ISF 100A - Introduction to Social Theory and Cultural Analysis
This course, required of all ISF Majors but open to all students, provides an introduction to the works of foundational social theorists of the nineteenth century, including Karl Marx and Max Weber. Writing in what might be called the “pre disciplinary” period of the modern social sciences, their works cross the boundaries of anthropology, economics, history, political science, sociology, and are today claimed by these and other disciplines as essential texts. We will read intensively and critically from their respective works, situating their intellectual contributions in the history of social transformations wrought by industrialization and urbanization, political revolution, and the development of modern consumer society in nineteenth-century Europe. But we will also make efforts to evaluate their intellectual contributions in light of recent scholarship about contemporary social issues, exploring ways in which scholars across the social sciences and humanities continue to interpret their respective contributions. The class meets twice a week in lecture and once in section and has no prerequisites.