Shimer College

Social Perspectives and Social Action Course in Chicago

This final course in the Social Sciences sequence introduces conceptual frameworks and methodologies used in the social sciences and examines how they have been applied in modern social and political life.

Special attention is given to the integration of theory and practice.

The course directly examines issues such as the meaning of scientific validity, the status of claims about objectivity in the social sciences, and ethical issues in scientific research.  

(Prerequisite: Social Sciences 3)

Durkheim and his grandsonDurkheim and his grandson 

Reading List

  • Max Weber, selections
  • Émile Durkheim, Rules of Sociological Method and The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life
  • Karl Mannheim, Ideology and Utopia
  • Peter Berger and Thomas Luckman, The Social Construction of Reality
  • Evelyn Fox-Keller and Helen Longino, Feminism and Science
  • Stanley Milgram, Obedience to Authority
  • Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish and History of Sexuality
  • Clifford Geertz, The Interpretation of Cultures