In this course we will closely examine the work of sociology’s canonical thinkers and other early sociological thinkers who were marginalized by the canon. Although the sociological canon has changed over time, today most sociologists would agree that the works of Karl Marx, Max Weber, and Emile Durkheim are central to the discipline, its history, and contemporary sociological thought. We will begin the course with an examination of the historical context that lead to the discipline of sociology. Next we will review C.W. Mill’s work on the sociological imagination, and, using this text as a guide, we will address the works of the aforementioned classical thinkers. Throughout this course, we will ask, “How do the sociological imaginations of Marx, Weber and Durkheim inform the ways they understand society, the individual, social action, and social change?” We will also discuss the role of more marginalized classical sociologists, in an effort to illuminate the political and social frameworks that led to both the development of the canon, and its exclusion of certain thinkers.
- Teacher: Kristi Allain