Soc110+SYLLABUS+Fall+2010 - SOC 110 SOCIOLOGY OF...

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Page 1 of 6 SOC 110 S OCIOLOGY OF O RGANIZATIONS AND I NSTITUTIONS Fall 2010 MWF 9-10 AM 160 Kroeber CCN #: 81795 Instructor: Dr. Linus Huang Email: [email protected] Office hours: Mondays 1-3 PM or by appointment, 483 Barrows Course overview Formal organizations are the manifestation of Max Weber’s bureaucratic ideal type. More than organizations based on tradition such as the church or the family, bureaucracies embody an instrumental rationality which—ideal typically—gets things done far more efficiently than tradition-based organizations. Yet the conventional wisdom about bureaucracy is precisely the opposite of this picture of efficiency: we think of bureaucracies as slow, bloated, and mired down in red tape. In short, they are frequently irrational. The sociology of organizations essentially asks why organizations appear to behave irrationally. Broadly speaking this field is broken up into two subfields: what is called macro-organizational behavior, which is about the relationship between organizations and their external environments; and micro-organizational behavior, which is about the internal design of organizations. We will address both areas in this course. Organizational sociology is a well-established field and students (and professors) encounter two difficulties with it: (1) much of the theory is abstract and expressed in sometimes mathematically formal style; and (2) especially in recent years, it has drifted intellectually toward business school curricula and the questions that research in this field ask reflect the presumed concerns of future business managers. Being a sociology course, we will adopt a more critical tone toward organizations and apply theory toward more traditionally sociological concerns. The first few weeks of the course will be front-loaded with theoretical readings, but the bulk of the course will revolve around a handful of case studies which we will take our time with. It should be fun! Required readings There are three required texts for this course: Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal Bethany McLean & Peter Elkind, The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron Christopher Cooper & Robert Block, Disaster: Hurricane Katrina and the Failure of Homeland Security These books are available for sale at the ASUC bookstore. The Schlosser and McLean & Elkind
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This note was uploaded on 02/04/2011 for the course SOC 110 taught by Professor Powers during the Fall '07 term at Berkeley.

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Soc110+SYLLABUS+Fall+2010 - SOC 110 SOCIOLOGY OF...

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