Contemporary Social Theory

Eugene Lang College Lib Arts: Sociology

Liberal Arts

Undergraduate Course

Degree Students

Contemporary Social Theory

Spring 2020

Taught By: Julia Sonnevend

Section: A

CRN: 3652

Credits: 4

The general theme for the course will be the crisis of contemporary democracy, and the contribution of social theory in understanding the causes and possible alternative solutions.Since the crisis of structural functionalism, serious social theory has been renewed by only very few authors. We will begin with reconstructing two such efforts: one by Talcott Parsons and the other by Juergen Habermas. In each case we will examine the treatment of democracy: representative, plebiscitary and populist in both the original authors and the two interpreters. As to new departures in theory, the rest of the course will focus on the problems of democracy and civil society, by presenting the relevant works of Germani, Arendt, Habermas, Claus Offe, Arato/Cohen on one side, Foucault, Rancière and Laclau /Mouffe on the other. Students will be expected to read roughly 200 pages a week, and to produce one 20 page research paper comparing two authors from the readings, or one author from the list and another the student’s own choice.

College: Eugene Lang College Lib Arts (LC)

Department: Sociology (LSOC)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Lecture (L)

Max Enrollment: 18

Enrollment Status: Open*

*Enrollment status information is updated every five minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 4:25pm 9/15/2019

Meeting Info:

Days: Monday, Wednesday

Times: 10:00am - 11:40am



Date Range: 1/22/2020 - 5/11/2020