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Introduction to Critical Social Theory

Instructor(s): Julian Go
Spring 2024
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This course introduces graduate and advanced undergraduate students to a tradition of social thought and research called “Critical Social Theory.” As opposed to Traditional Social Theory, Critical Social Theory questions inherited theoretical frameworks and conceptual formations in an attempt to reconstruct social theory and harness it for its liberatory potential. It offers alternative theories and concepts to inform social research that exposes and questions rather than assumes existing social institutions, inequalities and power relations. Examples of readings are works by the Frankfurt School, Marxist theorists of hegemony (e.g. Antonio Gramsci, Stuart Hall), theorists of power and agency (Michel Foucault, Pierre Bourdieu), Feminist Standpoint Epistemology/Theory, Black Marxism, Black Feminist Thought, Queer Theory, and Decolonial/Postcolonial Theory – among other possible schools of theorizing. Rather than a detailed examination of any one of these schools of theorizing, the course offers a broad overview, locating shared and contrasting themes and lines of argumentation.

SOCI 20591 | SOCI 30591 | CCCT 20591 | CCCT 30591