• April 21st, 2016

Sociology/ living theory

Paper, Order, or Assignment Requirements


ASSIGNMENT 2 (Essay) – 3,000 words (worth 50% of total module)

Choose and Answer ONE Essay Question from the following:

1. Some argue that classical sociological theory is fundamentally flawed because it relies on metaphors to make the bridge between the individual (the subject) and society (the object). Outline this argument, using examples drawn from classical sociology, and suggest an alternative.
2. Can we solve the problem of subject-object dualism in sociological theory by simply combining both approaches?
3. It is very ‘natural’ for us to see ourselves and others as objects whose attributes can be measured, and as objects that can be manipulated. How has this come about? Answer this question, bearing in mind Foucault’s Discipline and Punish.
4. Descartes argued that there were either ‘thinking things’ or ‘extended things’. What were the consequences for sociological theory?
5. Wittgenstein argued that human action cannot be a matter of ‘blindly’ following rules because a rule needs a rule to interpret it – and so on into infinite regress. Outline his argument, and show its consequences for sociological theory.
6. Heidegger, like Wittgenstein, argues that human action cannot be a matter of following rules. But he has a different argument that turns on ‘know-how’. Outline his argument and show its consequences for sociological theory.
7. Using his concept of ‘duration’ Bergson’s philosophy shows that human existence does not rest upon an intellectual rational subject. Outline his argument and show how it is relevant for sociological theory.

8. Explain how liberal, radical and materialist feminist theories of gender critically challenge Freud’s approach to gender and sexuality.

9. Critically discussing Adorno and Horkheimer’s critique of the Dialectic of Enlightenment problematise the Cartesian dualism and how it has contributed to a fixed rationalisation of social life.

10. Explaining Foucault’s notions of discourse and power critically argue how social institutions produce knowledges and truths that have essentialised human existence as rational.

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