Syllabus

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Theories of Social Differentiation and Social Change

Syllabus

Instructors:  Prof. Dr. hab. Kazimierz M. Slomczynski, Dr. Joshua K. Dubrow, and
Dr. Irina Tomescu-Dubrow
Place: Graduate School for Social Research, Palac Staszica, Nowy Swiat 72, 00-330 Warsaw, Room 242
Time: Wednesdays, 13:00 – 14:30
Course Website: https://theoriesofsocialchange.wordpress.com/
Office Hours:  By appointment
Email:   slomczynski.1@osu.edu, jdubrow2000@yahoo.com, tomescu.1@sociology.osu.edu

Course Description:

This course is designed to cover the major theoretical traditions that studies of social differentiation, and of social, economic and political change. We take an interdisciplinary approach focusing on sociology, political science, economy, and philosophy, among others, to identify the dominant paradigms, examine various sub-theories of each, and contrast perspectives with one another. To guide students’ understanding and use of theory, we will examine historical and contemporary issues in social differentiation and macro-social change. Through its focus on comparison and synthesis, this course should heighten students’ ability to critically evaluate contemporary theories of social change, and to build them into their own research.   

Basic outline of the course:

1.  The Epistemology of Social Science

2.  Basic Issues in Theories of Social Differentiation and Social Change

3.  Directions of Change: Lines, Cycles, Stages and Branches

4.  Social Mobility, Industrialization and Convergence

5.  Mechanisms of Social Differentiation and Social Change:

(a)  Positivist and Idealist Theories
(b)  Functionalist vs. Conflict Theories
(c)  Social Movements
(d)  Psychological Modernization
(e)  World Systems Theory
(f)   Diffusion
(g)  Revolutions

6.  Historicism and Counterfactuals

7.  Dependency, Modernization and Globalization

Course Requirements, and Evaluation:

Three critical assessment papers (15% each): These are relatively short papers (5-6 pages, double spaced) with preset questions based on the readings.  The purpose is to intellectually engage the student in summarizing and critically evaluating the readings. 

Term paper (35%): This final paper (7-12 pages, double spaced) can take one of three forms: (1) A book review of a theoretically driven work on social differentiation and social change; (2) a review of three or more articles on a substantively similar theoretical problem in social differentiation and social change from high quality peer-reviewed academic journals; or (3) an original work of the student that uses theories of social differentiation and social change in preparation of dissertation or journal publication.

Class participation (20%):  Students are expected to discuss all of the assigned readings on the due date and to participate in in-class discussions and projects.  Each week, two students will be designated as discussion leaders, whose job is to provide a short summary of the required readings and at least one debatable issue stemming from these readings. These are not written assignments (i.e., they do not have to be submitted in written form) but the oral presentation must reflect the discussion leaders’ scrupulous preparation based on the readings.

Policies on Attendance, Late Materials, and Make-Ups:

We expect everyone to show up to class on time.  During class, cell phones and other electronic devices with noise-capacity must be turned off.  We will make exceptions to this rule if you explain why you need them turned on during class.  You must inform us of this reason before class begins. 

Please remember to be courteous and polite to one another during heated discussions. We will be with each other for four months and we all need a healthy and comfortable classroom environment to learn and discuss issues.

Assignments are to be turned in electronically, via email (tomescu.1@sociology.osu.edu; jdubrow2000@yahoo.com) by the specified deadline.  We accept late materials only if we are notified 24 hours prior to the deadline.  Late writing assignments will be assessed a penalty of 10% off per day. 

For emailed assignments: it is the responsibility of the student to be sure that the instructor receives it.        

Detailed Course Outline and Course Readings

Course readings are available at the library of the Graduate School for Social Research. Readings marked with an “R” are REQUIRED, or mandatory readings.  Those with “OP” are optional or non-mandatory readings.  TBA is a reading “to be announced” at a later date.  Students are expected to have read at least the REQUIRED readings on the date they are assigned.

Week Topic Readings 
1October 6 The Epistemology of Social Science OP — Merton, Robert K. 1957. Social Theory and Social Structure. Glencoe, IL: Free Press, pp. 85-117.

OP — Fritz Machlup. 1994. “Are the Social Sciences Really Inferior?” Pp. 5-19 in Readings in the Philosophy of Social Science, edited by Michael Martin and Lee C. McIntyre. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

2October 13 Overview: Basic Issues in Theories of Social Differentiation and Social Change R — Sztompka, Piotr. 1994. The Sociology of Social Change. Oxford: Blackwell (Chapters 1 and 2).

R – Luhmann, Niklas. 1990. “The Paradox of System Differentiation and the Evolution of Society.” Pp. 409-440 in Differentiation Theory and Social Change: Comparative and Historical Perspectives, edited by Jeffrey C. Alexander and Paul Colomy, New York: Columbia University.

OP – Eisenstadt, Shmuel. 1964. “Social Change, Differentiation, and Evolution.” American Sociological Review 29 (3): 373-386.

3October 20 Directions of Change: Lines, Cycles, Stages and Branches Part I: Preindustrial to Industrial Society R – Lenski, Gerhard. 1966. Power and Privilege: A Theory of Social Stratification. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. Chapters 1 and 3.

R — Diamond, Jared. 1999. “A Natural Experiment of History,” pp. 53 – 66 in Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. New York: W. W. Norton & Co.

OP — Sanderson, Stephen K. and Arthur S. Alderson. 2005. Chapters 3 – 4, pp. 32 – 81 in World Societies: The Evolution of Human Social Life.

4October 27 Directions of Change: Lines, Cycles, Stages and Branches Part II: The Role of Elites R – Higley, John. 2008. “Elite Theory in Political Sociology.” Paper presented at International Political Science Association annual meeting, Montreal, Canada. 

higley_elite_theory_IPSA_2008

R – Szelenyi, Ivan and Szonja Szelenyi. 1995. “Circulation or Reproduction of Elites during the Postcommunist Transformation of Eastern Europe.” Theory and Society 24(5).

Szelenyi_Szelenyi_elites_postcom_TS_1995

OP — Eyal et al. 2000. “Making Capitalism without Capitalists” in Social Stratification: Class, Race, and Gender in Sociological Perspective, edited by David B. Grusky. CO: Westview Press.

5November 3 Social Mobility, Industrialization and Convergence R – Treiman, Donald J. 1970. “Industrialization and Social Stratification.” Sociological Inquiry 40 (2): 207-234.

Treiman_industrialization_stratification_1970

R – Gagliani, Giorgio. 1985. “Long-term changes in the occupational structure” European Sociological Review 1(3): 183-210.

Gagliani_occstructure_ESR_1985

R – Domanski, Henryk. 2000. On the Verge of Convergence: Social Stratification in Eastern Europe. Budapest: Central European University Press. Selected chapters.

OP — Kazimierz M. Slomczynski, Krystyna Janicka, Goldie Shabad, and Irina Tomescu-Dubrow. 2007. “Changes in Class Structure in Poland, 1988-2003: Crystallization of the Winners–Losers’ Divide” Polish Sociological Review 1(157): 45-64.

OP – Firebaugh, Glenn. 2000. “The Trend in Between-Nation Income Inequality.” Annual Review of Sociology 26: 323-339.

6November 10 Mechanisms of Social Differentiation and Social Change: Idealist and Positivist Theories; Functionalist vs. Conflict Theories R — Davis, Kingsley and Wilbert Moore. 1945. “Some Principles of Stratification.” American Sociological Review 10(2): 242-249.

Davis_Moore_ASR_1945

R – Tumin, Melvin. 1953. “Some Principles of Stratification: A Critical Analysis.” American Sociological Review 18(4): 387-394.

Tumin_reply_ASR_1953

R – Davis, Kinglsey. 1953. “Reply: Some Principles of Stratification: A Critical Analysis.” American Sociological Review 18(4): 394-397.

Davis_1953_ASR_reply_to_Tumin

R – Moore, Wilbert. 1953. “Comment: Some Principles of Stratification: A Critical Analysis.” American Sociological Review 18(4): 397. (yes, it is only two paragraphs long)

Davis_1953_ASR_reply_to_Tumin

OP – Hauhart, Robert C. 2003. “The Davis-Moore Theory of Stratification: The Life Course of a Socially Constructed Classic.” The American Sociologist 34(4): 5-24.

Hauhart_2003_davis_moore_AS

7November 17 Mechanisms of Social Change: Social Movements R — Piven, Frances Fox and Richard A. Cloward. 2005. “Rule Making, Rule Breaking, and Power.” Pp. 33 – 53 in The Handbook of Political Sociology: States, Civil Societies, and Globalization edited by Thomas Janoski, Robert Alford, Alexander Hicks, and Mildred A. Schwartz. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

R – Jenkins, J. Craig and William Form. 2005. “Social Movements and Social Change,” pp. 331 – 349 in The Handbook of Political Sociology: States, Civil Societies and Globalization, edited by Thomas Janoski, Robert Alford, Alexander Hicks and Mildred A. Schwartz. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

8November 24 Mechanisms of Social Differentiation and Social Change: Psychological Modernization R — Sztompka, Piotr. 1994. The Sociology of Social Change. Oxford: Blackwell (Chapter 5 and 16).

R – Coleman, James, S. 1990. Foundation of Social Theory. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press (Chapter 1: Metatheory: Explanation in Social Science, pp. 1-23.

OP — Boudon, Raymond. 1984. Theories of Social Change: A Critical Appraisal. Cambridge: Polity Press (selected chapters).

 

9December 8 Mechanisms of Social Differentiation and Social Change: Idealist Theories R –Inglehart, Ronald. Modernization and Postmodernization. Princeton: Princeton Univerity Press (Chapters 1 and 2).

R — Huntington, Samuel. 1993. “A Clash of Civilizations?” Foreign Affairs 72: 22-49.

Huntington_Clash_of_Civilizations_FA_1993

OP — Boudon, Raymond. 1984. Theories of Social Change: A Critical Appraisal. Cambridge: Polity Press (selected chapters).

10 December 15 Historicism and Counterfactuals R — Sztompka, Piotr. 1994. The Sociology of Social Change. Oxford: Blackwell (Chapters 12-15, 18).

R – Goldthorpe, John H. 2007. On Sociology. Volume One. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press (Chapter 2).

OP — Boudon, Raymond. 1984. Theories of Social Change: A Critical Appraisal. Cambridge: Polity Press (selected chapters).

11January 5 Mechanisms of Social Change: World Systems Theory R – Chase-Dunn, Christopher and Peter Grimes. 1995. “World Systems Analysis.” Annual Review of Sociology 21: 387 – 417.

Chase Dunn “WSA” ARS

R – Sanderson, Stephen K. 2005. “World Systems Analysis after Thirty Years: Should It Rest in Peace?” International Journal of Comparative Sociology 46(3): 179-213.

Sanderson “WSA R.I.P?”

12January 12 Mechanisms of Social Differentiation and Social Change: Diffusion R — Rogers, Everett M. Diffusion of Innovations, 5th Edition. New York: Free Press. (Chapter 1).

R – Wejnert, Barbara. 2005. “Diffusion, Development and Democracy, 1800 – 1999.” American Sociological Review 1(70): 53 – 81.

Wejnert_ASR_2005

13January 19 Mechanisms of Social Differentiation and Social Change: Revolutions R — Sztompka, Piotr. 1994. The Sociology of Social Change. Oxford: Blackwell (Chapter 20).

R – Skocpol, Theda. 1979. States and Social Revolutions: A Comparative Analysis of France, Russia and China. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Chapter 1.

OP — Kriesberg, Louis. 2002. Constructive Conflicts: From Escalation to Resolution, 2nd Edition. New York: Rowman and Littlefield (selected chapters).

OP — Tilly, Charles. From Mobilization to Revolution, Reading, MA: Addison’Wesley, 1986 (selected chapters).

14January 26 Globalization and Transnationalism R- IMF Staff. 2008. Globalization: A Brief Overview

R – Goldhorpe, John H. 2007. On Sociology. Volume One. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press (Chapter 5).

R – Meyer, John W, John Boli, Gorge M. Thomas, and Francisco O. Ramirez. 2008. “World Society and the Nation-State.” Pp. 359-368 in Transnational Studies: Reader, edited by Sanjeev Khagram and Peggy Levitt. New York: Routledge.

R – Portes, Alejandro, Luis Eduardo Guarnizo, and Patricia Landolt. 2008. “The Study of Transnationalism: Pitfalls and Promise of an Emergent Research Field.” Pp. 275-283 in Transnational Studies: Reader, edited by Sanjeev Khagram and Peggy Levitt. New York: Routledge.

15January 28 Conclusion of the Course None

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