This course focuses on the original writings of a number of contemporary social theorists since the classical works of Marx, Durkheim, Weber, and Simmel. Students examine the conceptual tools and theoretical propositions advanced in the major paradigms of modern sociological thought. After considering the nature and role of theory in social science and briefly examining the classical foundations of contemporary sociological theory, students begin a rigorous analysis of the substance and structure of each major school of thought including motivational theory, phenomenology and symbolic interactionism, functionalism and systems theory, neo-Darwinian theory, sociobiology, rational-choice and exchange theories, conflict theory, feminist theory, constraint theory, and behavioral theory. In addition, students devote some time to various theories of modernity and postmodernity. Students end the course with an interactive theory debate on a specific substantive area of social life.