Professor Marshall


Sociological Theory

COURSE PREREQUISITE:Introduction to Sociology

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Systematic study of the major writings in the development of sociological thought, along with selected work of contemporary sociologists.

NOTES: This course will introduce you to basic sociological theory and will prepare you for additional studies of sociology and sociological theory. We will cover some of the most important historical and contemporary theories, but will leave out more than we can learn.

My objective is to provide you with a "kit" of items which will equip you with the basics tools of sociological inquiry. These tools will help you to live and work in a dynamically changing world. Through your experiences in this course, you will be given the opportunity to develop a basic understanding of the importance of theory to the scientific process along with a deeper awareness of the problems that social theorists have been concerned with in the past, as well as today.


Sociological Theory is written in preformance-based language using the revised Bloom's Taxonomy. Dr. Benjamin Bloom created his taxonomy to promote higher forms of thinking in the educational process. As you continue through the course, you'll notice that the lessons are structured with "TARGET COMPETENCIES," and "LEARNING ACTIVITIES." The TARGET COMPETENCIES have been developed to ensure that you master the materials in this course. As you work through the LEARNING ACTIVITIES, you goal should be to demonstrate competence in each of the TARGET COMPETENCY areas. You can think of target competencies as descriptions, stated in performance terms, of what you are expected to learn; competencies are OUTCOMES of the efforts that you put forth in this course.


At the conclusion of this course, you should be able to meet specific course objectives. Course objectives are often centered on activities and assessments that you'll complete in a course. These activities and assessments will be varied--reading assigned materials and texts, writing assignments, exams, tests and other assigned activites will help you to meet the objectives that are defined for this course. Nothing in this FREE course is graded--you choose how much (or how little) work you want to complete. The course objectives are to:

  1. Introduce students to primary sociological theoretical orientations;
  2. Assist students in exploring classical roots of sociological theory;
  3. Assist students in exploring contemporary theoretical orientations;
  4. Promote critical thinking skills and analysis;
  5. Teach the value of theory application.


Upon completion of the course, you will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate general knowledge about sociological theory.
  2. Interpret the works of early classical theorists.
  3. Summarize differences in emphasis between "early" and "late" classical theorists.
  4. Outline the basic features of contemporary grand theories.
  5. Apply contemporary theory to a current event.
  6. Analyze a segment of your own life experience utilizing a contemporary theory.
  7. Apply critical thinking skills.


ATTENDANCE: This course is self-paced and not graded; it is NOT for college credit. There is no enrollment required and you may take as much time as you need to complete the course.

END USER LICENSE AGREEMENT: All handouts and electronic course materials are the property of their respective copyright holders. Use is permitted within the confines of this course and for the exclusive use of the student after completion of the course. Distribution to others is expressly prohibited and may be a violation of state/federal laws, unless following the license terms at the bottom of this page; this includes any uploading to public or private websites or other methods of electronic distribution which violate the license terms at the bottom of this page. Should you violate this agreement I reserve the right to pursue legal action under current state and federal laws. If you have any questions or concerns about your use of materials found in this course, contact me at