Sociology 250

Fall 1995

Second Short Paper

Due: November 10, 1995

Choose one of the following six topics and write a short paper on this topic. The paper should be no longer than three typewritten double-spaced pages. While you should not use too many quotes in a short paper, where you use quotes or refere nces, these should be properly cited. If you use only the sources listed in the class syllabus or below, these can be cited like (Ritzer, p. 27) or (Sydie, pp. 34-35). If you use other sources, complete citations should be provided in footnotes or at the end of the paper.

Avoid using "man" and "he" in the generic sense, except where they are part of a direct quote. Otherwise, if you use "man" or "he" I will assume you are referring to males only.


1. Max Weber has returned to North America as a newspaper correspondent to write about the upcoming referendum in Quebec. Write Weber's analysis.

2. Weber analyzed stratification as multidimensional -- involving class, status and party. Take one or more of these dimensions and illustrate how Weber's approach could be used to examine some aspect of social stratification or some social issue in Canada today.

3. Write a short paper outlining how Weber connects power, authority and rationalization in his analysis of bureaucracy.

4. "Rationalization plays the same role within Weber's theoretical system that class struggle serves in the Marxian theoretical structure." Comment on and critique this statement, focussing primarily on Weber's views.

5. Take Ritzer's description of Weber's ideal type bureaucracy and apply this description to some bureaucracy with which you are familiar (e.g. the University of Regina, a company you have worked for). Write an essay showing how the example is simil ar to or differs from the ideal type. Where possible, point out sociological implications of these similarities or differences.

6. Write a feminist critique of either Weber 's view of patriarchy or some aspect(s) of Durkheim's writings.

7. In Saskatchewan, considerably higher proportions of people of aboriginal origin are imprisoned than are people of other origins. What might Durkheim have to say about this?

8. Some of the ideas of Durkheim can be found in the structural functionalist approach of Parsons. Present some of the main ideas and arguments of Parsons that are built on these earlier approaches, showing how Parsons used these concepts.

9. Durkheim and Marx are often considered to have completely opposed theories of society. At the same time there are a number of similarities in the way that Durkheim and Marx examine society. Write an essay comparing Durkheim and Marx, concentratin g primarily on the similarities between their approaches, but pointing out differences where necessary.

Rewrite Option.

After seeing the comments and receiving the mark on any of these short papers, you may wish to rewrite that paper, taking the comments into account. If you do so, I will mark the paper again. The final grade will be the average of the original and fina l grades. In no case will the grade for the paper be lowered. If you wish to do this, check with me to arrange a due date for the rewrite.


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