Sociology 612 is the second half of a two-termed requirement in
theory for all graduate students at University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Talcott Parsons is taken as the dividing point but depending on the
instructors for the two courses, his work may appear in either 611
I have a strong preference here as elsewhere to have students
read primary materials. Since there are a number of good collections
available, this is rather easily managed. Similarly, since it is a
requirement for graduate students, for me there is an obligation to
cover all the major movements and writers. The best effort is made
to present a fair examination of the movements and writers, but
there is no pretence that the instructor is neutral regarding these.
Use of the internet is required since not only are some of the
materials only available there, but with the use of Blackboard
software, students are required to appear on the discussion forums
as we proceed. As in Soc 611, considerable attention is paid to
epistemological and meta-theoretical issues, e.g. problems in
empiricism and questions regarding the ontology of society.
There are no exams or large term papers in this course. Rather, a
number of papers are assigned, as many as eight or nine, as we
proceed through the syllabus. These are meant to provoke reflection
on the problems and to encourage students to get straight on what is
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