SOCI 833: Special Topics in Sociology

SOCI 833-001: Political Sociology
(Fall 2022)

07:20 PM to 10:00 PM W

Innovation Hall 323

View in the schedule of classes

Section Information for Fall 2022

This course introduces graduate students to the sociological study of politics. Relations of power and authority, social institutions, networks, and culture are just some of the fundamental “gateway” concepts (variously theorized) that political sociologists rely on to make sense more innovative concepts for exploring dynamic contemporary politics. The overarching theme of the course is the struggle for democracy (and efforts to better understand it) in diverse, complex, and changing modern societies.  While the concept of democracy is ubiquitous, its practice remains elusive. Does fetishizing the concept block rather than exercise the democratic imagination?  What is democracy? And what is it good for? What are the structural preconditions necessary for democracy? How do people who organize and participate in democratic initiatives understand the purpose of their participation? How do they understand the appropriate methods and norms of participation? Where do they locate the boundaries between participation and something else, whether elite decision-making, managerial prerogatives, or the operation of the market? What happens when market principles are extended into the state and beyond it in civil society and, seemingly, everything “social”? Are we losing our appetite for democratic values as liberty is increasingly individualized and recast as a form of market conduct? What counts as equality and what counts as a breach of it? What happens when competing views of the “demos” clash, i.e., when they cannot be harmonized through processes that are mutually recognizable as democratic? We will see that while democracy today seems to be generally in retreat, social and political struggles for more of it remain -- new projects of democratic experimentation continue to emerge in communities around the world.

Course Information from the University Catalog

Credits: 3

Specialized inquiry of topics of contemporary sociological research and scholarship. Content varies. Notes: May be repeated for credit when topic is different. May be repeated within the degree for a maximum 9 credits.
Specialized Designation: Topic Varies
Recommended Prerequisite: Have completed either 6 credits of coursework at the 600 level or permission of instructor.
Registration Restrictions:

Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Schedule Type: Lecture
This course is graded on the Graduate Regular scale.

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes.