Sociological Analysis/Sociological Theory

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Sociological Analysis/Sociological Theory

(Anglo-American Sociology in the Twentieth Century)
Autumn Term Assignment
Due: Day 1, Week 1, Lent Term (15 January, 2001)
A critique is a critical assessment or evaluation. For the purposes of this exercise, a critique will involve a survey and evaluation of the potential weaknesses of a particular text or body of thought. In most cases, the assigned work is a monograph, but where a shorter piece is involved you will be required to trace the development of the argument in the initial shorter piece through its development in later articles. For example, the critique of Mead's social psychology would require working through the succession of articles dealing with symbolic interaction and social consciousness rather than any single one.
To assemble your critique, you will need to make a close reading of the source text, and track those items about which you have potential doubts -- even if you find those doubt subsequently resolved in the text. You must also survey the critical literature responding to the source text, compile the substantive criticisms and then assess whether the criticisms are sound or not. You must then factor in your own critical doubts, and then make an overall critical assessment of potential weaknesses in the source text.
Choose one of:

  1. Talcott Parsons. The Evolution of Societies

  2. Talcott Parsons. The Social System.

  3. Talcott Parsons. The Structure of Social Action.

  4. Alexander J.: Sociological Theory since 1945

  5. Alexander J.: Theoretical Logic in Sociology

  6. Robert Merton. On Theoretical Sociolog.

  7. Robert Merton. Social Theory and Social Structure.

  8. Smelser, N. Theory of Collective Behaviour.

  9. Dahrendorf, R. Class and Class Conflict in Industrial Society

  10. Dahrendorf, R. Scientific-Technological Revolution: Social Aspects

  11. Gouldner A.W. The Coming Crisis of Western Sociology

  12. Gouldner A.W. Intellectual Capital and the Rise of the New Class.

  13. Mills, C.W. The Power Elite

  14. Mills, C.W. The Sociological Imagination

  15. G.H. Mead. Selected Writings ch.3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 16, 18, 20.

  16. Goffman E.: The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life,

  17. Goffman, E. Strategic Interaction

  18. Goffman, E. Interaction Ritual

  19. Goffman, E. Relations in Public

  20. Blumer, H. Symbolic Interactionism

  21. Garfinkel, H. Ethnomethodology

  22. Schutz A. Phenomenology and Society

  23. Douglas J.D. Understanding Everyday Life

  24. Berger P. The Social Construction of Reality

  25. Johnson J.M. Existential Sociology

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