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Course Details

Fall 2013-2014
SOC 346 (SA)   Graded A-F, P/D/F, Audit

Sociology of the Cubicle: Work, Technology, and Organization

Janet A. Vertesi

What kinds of social forms do we organize ourselves into, what makes these forms endure, and where does change come from? In this course, we will explore classic and contemporary theories of organization with a special focus on technology in organizations. We'll discuss engineering cultures, skilled work, entrepreneurship, innovation, risk and failure in the context of such cases as the dot com boom, the rise of Silicon Valley, and the imprint of office technologies in the workplace. As companies pick up, produce, or respond to technological change, we'll witness and discuss some of the great questions and theories of social organization.

Sample reading list:
Burrell & Morgan, Sociological Paradigms and Organizational Analysis
JoAnne Yates & Wanda Orlikowski, The PowerPoint Presentation and its Corollaries
Michael Hannan & John Freeman, "Structural Inertia and Organizational Change"
Kathryn Chen, Enabling Creative Chaos
Gina Neff, Venture Labor
Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs

Reading/Writing assignments:
Approximately 100 pages of reading per week for lecture and precept participation. Take-home midterm exam with written component. Term paper due on assigned question.

Final Exam - 30%
Take Home Mid term Exam - 20%
Term Paper(s) - 30%
Class/Precept Participation - 20%

Other Requirements:
Open to Juniors and Seniors Only.

Prerequisites and Restrictions:
Freshmen and sophomores need instructor's permission to enroll..

Other information:
Credit for Technology & Society Certificate, Information Technology track.

Reserved Seats:
Open to SOC Concentrators Only 10

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
23318 L01 11:00:00 am - 11:50:00 am T Th   McCosh Hall   66   Enrolled:21 Limit:30
P01 01:30:00 pm - 02:20:00 pm T   Friend Center   307   Enrolled:10 Limit:15
P02 03:30:00 pm - 04:20:00 pm Th   Wallace Hall   190   Enrolled:10 Limit:15