Great Issues in Social Science: Social Science Theory: A Critical Look

HSP 154    CRN 2368
Tuesday & Thursday
1:10 – 2:30
Vulgamore 302
Dr. Paul Hagner

Course Description:

This course introduces students to the ways in which social science theory explains, predicts, and, in some instances, progresses. The process starts with an overview of social science theory building moving from conceptual understandings to theories and. perhaps, paradigms. The majority of the course will then be devoted to the critical analysis of social scientific theories moving from macro-theories (such as systems theory) to micro-theories such as socio-genetics.  Along the way the student will, hopefully, be surprised, and a bit frightened, by the explanatory and predictive power of modern social science theories.

The proposed course offers students critical insights into meta-theory: theorizing about theory.  The goal is to improve the students' abilities to describe, evaluate, and predict using established social science paradigms.  The ability of students to make comparisons between explanatory and predictive models when applied to commonly identified social problems will be a highlight of this course's goals.