meetings. This knowledge is assessed through chapter quizzes.
  2. Students are assessed on their ability to compare, contrast, and discuss perspectives through essay questions on course exams.
  3. Students write weekly concept application papers utilizing assigned news articles to identify and discuss theoretical concepts in practice. Written papers are followed by student-led class discussion.

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

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