Please write an original response to one of the questions below. The essay exam should be typed, double-spaced, and between 6 and 8 pages in length. You may discuss these questions with classmates, but all writing must be your own. No reading beyond required readings assigned for the course nor other work beyond what we have gone over in class is required to craft a strong, persuasive response. If you do use any outside sources, they must be cited appropriately in a bibliography attached to your paper. You may quote directly from the theorist’s work, but all such quotations should be cited by page number in the published works we have used in class. For both works assigned in class AND outside sources, in-text citation with author’s name and page number is sufficient. Please note, quotations do NOT speak for themselves. You should draw out what the reader ought to take as significant about the citation in your own words.
Remember, these are analytic essays. The object is for you to produce an analysis of the theorists’ work, and not a string of quotations or a simple list of points. To assist you in writing an analytic essay, it might be useful to think through your response in three steps. First, pick a question and a set of theorists. Second, sit down and lay out for yourself how each theorist makes sense of whatever it is the question asks. Work through how the theorist contends these issues hang together. This lets you identify the core claims of each theorist, and thus what the theorists may share in common and what sets them apart from one another. Third, based on this understanding of the core claims of each theorist and how they stand in relation to the others, craft your own argument about how you’d like the reader to make sense of all this. What should we see as important about what you’ve come to understand? Insofar as it’s something that ties together your answers to each of the sub-questions within a question below, then you know you’re really onto something. Do all of these things and you’ll write a strong essay examination.
A note regarding bibliographies: There is no need to include bibliographic information for the works we have assigned in class. If you use additional sources, include complete citations to those in a bibliography. The bibliography does not count as a page of the 6-8 required for this assignment and should be appended at the conclusion of the exam. All references to sources outside of class discussion or lecture must be cited appropriately, even if you do not quote verbatim. Using an argument or claim made in an outside source or an interpretation or characterization of a theory offered by someone elserequires citation.
1) Durkheim and Weber both highlight certain social processes that for them represent the modern era or the transition to the modernity. Considering these central or defining features of modern society, we’d like you to answer three questions.
(i.) What are the specific processes identified by each theorist as distinctive of the modern era? How does each theorist define and specify the processes in question?
(ii.) According to each theorist, why do the processes you’ve identified have such an important role in modern society? In answering this question, please be sure to address how these processes and any structures with which they’re associated come to be so central.
(iii.) In what ways do people who inhabit modern society or who are impacted by these distinctive processes relate to the processes as they unfold? What does this say about what it’s like for people to live in modern society, according to these two theorists?