Survey of Contemporary Theory Class Final Essay Question
Each question should be 4 pages double-spaced for a total of 8 pages, double-spaced, with 12 font. You are expected to engage the course readings for each question and to reference them in your answer. You will evaluated on how well you comprehend the readings, frame the main ideas in your answer and articulate their sociological relevance.
Foucault explores the relationship between power, knowledge and discourse. Explain Foucault’s argument that the Panopticon is not just a prison design but is illustrative of a broader shift in the way that power is exercised in society. Address how power is often executed through the body and the relationship that we form with ourselves. At the end of the answer, briefly address how Foucault’s idea of power diverges from Marxist thinking.
Please cite at least 1 of the 2 following readings: “Panopticism’ by Foucault, 2) or ‘The Essential Foucault” by Allan (p 295-302).
Giddens “structuration theory” explores the relationship between structure and agency that is so central to sociology. Explain Gidden’s notion of the “duality of structure” and how agency and structures condition each other. Discuss the difference between practical and discursive consciousness. How does structuration theory critique ‘structural functionalism’?