Fall 2016 - SA 350 D100

Classical Sociological Thought (S) (4)

Class Number: 3374

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 6 – Dec 5, 2016: Tue, 8:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    SA 250.



An examination of aspects of the work of one or more of the nineteenth or early twentieth century sociological theorists.


This course explores the work of four foundational thinkers in the field of sociology: Karl Marx (1818-1883), Max Weber (1864-1920), Émile Durkheim (1858-1917), and W.E.B. Du Bois (1868-1963). Though these theorists lived and wrote over a hundred years ago, they addressed issues of continuing relevance today including capitalism, power, inequality, exploitation, labour, class, race, and social change. The course has two central goals. The first is to read the works of Marx, Weber, Durkheim, and Du Bois in their historical contexts and on their own terms, focusing on how to understand and engage complex theoretical arguments. Secondly, we will examine the uses and limitations of the theorists’ ideas for addressing contemporary social problems.


  • Weekly discussion posts 10%
  • Two analytical essays (20% each) 40%
  • In-class exam #1 25%
  • In-class exam #2 25%


All graded assignments in this course must be completed for a final grade other than N to be assigned.

Academic Dishonesty and Misconduct Policy  
The Department of Sociology and Anthropology follows SFU policy in relation to grading practices, grade appeals (Policy T 20.01) and academic dishonesty and misconduct procedures (S10.01- S10.04). Unless otherwise informed by your instructor in writing, in graded written assignments you must cite the sources you rely on and include a bibliography/list of references, following an instructor-approved citation style. It is the responsibility of students to inform themselves of the content of SFU policies available on the SFU website: http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student.html.



Robert C. Tucker, ed. The Marx-Engels Reader. Second Edition. New York: W.W. Norton,

Max Weber. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Mineola, NY: Dover
Publications, 2003.

Émile Durkheim. The Division of Labor in Society. New York: Free Press, 2014.

Émile Durkheim. Elementary Forms of Religious Life. Oxford: Oxford University Press,

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://students.sfu.ca/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html