SOC 221(F) Social Change

Sociology as a discipline emerged amid the accelerating social changes that marked the modern era, and can be interpreted as an effort, on the part of the Western intellectual community, to understand and explain this process. This course will explore a range of theories offered by sociologists in an effort to comprehend social change in its various manifestations, from the rise of capitalism to secularization, and from the French Revolution to the demise of socialism in Russia and Eastern Europe. It will address agendas and visions implicated in sociological analyses of social change, and explore the patterns in which the theories themselves change over time, with a particular emphasis on the rise and fall of such key concepts as development and modernization, or progress and evolution. Topics include: development of the nation-state and globalization, capitalism and modernity, revolutions and the public sphere, social movements and collective identities, religion and secularization, long-term and short-term societal crises and the organization of everyday life in extraordinary times. Format: lecture/discussion. Requirements: a take-home midterm exam, a class presentation and a final paper. Enrollment limit: (25) (expected: 25).