Sociology 319 Contemporary Social Theories

Midterm Examination Part II

11:30 a.m. 12:20 p.m., March 3, 2006


Essay question

Select one of the following and write an essay on the topic (30 points),




  1. Critical theory and the systems approach of Parsons are often viewed as opposed approaches to sociological theory. At the same time, they have some similarities. Discuss the similarities and outline possible reasons for these similarities.


  1. Explain how Marcuse uses earlier critical theory but introduces new elements in developing his critique of one-dimensional society.


  1. Using the critique of the culture industry and commercialization, explain and illustrate how the creative and spontaneous side of reason has become subordinate to the system.


  1. Explain how Habermas deals with issues examined by earlier social theorists but addresses them through his theory of communicative action.


  1. Contrast how Parsons and Goffman use the concept of role in explaining social action and interaction.


  1. Compare and contrast how Goffman and Hochschild include emotions in their analysis of social interaction.