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Sociologists

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Sociologists

Instructions:

Please read the final exam instruction I provided.

FINAL EXAM

Write analytical essays in form of answers to two out of the three questions listed below.

Each question asks you to talk about a central topic discussed by the classical sociological theorists. Each answer should be four to five pages long (double-spaced, 12

point Times New Roman font, one inch margins) and engage with the readings examined throughout the quarter. Make sure to answer the entire question. Each question has several parts – to get the highest possible score you need to address each part.

 

All three questions are equally demanding. You won’t get a better or worse grade by

choosing one rather than the other. To pass the exam, you need to provide essays to each of the two essay questions that you choose. Each answer or essay will be graded

separately. You can use the entire range of primary classical texts by Smith,

Marx/Engels, Weber, Elias, Durkheim and Mauss, Veblen, and the authors of the Chicago School, i.e. Thomas, Park, and Thrasher, listed on the syllabus. You also find a

list of these texts with an example of how to reference them at the end of this exam

paper.

Do not make references to texts not on this list.

The central task is to compare what different authors have to say about the same topic.

The questions are all written in a way that makes it possible to draw on at least three of

the different schools of thought that we discussed. To get the highest possible score you

have to engage more than two different schools in each essay (comparing, for instance, Marx and Weber very well, without discussing a third author, will not get you the highest score). This does not imply that all schools of thought or authors had something to say about each topic – part of the task of this exam is to make your own selection of authors and texts that are relevant.

Hints

There are 4 different major schools that we learned: Marx, Weber, Durkheim and Chicago school. Choose 2-3 of them to write about in each essay. Make sure you put quotation correctly as I mention below.

ESSAY QUESTIONS 

Essay Question 1:

The division of labor is a central theme among the sociologists discussed throughout the quarter. What are the similarities and differences in the various accounts of this

phenomenon? What role does the division of labor play in contemporary society

according to the authors? What is the assumed connection, if any, of the division of

labor to other concepts that can be used to describe the economy (as for instance capitalism) or to other spheres of social life, such as politics? What role does the division of labor play in producing and/or sustaining economic and other forms of inequality?

Essay Question 2:

Classical sociologists described social life as either dominated by cooperation or by

conflict. What are the guiding motives of individual actors that lead them to cooperate or

to be in conflict with each other? Do people have to believe that the existing social order

is morally justified in order to comply to the rules on norms of society and how important

is religion in this regard? What role does economic inequality play in either sustaining or

transforming the existing social order? Is it possible and/or desirable to create a society in which no inequality exists?

Essay Question 3:

The discussed authors presented accounts of how societies of the past differ from

societies at the present. How do these theorists describe these differences between past and present and how do they explain the historical transition from the former to the

latter? How does the relation between individual and society change throughout history,

i.e. what are the effects of different forms of society on individuals’ wealth, personal

autonomy, and/or self-realization? What kind of changes for the future (from their point

of view) do the authors envision?

REFERENCES AND ABBREVIATIONS

Adam Smith:

WN Smith: The Wealth of Nations (44-54)

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels:

WCM Engels: The Condition of the Working Class in England (7-26, 53-65)

RY Marx: Reflections of a Youth on Choosing an Occupation (35-39)

EL Marx: Estranged Labor (from Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844). (70-81)

WLC Marx: Wage Labor and Capital (203-217)

FC Marx: The Fetishism of Commodities (319-329)

GI Marx and Engels: The German Ideology (146-163)

MCP Marx and Engels: Manifesto of the Communist Party (469-491)

CPE Marx: Preface to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy (3-6)

CU Marx: The Coming Upheaval (218-219)

SUS Engels: Socialism: Utopian and Scientific (690-694)

Max Weber and Norbert Elias:

NSA Weber: The Nature of Social Action (7-13, 28-32)

O Weber: The ‘Objectivity’ of Knowledge in Social Science and Social Policy (359-360, 385-404)

SV Weber: Science as a Vocation (129-156)

OIC Weber: The Origins of Industrial Capitalism in Europe (from Introduction:

Collected Essays on the Economic Ethics of the World Religions) (331- 340)

PA Weber: Protestant Asceticism and the Spirit of Capitalism (from The

Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism) (138-173)

PS Weber: The Protestant Sects and the Spirit of Capitalism (302-313, 319- 322)

CSP Weber: Classes, Status Groups, and Parties (43-61)

LR Weber: The Three Pure Types of Legitimate Rule (133-145)

B Weber: Bureaucracy (245-249)

CS Elias: The Court Society (1-4, 21-24, 35-40, 78-116)

Emile Durkheim, Marcel Mauss, and Thorstein Veblen:

RSM Durkheim: The Rules of Sociological Method (53-79)

S Durkheim: Suicide (81-105)

DL Durkheim: The Division of Labor in Society (23-47)

II Durkheim: Individualism and the Intellectuals (43-57)

EF Durkheim: The Elementary Forms of Religious Life (107-128)

G Mauss: The Gift: The Form and Reason for Exchange in Archaic Societies (1-18)

LC Veblen: The Theory of the Leisure Class (1-18, 68-85)

Chicago School:

DR Thomas: Social Disorganization and Social Reorganization (3-10)

HM Park: Human Migration and the Marginal Man (881-893)

CSL Park: The city as a social laboratory (73-87)

G Thrasher: The Gang: A study of 1,313 Gangs in Chicago (3-44, 82-101)

How to quote:

When you quote a passage from a text on this reference list, always make sure to use quotation marks followed by a reference in parenthesis containing the name of the author, the abbreviation of the cited work, and the page number.

 

Example: Max Weber argued that while the Puritan wanted to be a man with a calling;

we are compelled to be” (Weber PA: 170).

The Course in Short

Meeting 1: Overview

Meeting 2-5: Adam Smith, Karl Marx, and Friedrich Engels

Meeting 6-10: Max Weber and Norbert Elias

Meeting 11: Midterm Exam

Meeting 12-16: Emile Durkheim, Marcel Mauss, and Thorstein Veblen

Meeting 17-19: William I. Thomas, Robert E. Park, and Frederic M. Thrasher

Meeting 20: Review

 

Schedule

 

Meeting 1: March 29

Overview: What is sociological theory and why is it important?

MEETING 2-5: ADAM SMITH, KARL MARX, AND FRIEDRICH ENGELS

Required background reading: Giddens: Marx (1-64)

Meeting 2: March 31

Smith, Adam. (1776) 2007: "The Wealth of Nations" Pp. 44-54 in Classical Sociological

Theory. Second Edition, edited by Craig Calhoun et al. Oxford: Blackwell.

Engels, Friedrich. (1845) 1968: The Condition of the Working Class in England.

Stanford: Stanford University Press. (7-26, 53-65)

Meeting 3: April 5

Marx: Reflections of a Youth on Choosing an Occupation (35-39)

Marx: Estranged Labor (70-81)

Marx: Wage Labor and Capital (203-217)

Marx: The Fetishism of Commodities (319-329)

5

Meeting 4: April 7

Marx and Engels: The German Ideology (146-163)

Marx and Engels: Manifesto of the Communist Party (469-491)

Marx: Preface to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy (3-6)

Marx: The Coming Upheaval (218-219)

Engels: Socialism: Utopian and Scientific (690-694)

Meeting 5: April 12

Hochschild, Arlie Russell. 1983. The Managed Heart: Commercialization of

Human Feeling. Berkeley: University of California Press. (3-23, 89-136)

MEETING 6-10: MAX WEBER AND NORBERT ELIAS

Required background reading: Giddens: Weber (119-184)

Meeting 6: April 14

Weber: The Nature of Social Action (7-13, 28-32)

Weber: The ‘Objectivity’ of Knowledge in Social Science and Social Policy (359-360,

385-404)

Weber: Science as a Vocation (129-156)

Meeting 7: April 19

Weber: The Origins of Industrial Capitalism in Europe (331-340)

Weber: Protestant Asceticism and the Spirit of Capitalism (138-173)

Weber: The Protestant Sects and the Spirit of Capitalism (302-313, 319-322)

Meeting 8: April 21

Weber: Classes, Status Groups, and Parties (43-61)

Weber: The Three Pure Types of Legitimate Rule (133-145)

Weber: Bureaucracy (245-249)

Meeting 9: April 26

Elias, Norbert. (ca.1933) 1983: The Court Society. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. (1-4, 21-24,

35-40, 78-116)

Meeting 10: April 28

Jackall, Robert. 1988. Moral Mazes: The World of Corporate Managers. Oxford: Oxford

University Press. (3-16, 41-74)

6

Meeting 11: May 3

In class Midterm Examination

MEETING 12-16: EMILE DURKHEIM, MARCEL MAUSS, AND THORSTEIN

VEBLEN

Required background reading: Giddens: Durkheim (65-118)

Meeting 12: May 5

Durkheim: The Rules of Sociological Method (53-79)

Durkheim: Suicide (81-105)

Meeting 13: May 10

Durkheim: The Division of Labor in Society (23-47)

Durkheim: Individualism and the Intellectuals, in: Robert Bellah (ed.): Emile Durkheim

on Morality and Society (43-57)

Meeting 14: May 12

Durkheim: The Elementary Forms of Religious Life (107-128)

Meeting 15: May 17

Mauss, Marcel. (1925) 2000: The Gift: The Form and Reason for Exchange in Archaic

Societies. New York: W. W. Norton. (1-18)

Veblen, Thorstein. (1899) 1934: The Theory of the Leisure Class. New York: Modern

Library. (1-18, 68-85)

Meeting 16: May 19

Alexander, Jeffrey. 1988. "Culture and political crisis: `Watergate` and Durkheimian

Sociology." Pp. 187-224 in Durkheimian Sociology: Cultural Studies, edited by

Jeffrey Alexander. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

MEETING 17-19: THE CHICAGO SCHOOL: WILLIAM I. THOMAS, ROBERT E.

PARK, AND FREDERIC M. THRASHER

Required background reading: Abbott, Andrew. 1997. "Of Time and Space: The

Contemporary Relevance of the Chicago School." Social Forces 75(4):1149-82.

Meeting 17: May 24

Thomas, William I. (1918) 1966. "Social Disorganization and Social Reorganization."

Pp. 3-10 in On Social Organization and Social Personality. Chicago: University

of Chicago Press.

Park Robert E. 1928. "Human Migration and the Marginal Man." American Journal of

Sociology 33(6):881-93.

Park, Robert E. (1929) 1952. "The City as a Social Laboratory." Pp. 73-87 in Human

Communities: The City and Human Ecology. Glencoe: Free Press.

Meeting 18: May 26

Thrasher, Frederic M. 1927. The Gang: A Study of 1,313 Gangs in Chicago. Chicago:

University of Chicago Press. (3-44, 82-101)

Meeting 19: May 31

Katz, Jack. 1988. Seductions of Crime: Moral and Sensual Attractions in doing Evil. New

York: Basic Books. (3-51)

Content:

Essay question 1 The division of labor is a very essential in every economic system. The history of labor is full of different perceptions which the sociologists have tried to explain to pass their actual perception on this sector. In any effective production center, there should be an effective division of labor to make sure that the achievement is high. The three theorists that are Marx, Weber and Durkheim, gave their opinions pertaining the divisions of labor within an economic system. They seem to agree in some region, and also they differ in other aspects. In their studies there are similarities and differences which can be observed. The three sociologists, Weber, Marx and Durkheim, seem to agree that division of labor is tied to standardization of the production. Durkheim strongly advocates that for free trade to persevere there should be a division of labor. For Marx, he argues that division of labor causes differences within the society as it leads to classes that plant dissension within the workers. To Weber division of labor leads to one group within the society being powerful than the other thus the superior group has control over the inferior group. Therefore, different people have a different level of earning as argued by these theorists (Weber PA: 360). Therefore, there is standardization of individual level of living according to the level of earning of the individual. To maintain and lift the standards level, individuals have to work to their capabilities...


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