Fall 2017 - SA 350 D100

Classical Sociological Thought (S) (4)

Class Number: 2501

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 5 – Dec 4, 2017: Mon, 1:30–5:20 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 focuses on the classical tradition of sociological thought which emerged from the writings of leading theorists. Among these theorists are Karl Marx, Max Weber, and Emile Durkheim. The course examines the earliest concepts, theories, and methods of sociology found in the writings of these thinkers. Through focused reading, critical analysis, in-depth class discussion, historical investigation, and film materials, we will compare and contrast their thoughts on the processes of commodification, capital accumulation and restructuring of social classes, the organization of state power and political alliances, social inequality, as well as the possibility of social cohesion. The course presents a space for an in-depth navigation across the long twentieth century of historical capitalism. It also offers a judicious rethinking of the twenty-first century processes of neoliberalism. Throughout the semester this course will provide a forum to rethink politics and address historical and global dimensions of social change by making connections to today’s world and by exploring alternatives to the Euro-centrism often found in these theories.


  • Written summaries (x 2) 30%
  • Class presentation 30%
  • Critical journals 25%
  • Presenting the international news of the week 5%
  • Participation (details will be discussed in class) 10%


Students will receive an N (incomplete) grade if they do not complete any one of the following assignments: Two sets of written summaries; class presentations; and critical journals. An N is considered an F for purposes of scholastic standing.

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.



Laura Desfor Edles and Scott Appelrouth (2015). Sociological Theory in the Classical Era: Text and Readings, edition 3. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press.
ISBN: 978-1452203614

Custom Course Package (to be purchased)

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