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Regular version of the site
Bachelor 2018/2019

Introduction to Sociology, Anthropology and Demography

Area of studies: International Relations
When: 1 year, 3, 4 module
Mode of studies: Full time
Language: English
ECTS credits: 4

Course Syllabus

Abstract

The course is aimed at giving theoretical and methodological resources to reflect on various social and economic phenomena which bind traditional, modern and (post)modern society. The emergence of the ‘sociology of modern society’ was recognized as a break with tradition. At the same time, there is a strong debate on whether this break was intellectually fruitful especially after the turn to a (post)modern state. For example, the growing interest in the artifacts of traditional society, such as gift giving, bazaars, and communities, realizes the need towards the resocialization of economy and society based on new technologies. Social sciences have accumulated rich theoretical and empirical resources which could be applied to conceptualize and objectify present-day challenges of human coexistence. During the course, we will rely on these resources to discuss the agenda of contemporary society. This introductory course exposes the structure of social sciences and the relationships between subfields to provide the polemics between several disciplines – sociology, demography, anthropology, and economic science. It is divided into several sessions which represent main spheres of sociological investigation: gift exchange, market exchange, capitalism, family, religion, social networks, organizations, and state. Lectures in each session rely on the theoretical debates, local cases, and comparative data which represent various countries.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • Students are expected to acquire a fair understanding of the relationships between social and economic sciences and their role in contemporary world.
  • Social-scientific knowledge is organized in texts which require specific techniques of reading.
  • Students will learn to read and decipher the social-scientific texts, but also to develop their own judgments and express them in written academic texts.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Familiarity with the main issues of modern social thought.
  • Familiarity with the main concepts and schools in social theory, with the context of the development of modern social thought.
  • Familiarity with the main concepts of Marx's theory of Capital and Capitalism.
  • Familiarity with the origins of modern capitalism and Weber's argument in "The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism".
  • Familiarity with the main concepts of stratification theory: class, status, inequality, forms of capital & conversion of capitals.
  • Familiarity with the two meanings of the 'economical' and grand debate between K. Polanyi and L. Robins.
  • Familiarity with the main concepts of gift and sharing economy.
  • Familiarity with the main sociological theories and concepts of religion.
  • Familiarity with the grand distinction between public and private religion, measures of religiosity.
  • Familiarity with the main sociological theories of marriage and family formation.
  • Familiarity with the main arguments and critics of the first and second demographic transition theories.
  • Familiarity with the difference between economic and sociological theories of markets.
  • Familiarity with the main theories of formal organization and the notion of bureaucratic-professional conflict.
  • Familiarity with the sociological distinctions of market analysis related to knowledge and evaluation.
  • Familiarity with the difference between institutions and organizations; with the old and new institutional theory in organizational analysis, with the difference between the notions of organizational efficiency and legitimacy.
  • Familiarity with the theories of state formation and the relationship between state and economy.
  • Familiarity with the critics of the modern state and the origins of the informal economy.
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Introduction to Sociology. Course overview.
  • Community and Society
  • The transition to modern society as a sociological problem.
  • Capital and Capitalism. Marx.
  • Social Stratification and Inequality.
  • Market and Alternative Forms of Economic Integration
  • Anthropology and Sociology of the Gift.
  • Sociology of Religion I. Elementary forms of religious life.
  • Sociology of Religion II. Public and private religion.
  • Sociology of family I. Marriage and the construction of social reality.
  • Sociology of family II. Childbirth and Theories of Demographic Transition.
  • Sociology of markets I. The social construction of a perfect market.
  • Sociology of Markets II. Knowledge and valuation in markets.
  • Sociology of Organizations I. The analysis of bureaucratic-professional conflict.
  • Sociology of Organizations II. Collective rationality and institutional isomorphism in organizational fields.
  • Theories of state formation. The autonomous power of the state.
  • Seeing like a State. State Simplifications.
  • The origins of modern capitalism. Weber.
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Short quizzes on one of the assigned readings
  • non-blocking Presentation of the readings delivered in class and participation in class discussions.
  • non-blocking Take-home short essay
  • non-blocking Final test in class.
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (4 module)
    0.25 * Final test in class. + 0.25 * Presentation of the readings delivered in class and participation in class discussions. + 0.25 * Short quizzes on one of the assigned readings + 0.25 * Take-home short essay
Bibliography

Bibliography

Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Aries, P. (1980). Two Successive Motivations for the Declining Birth Rate in the West. Population & Development Review, 6(4), 645–650. https://doi.org/10.2307/1972930
  • Chaves, M. (1995). Public Religions in the Modern World. By Jose Casanova. University of Chicago Press, 1994. 320 pp. Cloth, $49.95; paper, $17.95. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.CA69CBC3
  • DiMaggio, P. (1982). Cultural Capital and School Success: The Impact of Status Culture Participation on the Grades of U.S.High School Students. American Sociological Review, 47(2), 189–201. https://doi.org/10.2307/2094962
  • DiMaggio, P. J., & Powell, W. W. (1983). The Iron Cage Revisited: Institutional Isomorphism and Collective Rationality in Organizational Fields. American Sociological Review, 48(2), 147–160. https://doi.org/10.2307/2095101
  • Duranton, G., Rodríguez-Pose, A., & Sandall, R. (2009). Family Types and the Persistence of Regional Disparities in Europe. Economic Geography, 85(1), 23–47. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1944-8287.2008.01002.x
  • Emile Durkheim. (2013). The Elementary Forms of Religious Life. [N.p.]: Digireads.com Publishing. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1537440
  • Karl Marx, & Friedrich Engels. (2019). The Communist Manifesto. [N.p.]: Vintage. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=2156462
  • M.-F. Garcia. (2010). The Social Construction of a Perfect Market: The Strawberry Auction at Fontaines-en-Sologne. VOPROSY ECONOMIKI. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsrep&AN=edsrep.a.nos.voprec.2010.08.5
  • Mauss, M., Parry, J. P., Bloch, M., & Guyer, J. I. (2015). The Gift : Expanded Edition. Chicago: HAU. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1891862
  • Patrik Aspers. (2009). Knowledge and valuation in markets. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.AD64EF43
  • Perrow, C. (1991). A society of organizations. Theory & Society, 20(6), 725–762. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00678095
  • Polanyi, K. (2010). Article - “Our Obsolete Market Mentality.” Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.DA7BA4CC
  • Scott, J. C. (2014). State Simplifications: Nature, Space and People. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.AEBD727A
  • Simmel, G. (1913). How is Society Possible? History of Economic Thought Articles. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsrep&AN=edsrep.a.hay.hetart.simmel.1913
  • Weber, M., & Parsons, T. (2013). The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1152478
  • Yudin, G. (2016). Sociology as a Naïve Science: Alfred Schütz and the Phenomenological Theory of Attitudes. Human Studies, 39(4), 547–568. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10746-016-9401-9
  • Дюркгейм, Э., & Юдин, Г. (2013). The dualism of human nature and its social conditions ; Дуализм человеческой природы и его социальные условия. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.C7CD953A
  • Флигстин, Н. (2010). States, Markets, and Economic Growth ; Государство, рынки и экономической рост. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.87CFB831

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • SCHOR, J. (2016). Debating the Sharing Economy. Journal of Self-Governance & Management Economics, 4(3), 7–22. https://doi.org/10.22381/jsme4320161