History of Sociological Thought + Anthropological Theory = Theories of Social Order

Mills College Fall 2015

Tu-Th 9:30-10:45 NSB 217
Instructor: Dan Ryan

Week Topics, etc. Week Topics, etc. Week Topics, etc.




  • Lecture
  • Pitch/Catch



What is order?

What is theory?



  • Exercise/Simulation
  • Storyboard


  • Lecture
  • Pitch/Catch




  • Lecture
  • Pitch/Catch


  • Exercise/Simulation
  • Storyboard




  • Exercise/Simulation
  • Storyboard


  • Lecture
  • Pitch/Catch


  • Exercise/Simulation
  • Storyboard




W1Th 8.27 Lecture We will begin by laying out the how of the course - how things will work and how to succeed - and then the what of the course - what it is all about, what the idea landscape we are about to traverse looks like.

Where does this course fit in the sociology and anthropology curricula? How is "theory" conventionally taught and will this course be different? What is our motivation for the change? How does this course at this time fit into YOUR education and intellectual development? What trajectory will the course follow? What are the work expectations and course requirements? What are your expectations, hopes, anxieties?

Before things get underway, look at Sociological Theory, Anthropology, and Sociology in Wikipedia, and have a look at this time line of social theory.

When Social Order Disappears

W2Tu 9.1 Lecture


  1. Philosophy Talk. "Cooperation and Conflict" (radio show)
  2. Hechter & Horne, "Preface" pp.xi-xiv (PDF). NOTE: Unless otherwise indicated, all readings are found in Hechter, Michael and Christine Horne (editors), 2009. Theories of Social Order. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. (SECOND EDITION)
  3. Hechter & Horne, Part I: "The Problem of Social Order"pp 1-5 (PDF)
  4. Wrong, Dennis. 1994. "The Problem of Order from Hobbes to the Present," pp. 14-36 in The Problem of Social Order: What Unites and Divides Society. (PDF) (Notes)
  5. Fehr, Ernst and Herbert Gintis. 2007. "Human Motivation and Social Cooperation"

Class Activity: Public Goods Game

W2Th 9/3Lecture What makes something a theory? What makes a theory a good theory?


  1. H&H "What is Theory?" pp. 7-11
  2. Hedstrom, Peter. 2005. "Dissecting the Social" (notes)
  3. H&H "Motives and Mechanisms" pp. 17-22 (notes)
  4. Weber, Max. 1921. "Types of Social Action" from Economy and Society (notes)
  5. Kanazawa, Satoshi. 2001. "De Gustibus Est Disputandum" (notes)

See Also

  1. Collins, Randall. "The Irrational Foundations of Rationality" pp. 3-29. (Notes)
  2. Goetz, Aaron T., Todd K. Shackelford, and Steven M. Platek. 2009. "Introduction to evolutionary psychology: A Darwinian approach to human behavior and cognition," pp. 1-21 in Platek and Shackelford (eds.) Foundations in Evolutionary Cognitive Neuroscience (Mills 612.8233 F7714 2009)

W3Tu 9.8 Lecture When we say "individuals as solution to the problem of order" we are suggesting that there is something about the kind of thing human individuals are that permits them to be "wired" or "programmed" or "trained" for cooperation and coordination. In conventional terms, we are referring to the idea that culture and beliefs can be "put into" individuals with the result that they behave in a manner that is conducive to order.


  1. H&H: "Solutions to the Problem of Order: Individuals" pp 41-45
  2. Marx, Karl. 1845-6. "The Production of Consciousness,” from The German Ideology.
  3. Mead, George Herbert. 1934. "Play, the Game, and the Generalized Other," from Mind, Self, and Society.
  4. Emile Durkheim. 1912. "The Origin of Beliefs," from The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life
  5. Fleck, Ludwick. 1935. "Genesis and Development of a Scientific Fact," from Genesis and Development of a Scientific Fact.
  6. Cohen, Dov and Joe Vandello. 1998. "Meanings of Violence"

W3Th 9.10 Pitch and Catch (What is Pitch and Catch?)

W4Tu 9.15 Exercise

W4Th 9.17 Storyboarding

See Also

W6Tu 9.29 Lecture By "hierarchy" we mean, in effect, organizations. In this section of the course we consider hierarchy (organizations) together with markets because one of the fundamental arguments of social science hinge around the question "market or hierarchy?" Along the way we'll ponder hierarchy and the state, hierarchy and formal organizations, hierarchy and law.


  1. Hechter & Horne: "Hierarchies" pp 82-87
  2. Hobbes, Thomas.  1651.  "Leviathan"
  3. Engels, Friedrich. 1884. "The Origin of the State"
  4. Weber, Max. 1921-2. "The Types of Legitimate Domination" (see also: DJR Slides)
  5. Willis, Paul. 1981. "Learning to Labor"

W6Th 10.1 Pitch and Catch

W7Tu 10.6 Exercise

W7Th 10.8 Storyboarding (click for Class Activity)

See Also

  1. Perrow, Charles. "Why Bureaucracy?" (DL)
  2. Chambliss, William. "A Sociological Analysis of the Law of Vagrancy."
  3. Hay, Douglas. "Property, Authority, and the Criminal Law."
  4. Thompson, E. P. "The Rule of Law."

W8TU 10.13 Lecture Sociologists and anthropologists are often knee-jerk critics of markets; in this section of the course we will equip you not to reprise that kind of ignorance.


  1. Markets# H&H, "Markets," pp. 134-139.
    1. Wikipedia Editors, Market.
  2. Hayek, Friedrich A. 1976. "Cosmos and Taxis"
    1. EconStories.tv, "Fight of the Century"
    2. EconStories.tv, "Fear the Boom and Bust" a Hayek vs. Keynes Rap Anthem
  3. Schelling, Thomas C. 1978. "Micromotives and Macrobehavior"
  4. Smith, Adam . 1776. "The Division of Labor"
  5. Axelrod, Robert. 1984. "The Evolution of Cooperation"
  6. Axelrod, Robert. 1984. "The Live-and-Let-Live System in Trench Warfare in World War I"
  7. Zimmer, Carl. 2007. "From Ants to People, and Instinct to Swarm"

W8TH 10.15 Pitch and Catch

W9TU 10.20 Exercise Markets and Agents

W9TH 10.22 Storyboarding

See Also

  1. Essay on Markets and Social Order
  2. Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  3. The Life of a Pencil

W10 10.27-29 MORE MARKETS

W12Tu 11.10Lecture
Groups, Culture, Beliefs, Norms


  1. Goffman, Erving. 1977. "The Arrangement between the Sexes"
  2. Freud, Sigmund. 1930. "Civilization and Its Discontents"
  3. Durkheim, Emile. 1897. "Egoistic Suicide"
  4. Durkheim, Emile. 1897. "Anomic Suicide"
  5. De Tocqueville, Alexis. 1848. "Individualism and Free Institutions"
  6. Hechter, Michael H. 1987. "Principles Of Group Solidarity"
  7. Coleman, James S. 1990. "The Emergence of Norms"
  8. Horne, Christine. 2001,4. "Group Cohesion and Metanorms"
  9. Centola, Damon, Robb Willer, and Michael Macy. 2005. "The Emperor's Dilemma"
  10. Hechter, Michael, Debra Friedman, and Satoshi Kanazawa. 1992. "The Attainment of Social Order in Heterogeneous Societies"

W12Th 11.12Pitch and Catch
W13Tu 11.17Exercise
W13Th 11.19Storyboarding

W14Tu 11.24 Lecture


  1. Gellner, Ernest. 1987. "Trust, Cohesion, and the Social Order"
  2. Gluckman, Max. 1955. "The Peace in the Feud"
  3. Simmel, Georg. 1922. "The Web of Group-Affiliations"
  4. Granovetter, Mark S. 1973. "The Strength of Weak Ties"
  5. Varshney, Ashutosh. 2001. "Ethnic Conflict and Civil Society: India and Beyond"

W15Tu 12.1 Pitch and Catch

See Also
  1. "Networks: Neither Market nor Hierarchy"
  2. Selection from Stack, Carol B. 1974. All our kin: strategies for survival in a Black community. New York, Harper & Row (301.451 S775a)

Exam 3 Networks and Groups ETC.(ORAL)