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Cleveland State University Course Info

Cleveland, Ohio


Course Info

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SOC 357

Sociological Explanation

This course is an extension of SOC 352, Sociological Theory. That course investigated major topics in the history of sociological theory. By contrast, the focus of this course is the systematics of sociological theory; that is, on those ideas that continue to have relevance for the explanation of social facts and social behavior. These explanations take the form of mechanisms that can be used to make sense of existing empirical findings. The course adopts the stance of methodological individualism. This states that our explanations of the social world must be reducible to (and therefore compatible with) the beliefs, desires, and opportunities of the individuals whose actions we are trying to understand. The course pays particular attention to the intended and unintended consequences of strategic interaction.

Units: 3.0