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Sociological Theories

Sociological Theories
Order Description
Marx
1. What is Marx’s methodology?
a. What are its premises? How are they grounded in both the Enlightenment and Western Europe’s industrial revolution and rapid urbanization of the late 1800s?
b. How does Marx apply this methodology to analyze the organization and transformations of society (as modes of production) over human history?
2. According to Marx’s methodology, what are the fundamental characteristics of class-based societies (modes of production), and how do such societies change?
3. How, within this framework, is the capitalist mode of production organized socially and economically?
a. What are its forms of class relations and alienation?
b. What kinds of crises does the organization of capitalism cause, and why?
c. How, according to Marx, will the organization of capitalism and its endemic crises eventually lead to capitalism’s demise?
d. What will replace capitalism?
e. In Marx’s view, what is bad and good about capitalism?

Durkheim
1. What is Durkheim’s methodology?
a. What is his fundamental concern? How does it reflect both the Enlightenment and Western Europe’s political upheavals, industrial revolution, and rapid urbanization of the late 1700s to early 1900s?
b. What does Durkheim say we should study, and how?
c. How does Durkheim apply this methodology to analyze the changing organization of society (as divisions of labor and forms of social solidarity) over human history?
2. According to Durkheim’s methodology, what are the fundamental differences between earlier societies and modern societies?
3. Within this framework:
a. What are the principal problems of modern society, and what are their causes?
b. How potentially can these problems be mitigated?
c. In Durkheim’s view, what is bad and good about modern society?

Weber
1. What is Weber’s methodology?
a. What is his fundamental concern? How does it reflect the Enlightenment as well as Western Europe’s transformations of the late 1800s and early 1900s?
b. Why does he argue, contrary to Durkheim, that social science can’t fully adopt the methodology of the natural sciences?
c. What should the social sciences study, and how (by comparing ideal-types of social action)?
2. Given Weber’s methodological framework of comparing ideal-types of social action and seeking interpretive understanding of social action within such types:
a. What is the organizing force of society (that is, Weber’s fundamental concern), and how do individuals and groups seek to obtain and use it (class, status, and party)?
b. Why, according to Weber, is status generally more important than class?
c. After an individual or group has obtained domination, why does it make sense to translate domination into authority?
i. Regarding authority, what are the three principal forms of legitimacy?
ii. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each form?
d. What is the principal way in which authority is exercised in modern society? What threat does it pose to humanity and democracy?
3. In Weber’s view, what is bad and good about capitalism?

The paper will compare the theoretical frameworks and research methodologies of Marx/Engels, Durkheim, and Weber. Format requirements: a minimum of approximately 1000 words of text (not counting title material or references; no maximum word count), typed, double spaced; Times New Roman 12-point font; Chicago, MLA, or APA style with in-text citations and references page; and substantiated with page-cited quoted or paraphrased statements from the original writings of Marx/Engels, Durkheim, and Weber (not from the writings of book editors or others who describe or analyze such original writings).
Unless otherwise approved by the instructor, each student’s essay will consist of point-by-point responses to the questions displayed above, adapted to essay form without including extraneous material (such as “Marx, Durkheim, and Weber were social theorists…”).

Order Description
Marx
1. What is Marx’s methodology?
a. What are its premises? How are they grounded in both the Enlightenment and Western Europe’s industrial revolution and rapid urbanization of the late 1800s?
b. How does Marx apply this methodology to analyze the organization and transformations of society (as modes of production) over human history?
2. According to Marx’s methodology, what are the fundamental characteristics of class-based societies (modes of production), and how do such societies change?
3. How, within this framework, is the capitalist mode of production organized socially and economically?
a. What are its forms of class relations and alienation?
b. What kinds of crises does the organization of capitalism cause, and why?
c. How, according to Marx, will the organization of capitalism and its endemic crises eventually lead to capitalism’s demise?
d. What will replace capitalism?
e. In Marx’s view, what is bad and good about capitalism?

Durkheim
1. What is Durkheim’s methodology?
a. What is his fundamental concern? How does it reflect both the Enlightenment and Western Europe’s political upheavals, industrial revolution, and rapid urbanization of the late 1700s to early 1900s?
b. What does Durkheim say we should study, and how?
c. How does Durkheim apply this methodology to analyze the changing organization of society (as divisions of labor and forms of social solidarity) over human history?
2. According to Durkheim’s methodology, what are the fundamental differences between earlier societies and modern societies?
3. Within this framework:
a. What are the principal problems of modern society, and what are their causes?
b. How potentially can these problems be mitigated?
c. In Durkheim’s view, what is bad and good about modern society?

Weber
1. What is Weber’s methodology?
a. What is his fundamental concern? How does it reflect the Enlightenment as well as Western Europe’s transformations of the late 1800s and early 1900s?
b. Why does he argue, contrary to Durkheim, that social science can’t fully adopt the methodology of the natural sciences?
c. What should the social sciences study, and how (by comparing ideal-types of social action)?
2. Given Weber’s methodological framework of comparing ideal-types of social action and seeking interpretive understanding of social action within such types:
a. What is the organizing force of society (that is, Weber’s fundamental concern), and how do individuals and groups seek to obtain and use it (class, status, and party)?
b. Why, according to Weber, is status generally more important than class?
c. After an individual or group has obtained domination, why does it make sense to translate domination into authority?
i. Regarding authority, what are the three principal forms of legitimacy?
ii. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each form?
d. What is the principal way in which authority is exercised in modern society? What threat does it pose to humanity and democracy?
3. In Weber’s view, what is bad and good about capitalism?

The paper will compare the theoretical frameworks and research methodologies of Marx/Engels, Durkheim, and Weber. Format requirements: a minimum of approximately 1000 words of text (not counting title material or references; no maximum word count), typed, double spaced; Times New Roman 12-point font; Chicago, MLA, or APA style with in-text citations and references page; and substantiated with page-cited quoted or paraphrased statements from the original writings of Marx/Engels, Durkheim, and Weber (not from the writings of book editors or others who describe or analyze such original writings).
Unless otherwise approved by the instructor, each student’s essay will consist of point-by-point responses to the questions displayed above, adapted to essay form without including extraneous material (such as “Marx, Durkheim, and Weber were social theorists…”).

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