Course Contents

Course Code and Title: SOS 203-Classical Sociological Theories I

Course Type: Compulsory
Course Level: Undergraduate
Year and Semester: Second year, Autumn
Course Length: One semester, 3 hours lectures per week
Prerequisite(s): None
Language of Instruction: Turkish
Course Credits: 3 0 3
ECTS Credits: 6
Lecturer: Dr. Abdulkerim Sönmez
Course Contents: The course consists of three parts. The first makes a critical introduction to how to distinguish between philosophical and social-scientific thinking and the centrality of classics in the development of social and sociaological theory. This is followed in the second part by an examination of the selected writings of some of the most influential scholars and founding fathers of social theory and sociological thought in antiquity and medival times, namely Plato, Aristotel and Farabi. The third part starts with an examination of Ibn Haldun’s grounding of sociology as a rational-ampirical science, then concentrates on his theory of historical development as an expression of dialectical relations between social organization, politics, economics and culture, and religion and religous movements as an important factor in the development of history and society. This examination serves to illustrate not only a major achievement in the development of sociological thought as separate from philosophy and history but  also as an opportunity to draw attention to major issues concerning theorization of temporal conditions and cyclical patterns of societal and political organization in historical sociology and sociological theory in premodern times. This is followed by an examination of writings of Montesquieu and Tocqueville who witnessed the closing of the mediaval ages but did not see the full emergence of modern society.
Course Objectives: Any successfull student taken this course understands and expresses the approach and the fundamental theoretical structure of the work of each scholar witin itself and in comparison to that of other scholars examined; understands and expresses the differences between philosophical and scientific approaches to society and social issues; understands, expresses and illustrates how the process of construction of sociological theory faces the ampirical reality in its historico-temporal and culture-specific contexts and what the significance these latter sets of factors have for the universal relevance of sociological theory, and develops her/his awareness and grasp of the significance of power, authority, social solidarity and hegemony in the formation of state and society and the dialectical relations between the state, society, culture and economy.
Teaching Method: Lectures and classroom discussions.  
Assessment Method: Written exam (two midtersm (50 %) and one final (50 %).
Recommended Reading:
Aristoteles. (1993) Politika, (trans.by Mete Tunçay) İstanbul: Remzi Kitabevi.
Arslan, Ahmet. (1997) İbn-i Haldun’un İlim ve Fikir Dünyası, Ankara: Vadi Yayınları.
Aron, Raymond. (1989) Sosyolojik Düşüncenin Evreleri, (trans.by Korkmaz Alemdar) Ankara: Bilgi Yayınevi. (İlgili bölümler)
Barnes, Harry Elmer. (1948). An Introduction to the History of Sociology, Chicago ve Londra: The University of Chicago Press.
De Tocqueville, Alexis de. (1962) Amerikan Demokrasisi (trans.by Taner Timur) İstanbul:
El-Fârâbî, Ebu Nasr. (1997) İdeal Devlet, (trans.by Ahmet Arslan) Ankara: Vadi Yayınları.
İbn Haldun, (1990) Mukaddime I, (trans.by Zakir K. Ugan): İstanbul: MEB Yayınları.
Swingewood, Alan. (1991) A Short History of Sociological Thought, (2nd ed.) Macmillan.
Course notes

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