General Course Information for SOC365: Classical Social Theory

Course: SOC365 - Classical Social Theory
Textbook: For the correct edition of the textbook assigned to a specific class, go to:

Course Prerequisite(s):
Course Description:

This course examines the foundational theories that have engaged major social theorists. It analyzes the cultural, social, economic, political, intellectual, and biographical contexts within which they developed; and it appraises the extent to which they continue to inform sociological research and thinking.

Course Learning Outcomes:
  • Identify and describe the intellectual foundations of sociological theory.
  • Define what a social theory is.
  • Distinguish among the theories of major classical social theorists who were attempting to explain what society is, understand how social order and social change, and remedy social problems.
  • Analyze the social issues and social problems arising from modernity that influenced classical social theorists, as well as the historical, sociological, ideological, and biographical influences that shaped their ideas.
  • Investigate and describe how class, nation, race, gender, and sexual orientation biases and identities influenced classical social theory and sociological research.
  • Evaluate the various theoretical approaches to the study of society and of the individual in society.
  • Discuss how classical sociological theory was used in the past and is used presently to explain everyday life events and changes in the institutional structure of society.
  • Evaluate the relevance of the central and defining themes of classical social theory for understanding everyday social experience (e.g., technology, crime, punishment, war, work, social inequality, and experiences of race, class, gender, and sexual orientation).
  • Evaluate sociology's uses and limits as a social science and as value-orienting or value-critiquing practice.
  • Articulate how classical social theory continues to shape public, political, and moral debates.
  • Research the relevant scholarship and integrate this research into original arguments that contribute to the ongoing scholarly discussion of a topic within the period.

Students with Disabilities:
Students seeking special accommodations due to a disability must submit an application with supporting documentation, as explained under this subject heading in the General Catalog. Instructors are required to provide such accommodations if they receive written notification from the University.

Writing Across the Curriculum:
Students are expected to demonstrate writing skills in describing, analyzing and evaluating ideas and experiences. Written reports and research papers must follow specific standards regarding citations of an author's work within the text and references at the end of the paper. Students are encouraged to use the services of the University's Writing Center when preparing materials.

The following website provides information on APA, MLA, and other writing and citation styles that may be required for term papers and the like:

National University Library:
National University Library supports academic rigor and student academic success by providing access to scholarly books and journals both electronically and in hard copy. Print materials may be accessed at the Library in San Diego or through document delivery for online and regional students. Librarians are available to provide training, reference assistance, and mentoring at the San Diego Library and virtually for online or regional students. Please take advantage of Library resources:


Contact the Library:

  • (858) 541-7900 (direct line)
  • 1-866-NU ACCESS x7900 (toll free)

Use the Library Training Tools (on the Library Homepage) for additional help

  • Recorded class presentations
  • Tutorials & Guides (APA/MLA, Peer-Review, and more)

Plagiarism is the presentation of someone else's ideas or work as one's own. Students must give credit for any information that is not either the result of original research or common knowledge. If a student borrows ideas or information from another author, he/she must acknowledge the author in the body of the text and on the reference page. Students found plagiarizing are subject to the penalties outlined in the Policies and Procedures section of the University Catalog, which may include a failing grade for the work in question or for the entire course. The following is one of many websites that provide helpful information concerning plagiarism for both students and faculty:

Ethical behavior in the classroom is required of every student. The course will identify ethical policies and practices relevant to course topics.

Students are expected to be competent in using current technology appropriate for this discipline. Such technology may include word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software. Use of the internet and e-mail may also be required.

Learning to work with and value diversity is essential in every class. Students are expected to exhibit an appreciation for multinational and gender diversity in the classroom.

As a diverse community of learners, students must strive to work together in a setting of civility, tolerance, and respect for each other and for the instructor. Rules of classroom behavior (which apply to online as well as onsite courses) include but are not limited to the following:

  • Conflicting opinions among members of a class are to be respected and responded to in a professional manner.
  • Side conversations or other distracting behaviors are not to be engaged in during lectures, class discussions or presentations
  • There are to be no offensive comments, language, or gestures