SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY

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Written Assignment

In this assignment you will analyze a newspaper article by describing how (the ghosts of) Marx and Weber would react to the piece, were they to read it with their morning coffee.

Here are the details:

You are to find a newspaper article, published on or after 1 April 2017. It must be a news article, not an opinion piece. And, it must have been published in a “serious” newspaper. Examples of acceptable newspapers include The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, etc.

Within these basic parameters, it’s your job to select the article. However, you must get my approval by either sending a copy to me or by showing it to me in person.

Once you have my approval, you will write a paper that does the following:
1) Provide a concise summary of the relevant events and issues described in the newspaper article.
2) Developboth a Marxian analysis and a Weberian analysis of these events and issues.
3) Explain as clearly as possible how the Marxian perspective and the Weberian perspective differ.
Your paper should demonstrate a clear understanding of each concept and argument fromMarx’s and Weber’s that you apply to the events described in the newspaper article. In the process of explaining the meaning of these concepts and arguments, you must quote directly from the writings of Marx and Weber. Beyond this, the goal is to demonstrate how Marx’s view of current events would differ from that of Weber.

You also have the option of doing the following:
4) Criticizing the Marxian interpretation and/or the Weberian interpretation of these events—i.e. explaining why you believe that concepts and arguments of Marx and/or Weber are not adequate to enable us to understand whatever the article describes. If you decide to go this route, however, keep in mind that the goal is to understand and explain the events (etc.), not to tell the reader whether you think they are good or bad, right or wrong, etc. Contact me with any questions on this score.

The paper should be roughly 6 – 10 pages in length (double-spaced, 12-point font, one inch margins), although more than this is acceptable. It should be free of spelling and grammatical errors. You should feel free to quote from the newspaper article, although you can’t simply reprint it in your paper. You must quote from at least one text byMarx and one by Weber. As always, make sure to include full citation information for any material that isn’t your own (with the exception of your class notes). And, of course, you must not plagiarize.

Lastly, please hand in hardcopy of the article along with the paper.

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the article :

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/26/us/politics/trump-tax-cut-corporations-individuals.html
Social theory roots and branches
Peter Kivisto

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