The traditional approach to teaching social theory is embodied in the official title of this course: "History of Sociological Thought." And that's important stuff — you can't know too much when it comes to intellectual history and nobody is over-skilled when it comes to wrestling with hard texts. But it is no longer clear to me that such erudition should be the primary goal of teaching theory as a part of a social science curriculum. Instead, I am becoming more and more persuaded that we need to focus on contemporary theoretical problems and let these guide us to a selective survey of the history of sociological thought.
Course: History of Sociological Thought