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Proseminar: Studying Social Life: Theories and Methods

Semester and Year FA 2013
Course Number CORE-GG2022
Section 001
Instructor David Moore
Days W
Time 6:20 PM - 9:00 PM
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Units 4
Level G



For students whose programs include investigations of the social world, this course provides an opportunity to grapple with a variety of theoretical approaches to the study of individuals, groups, organizations, cultures and societies, and to engage several methods for conducting research in those realms. Depending on students’ interests and goals, the theoretical frameworks might include behaviorism (Watson, Skinner), interactionism (GH Mead, Blumer), constructivism (Piaget, Vygotsky, Bruner), conflict theory (Marx, the Frankfurt School), psychodynamics (Freud, Erikson), structuralism (Saussure, Levi-Strauss), and/or postmodernism (Foucault, Baudrillard). The class will explore the different premises, logics and arguments of various schools of thought. Moreover, members will conduct pilot-level research using methods appropriate to their own problematics: e.g., ethnographic observations, interviews, discourse analysis, document study, visual anthropology, psychometric tests, and/or case studies. The course will be a useful preliminary for students expecting to do a research thesis focused on questions about the social world.


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Course Type

Graduate Core (CORE-GG)