Write a short memo (about three single-spaced pages or 5-6 double-spaced pages) on the weekly readings listed below. Memos should concisely summarize the main arguments of each reading and then comment on the group of readings. First note the strong points of a reading before critiquing it.
Connell, R.W. 1997. “Why is Classical Theory Classical?” American Journal of Sociology 102 (6): 1511-57.
Collins, Randall. 1997. -A Sociological Guilt Trip: Comments on Connell.” American Journal of Sociology. 102 (6): 1558-1564. Rousseau’s Social Contract Book I and II, pgs 2-25 and Book 4, Chapter 1 on the “General Will” http://www.earlymoderntexts.comfassets/pdfs/rousseau1762.pdf
The issue of defining and clearing the meaning of the words is by no means an easy talk. In other words, words are names or lables for things. Besides, linguists also realize the need to distinguish what a word or expression denotes from what they can be used to refer to, we will identify the difference between denotation and reference. There are many different ideas that the meaning of a word reflects reality or express human conceptualization of reality, as it were. However, we will discuss about various attempts designed to define probably one of the most difficult issues of semantics -meaning. Problems Depending on what it is understood by meaning, we can distinguish two main semantic theories: – the referential / denotational approach-meaning is the action of putting words into relationship with the world; – the representational /conceptual approach-meaning is the notion, the concept or the mental image of the object or situation in reality as reflected in man’s mind. The two basic types of meaning were first mentioned by S. Stati in 1971- referential definitions which analyse meaning in terms of the relation symbol- object /referent; conceptual definitions which regard the relation symbol- thought/reference. 2.1 .Denotational /Referential Theories of Meaning. Before describing the characteristics of these theories, a clarification of the terms used is necessary. All languages allow speakers to describe or model aspects of what they perceive. In semantics the action of picking out or identifying individuals/ locations with words is called referring/denoting. To some linguists the two terms, denote and refer are synonymous. J. Saeed (1997: 23) gives two examples of proper names whose corresponding referents are easily recognizable e. g. I saw Michael Jackson on TV last night. We have just flown back from Paris. The underlined words refer to/denote the famous singer, respectively the capital of France, even if in some contexts they may be used to designate a person different from the singer, or a locality other than the capital of France. To John Lyons the terms denote and refer are not synonymous. The former is used to express the relationship linguistic expression- world, whereas the latter is used for the action of a speaker in picking out entities in the world. In the example A sparrow flew into the room.>