Reading: Alexander, Jeffrey (1987). “What is Theory?” from Twenty Lectures, Sociological Theory Since World War II, pp. 1-21.
1) From Alexander’s point of view, what is the relationship between facts and theory?
2) How are theories produced?
3) According to Alexander, what is the “problem of action” and what is the “problem or order”?
Reading: Durkheim, Emile (1895/1982). “What is a Social Fact?” from The Rules of Sociological Method, pp. 50-59.
4) What is Durkheim’s definition of a social fact?
5) What is a social current?
6) How is a social fact different and/or similar to social currents?
7) According to Durkheim, what is the domain of Sociology?
8) Durkheim affirms that “[collective phenomenon] is in each part because it is in the whole, but far from being in the whole because it is in the parts.” Explain how this statement relates to Durkheim definition of a social fact.
Reading: Durkheim, Emile (1893/1984). “Mechanical Solidarity, or Solidarity by Similarities” from The Division of Labor in Society, pp. 31-67.
9) According to Durkheim, what is the definition of “collective consciousness”?
10) Why collective consciousness can be understood as a social fact?
11) From Durkheim’s perspective, what kind of solidarity the penal law symbolizes? What is the “function” of this type of solidarity?
Reading: Durkheim, Emile (1893; 1984). Excerpt from “Solidarity Arising from the Division of Labor, or Organic Solidarity” from The Division of Labor in Society, pp. 68-72, 77-87.
12) What is mechanical solidarity and organic solidarity? Make sure to address which type of law and sanctions are associated with each form of solidarity. Also describe the type of consciousness that is more prominent in each case. How does the division of labor (or lack thereof) fit into each type of solidarity?
Reading: Durkheim, Emile (1893; 1984). Excerpt from “The Increasing Preponderance of Organic Solidarity and its Consequences” from The Division of Labor in Society, pp. 105-123.
13) What is the evidence that Durkheim presents to demonstrate that mechanical solidarity is diminishing in the modern world? Support your answer using Durkheim’s examples.
Reading: Durkheim, Emile (1893; 1984). Excerpt from “The Increasing Preponderance of Organic Solidarity and its Consequences(cont.)” from The Division of Labor in Society, pp. 126-133, 139-141.
14) What are the types of societies that correspond to the form of mechanical solidarity and organic solidarity? Describe the characteristics of these social types.
Reading: Durkheim, Emile (1897/1951). “Egoistic Suicide” from Suicide: A Study in Sociology, pp. 152- 170.
15) According to Durkheim, what is the relationship between suicide, religion and knowledge? 16)Why does he suggest that “suicide increases with knowledge” and that “religion has a prophylactic effect upon suicide”?
17)Summarize Durkheim’s interpretation of different religions (e.g., Protestantism, Catholicism, Judaism, etc. all religions he mentioned and explained)
Reading: Durkheim, Emile (1897/1951). Excerpt from “Egoistic Suicide (Continued),” from Suicide, pp. 208-215.
18) From Durkheim’s perspective, what is the definition of egoistic suicide?
19) How is egoistic suicide related to integration (or lack thereof) to society?
Reading: Durkheim, Emile (1897/1951). Excerpt from “Anomic Suicide”, from Suicide, pp. 241-258.
20) What is Durkheim’s general definition of anomy?
21)What is the definition of anomic suicide?
22)What is the relationship between economic crises and anomic suicide?
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