Sociology 319

Winter 2003

Second Paper  (15 points)

Due: March 14, 2003


Select a topic or an author different from that you selected for the first paper.   If relevant, include a critique of the views of the sociologist or sociological perspective discussed in your paper.  The paper is to be approximately five double-spaced printed pages.  Make sure you include a list of reference sources.



1.      Some sociological perspectives appear more compatible with feminism than are others.  Select a sociological perspective discussed in class and write an essay examining whether and how feminist theory can be integrated with this perspective.  The articles by Denzin and by West and Fenstermaker (on reserve) may be helpful.

2.      From “On Face-Work” or other sources, explain Goffman’s view of the self.

3.      Outline the essential aspects of rational choice theory, explaining how it uses elements from other sociological approaches but provides a different perspective on social action.  If possible, provide examples.

4.      Giddens argued that modernity is both fragmenting and uniting in “Dilemmas of the Self.”  Illustrate this with historical examples from Chapter 14 of Turner, or other sources.

5.      Explain some aspects of world-systems analysis or globalization theories.  Provide examples of how aspects of such approaches exist in earlier sociological perspectives

6.      Critical theory and Giddens approach modernity in different ways.  Compare and contrast ideas from “Dilemmas of the Self” with approaches to modernity from critical theory.

7.      Select one or more contemporary feminist writers and write an essay showing how their ideas contribute to a study of sociology and the social world. 

8.      Select one or more critical theorists and explain their views (Benjamin, Horkheimer, Adorno, Marcuse, Habermas).

9.      Any other topic that may be relevant to a discussion of contemporary sociological theory – but discuss with me first.

Option to combine second and third papers.  To replace the second and third papers, you could write one longer paper.  This paper is to be on a topic in contemporary sociological theory, more comprehensive than the short papers, and approximately double the length of the short papers.  Discuss this with me or send me an email with a proposed topic.

Paul Gingrich

February 12, 2003