So304 Fall 2004

Development of Sociological Theory

Tentative syllabus

Instructor: Dr. G. F. Dobbertin

Office: Library 326

Office Hours: MWF @ 12pm

                            MW @  2pm


Text: Readings will be handed out in class.


Course objectives:

The student will be introduced to those social philosophers who created the intellectual foundation of Sociology. This introduction shall be composed of three elements: 1) the philosopher’s ideas and work, 2) the social conditions which generated their ideas and work, 3) salient biographical details about the philosophers themselves. It is expected that the student will become familiar with all the theorists discussed in class and in the readings. The student will also select one theorist and  write a paper on him.


We must learn from the scribblers of the past. John Maynard Keynes was correct when he said “ Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some defunct” social philosopher.



There shall be two essay exams covering the material in the lectures and readings, one is the Midterm and one is the final; both are “open book” and “open note”. The date for the midterm will be October 22nd, Friday; the final is December 15, Wednesday, at 12:30 pm.

The final exam is not comprehensive, it covers the material in the last half of the course. However, the final exam might contain a question requiring the student to integrate ideas from the first half of the course with those from the last half.


Book Report: Each student will select a theorist and read at least one biography about him and at least one volume of his work. This theorist must be chosen from among those presented in the course, the selection approved by Dr. Dobbertin. The student will submit a 15 page book report about his or her subject on  Monday, November 22nd.  This report will be graded and accorded the same weight as one of the exams.


No later than Friday, September 24th, the student must select a theorist and receive approval from Dr. Dobbertin.


By the next Friday, October 1st, the student must hand in to the instructor a bibliography for the paper.


No later than Friday, November 5th, the student will submit a rough draft along with all notes, outlines, and other written material which they have produced for their paper up to this day.


The finished paper must be handed in on Nov. 22, Monday.


Mark all these dates on your calendar:

     Sept. 24th, Friday, select a theorist and get approval

     Oct. 1st , Friday, hand in bibliography

     Nov. 5th, Friday, rough draft and notes are due

     Nov. 22nd , Monday, finished paper is due


      Failure to meet any of these deadlines on time will result in a 5%

      reduction in the grade for your paper.


Grading Scheme:

The midterm, final exam and paper are equally weighted, together they make up 90% of your course grade. There will be short written assignments during the semester and discussion in class which will account for the last 10%.