Classical Sociological Theories


Ej Sabado



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Course Description:


This course introduces new sociology students to classical sociological theories. The classics in the field of sociology covers significant works from 18th and 19th century social philosophers, who were the precursors of the discipline, to early 20th century sociologists who defined the early interests as well as the methodological foundations of the discipline. Through a cursory inspection of these classical works, this course seeks to inform students' understanding of the discipline that is sociology has a history and is inseparable from social-historical forces that have been shaping and re-shaping its interests, applications, methods as well as locations as a social science.


Course Pre-requisites: 


  1. Soc 111 Society and Culture with Family Planning


Course Objectives:


At the end of this course, students should be able to:


  1. Trace the roots of sociology as a discipline;
  2. Describe the works of selected social philosophers in terms of the way these works have shaped sociology in its early years;
  3. Describe the works of selected pioneers of the discipline;
  4. Identify the core arguments and claims of selected classical theories;
  5. Compare the core arguments and claims of selected classical theories;
  6. Apply classical theories discussed in explaining current realities;
  7. Explain the link between classical and contemporary sociological theories;
  8. Write summative reaction-reflection papers to substantiate personal thoughts on sociological theories encountered


Suggestive Course Outline:


  1. Theorizing Sociologically
    1. Theorizing and Everyday Life
    2. Everyday Theorizing and Sociological Theorizing
  2. What is sociological theory?
    1. Mainstreamed Definition of Theory and Definition of Sociological Theory
    2. Dimensions of Sociological Theory: Nationality, Ethnicity, Gender, History, and Social Class
    3. Adopting A Working Definition of Sociological Theory
  3. Typology of Sociological Theory and Sociological Approaches
    1. Macro-Sociological Orientation and Micro-Sociological Orientation
    2. Classical Sociological Theory and Contemporary Sociological Theory
      1. Vague Dividing Line(s)
  4. Revisiting the History of Sociology
    1. Social Forces in the Development of Sociological Theory
    2. Intellectual Forces and the Rise of Sociological Theory
    3. Development of Sociology
      1. France
      2. Germany
      3. Great Britain
      4. Italy
      5. United States of America
  5. Selected Classical Sociological Theories
    1. Emile Durkheim
    2. Karl Marx
    3. Max Weber
    4. Georg Simmel
    5. Thorstein Veblen
    6. George Herbert Mead
  6. Links: Classical and Contemporary Sociological Theories
    1. Emile Durkheim and Functionalism
    2. Karl Marx and the Critical School/Neo-Marxist
    3. Weber, Simmel, and Mead and the Rise of Micro-Approaches


Expectations of Students:


Course Requirements


Students in this course are expected to:


  1. Attend class sessions
  2. Conform to  school policies (uniform, attendance, use of cellular phones, among others)
  3. Participate in class discussions/activities
  4. Read assigned reading materials
  5. Write and submit assignments, book reviews, papers, among others


Grading System


  • This course uses the base-40 system as mandated by the university. 
  • As a regular semester consists of three grading periods, each grading period constitutes 1/3 of the final grade.
  • Bases for Grading and Corresponding Weights:


Quizzes                        25%

Exam                           35%

Projects                       15%

Assignments                10%

Class Participation      15%


Total                            100%

Course content

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