One goal of social theory is to illuminate connections between our individual experience and social processes. What I would like you to do is to write an essay that shows how to apply some of the sociological theories we have learned this semester to analyze social forces and processes affecting and affected by your studies at your University. We’ve encountered lots of ideas about how social forces operate in society. This is your opportunity to show that you can apply sociological insights to make sense of how what and why you study in college affects and is affected by social processes large and small.
In the spirit of multiperspectival theorizing, please use three different sociological theorists to illuminate potential connections between your college experiences and the larger social processes that have been unfolding around you (in the past and/or the present). What social processes would each theorist highlight? Be sure to pay attention to what the theorist would have to say about social influences unfolding at the micro- and macro-level.
Choose one theorist from each of the three groups listed below and present how she or he would tend to view social influences affecting and affected by your studies at University. Some questions that might be relevant to your thinking about this are: What social forces shape the content of my studies? How does the university fit within larger social and political forces operating in society? How might what I am studying affect my own psychological processes and/or relationships with others? Who benefits from the the way higher education is organized? Who is hurt by this organization? These are just questions to get you thinking about how some of the theorists in the lists below might analyze your experience as a learner in this environment. There are many others that may occur to you…just use the ones that you find most appropriate to each theorist you choose to write about.
Draw upon what we have covered in our discussions, the readings, and the posted instructor’s comments. Be sure to properly cite any quoted and/or paraphrased material drawn from these sources. There is no need to bring in additional sources.
Please select ONE theorist from EACH of the following groups (your essay will thus cover three theorists):
Group 1: Patricia Hill Collins, Karl Marx, C.W. Mills
Group 2: Emile Durkheim, Beatrice Potter Webb, Harriet Martineau
Group 3: Michel Foucault, Dorothy Smith, Molefi Kete Asante