Critical Theory

Critical theories question power, domination, and the status quo. They aim to critique and change society by uncovering the assumptions that keep humans from a full and true understanding of how the world works. In this course, we will examine several different bodies of critical theories, evaluating how these theories explain and offer practical solutions to social problems. Beginning with Marx’s historical materialism and critique of capitalism, we will trace Marx’s influence through the Frankfurt School’s critique of culture and Bourdieu’s critiques of symbolic power. From there we will turn to the social critiques of feminist theory, Critical Race Theory, and post-colonial theory. Through all of these theories, we will seek to understand: What are the possibilities for true human freedom?

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 20

Prerequisites: At least one 100- or 200-level unit in sociology, with SOC 200 strongly recommended

Instructor: Rutherford

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes: This course can fulfill the requirement of a second course in social theory for the sociology major but is open to all interested students.