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abend theory syllabus spring 2011

Abend theory syllabus spring 2011

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Unformatted text preview: V93.0111: SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY SPRING 2011 NEW YORK UNIVERSITY Professor: Gabriel Abend Teaching Assistant: Mark Cohen 0. Time/Place Lectures: Tue and Thu 11:00 ­12:15 Kimm 808 Recitation sections: either Tue 12:30 ­1:45 Bobs LL149 or Thu 2:00 ­3:15 Bobs LL150 1. What Have you ever wondered about questions like these?  ­ What makes weird people weird?  ­ Why has capitalism won out over other systems?  ­ Why are my computer and my piano mine?  ­ Do races really exist or are they socially constructed?  ­ Does the society you live in determine your seemingly free choices?  ­ Why do we think that slavery, infanticide, and genital mutilation aren’t okay? In this course we’ll look at how some very smart people have tried to answer them. More generally, my aim is to introduce you to the ideas of the most penetrating and imaginative people who’ve ever written about society and social relations (or to some of them, anyway). There’s a little catch, though: you’ll have to read a lot of stuff and read it carefully. Some readings are more fun than others; some are more difficult to understand than others. But I can assure you that all of the authors we’ll read are worth your time and effort. They are very smart people indeed. 2. How There are two approaches to teaching sociological theory. Call them “authors” and “pro...
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