Course Policies

Classical Social Theory or Classical Sociological Theory university courses customarily focus on the ideas of such theorists as Auguste Comte, Alexis de Tocqueville, Karl Marx, Herbert Spencer, Thorstein Veblen, Émile Durkheim, Georg Simmel, Max Weber, George Herbert Mead, Robert E. Park, Karl Mannheim, and Talcott Parsons. These Euro-American white men are viewed as the most important contributors to the discipline. Hence, in SOCY.2101, we are interested in seeking answers to the following questions:

  • Why does it seem that it is mainly white male scholars who are recognized as authors of classical texts in the field of sociology?
  • What were the circumstances that turned their works classics in sociology?
  • Why has the scientific community, for so long, marginalized and undermined the works of W. E. B. Du Bois and E. Franklin Frazier while promoting those of Robert E. Park and Talcott Parsons?
  • What explains that most classical figures of social theory have not rigorously studied the impacts of slavery, racism, and caste’s system on the configuration of the contemporary American society, and society in general?
  • Considering the current political, social, and economic climate in the United States of America, of W. E. B. Du Bois and Talcott Parsons whose ideas would help us to understand better and tackle more effectively social and sociological problems such as racism, anti-blackness, racial injustice, mass incarceration, and the extreme policing of black bodies?
  • At a time of rhetorical discourses on decolonization of sociology, has white superiority and racism continued to influence the intellectual orientation of sociology at large and the subfield of classical social theory?
  • Why is it only recently that the scientific community has started to recognize the intellectual contributions of women scholars such as Harriet Martineau, Jane Addams, Ida B. Wells and Anna Julia Cooper?

Classical Social Theory is designed to help students cultivate and improve their critical thinking skills. As they read, discuss, and analyze concepts and categories systematized by major thinkers in the field, students will be able to examine the strengths and limits of these scholars when it comes to mobilize their theories to understand problematic facets of our contemporary society. Two considerations derived from the previous: 1) In SOCY.2101, we will not study theory for the sake of theory, but rather with the intention to better understand what is happening in our current social environment; 2) Therefore, SOCY.2101’s lectures will anticipate many ideas to be deepened in Contemporary Sociological Theory (SOCY.2102), a course that I also teach.

To achieve these goals, Classical Social Theory (SOCY.2101) is structured in three parts. Part one addresses some important concepts and analytical categories to understand the intellectual meaning of the course. About the Classics, which is the second part, is made of topics such as, -Karl Marx’s Sociological Imagination, Theoretical and Methodological Sociology in Émile Durkheim; Georg Simmel as a Thinker of Modernity, and Max Weber’s Contribution to Sociology. Part three titled, Beyond the Traditional Canon englobes the following themes -Sociological Thought and Intersectionality in Anna Julia Cooper’s Intellectual Work, and W. E. B. Du Bois: Sociological Thought in a Context of Institutional Racism.

This is an in-person course that combines a set of transversal and pluralistic pedagogical strategies, such as Professor’s lectures, students’ discussions on pre-assigned readings, small groups’ discussions and presentations, and in-classroom examinations. All lectures (e-books, journal articles, books’ chapters, encyclopedia entries, news articles; short videos) and assignments will be posted on the course’s website.

This course requires active student’s engagement. Attendance is mandatory since the material to be discussed cannot be substituted by reading and previous intellectual training. It is every student moral obligation to cope with the pre-assigned readings to intellectually contribute to class debates.

We will use the technology available at Brooklyn College. Students need to have their emails updated on both CUNY Blackboard and BC Web Central, where they will receive regular communications regarding the course. It is important to take notes. You can do it with a notebook and/or your preferred device. Please put your cellphone on silent mode and use it only for activities related to the course.

Three group presentations are scheduled throughout the Spring semester.

  1. The first will take place on March 5, 2024, on the topic titled, “Diagnosis of American Capitalism Through the Lens of Karl Marx’s Sociological Theory.”
  2. The second is programmed for March 21, 2024, to debate the topic titled, “The Actuality of Durkheimian Categories in the Twenty-First Century.”
  3. The third and last group presentation will be held on May 14, 2024 to address the topic – “Historical Struggles to Challenges Racism and Anti-Blackness in the United States of America – the Cases of Ida B. Wells and Anna Julia Cooper.”

SOCY.2101 final grades will be based on a combination of the following activities:

  • Attendance is worth 10 percent of the final grade. More than three missed class without notice will negatively influence your grade.
  • Participation in classroom’s discussions is counted for 10 percent. Here, I am referring to qualitative participation that contributes to enhance debates in-the-classroom.
  • The midterm exam is worth 25 percent.
  • The student group presentation is counted for 20 percent. Group presentation: It is expected that every group’s member contributes to the activity.
  • Lastly, the term/final paper is worth 35 percent.

There will be no make-up exams except in extraordinary circumstances, in which case students must contact me by e-mail ( before scheduled exams. Doctor appointments are acceptable if they are supported by a doctor’s note. Students will not be given the opportunity to revise and resubmit essays or other assignments.

Your grade will be based on 100 points:

  • Attendance 10% (10 points)
  • Participation 10% (10 points)
  • Midterm 25% (25 points)
  • Group presentation 20% (20 points)
  • Term/final paper 35% (35 points)
  • Total grade 100% (100 points)

Note about grading: Your grades will be determined by the points you score out of the total of 100 points. The class will not have a grading curve.

  • 96.8-100% A+
  • 93.4-96.7% A
  • 90-93.3% A-
  • 86.8-89.9% B+
  • 83.4-86.7% B
  • 80-83.3% B-
  • 76.8-79.9% C+
  • 73.4-76.7% C
  • 70-73.3% C-
  • 66.8-69.9% D+
  • 63.4-66.7% D
  • 60-63.3% D-
  • Below 60% F

Hours to be determined with class participants.

As an intellectual and University Professor, I do believe that history and knowledge are inscribed into a continuous process of questioning and deconstruction. As an intellectual community, we do have a moral obligation to work in an atmosphere compatible with freedom of speech of every individual; freedom of speech that needs to be mindful of the respect of the dignity of every individual. I strongly support the use of science to walk toward the construction of truth that is an intersubjective enterprise. I deeply believe that every Faculty has the right to be engaged in challenging teaching that might conflict with traditional history and narratives historically built on the distortion of the truth. Accordingly, I firmly encourage reciprocal practices of personal and academic integrity. Faculty are free to teach on challenging topics dealing with the continuous legacies of white superiority, settler colonialism and slavery against those classified as ‘blacks’ and ‘browns’ by the normative scientific community. Seeing in this perspective, I am for the promotion of a culture of tolerance and respect that are core values in any decent human society. Lastly, I do encourage you to reject all forms of violence (epistemological, symbolic, psychological, and physical).

CUNY Policies

Academic dishonesty of any type, including cheating and plagiarism, is unacceptable at Brooklyn College. Cheating is any misrepresentation in academic work. Plagiarism is the representation of another person’s work, words, or ideas as your own. Students should consult the Brooklyn College Student Handbook for a fuller, more specific discussion of related academic integrity standards.

Academic dishonesty is punishable by failure of the “…test, examination, term paper or other assignment on which cheating occurred” (Faculty Council, May 18, 1954).

In addition, disciplinary proceedings in cases of academic dishonesty may result in penalties of admonition, warning, censure, disciplinary probation, restitution, suspension, expulsion, complaint to civil authorities, or ejection (Adopted by Policy Council, May 8, 1991).

NOTE: If you have a question about how to cite correctly ask your teacher BEFORE submitting your work.

  • The faculty and administration of Brooklyn College support an environment free from cheating and plagiarism.
  • Each student is responsible for being aware of what constitutes cheating and plagiarism and for avoiding both.
  • View complete text of CUNY Academic Integrity Policy and Brooklyn College procedure for policy implementation.
  • If a faculty member suspects a violation of academic integrity and, upon investigation, confirms that violation, or if the student admits the violation, the faculty member must report the violation.
  • Please read the section entitled “Academic Regulations and Procedures” in the Brooklyn College Undergraduate Bulletin or Graduate Bulletin for a complete listing of academic regulations of the College

Brooklyn College's Diverse Center for Student Disability Services group smiling.
The Brooklyn College Center for Student Disability Services is back to working in-person on campus, though you can still reach out via email and phone. Please email them at for assistance.

Location: 138 Roosevelt Hall
Phone: 718.951.5538
FAX: 718.951.4442
Department Office Hours:

  • Monday: 9 a.m.–4:45 p.m.
  • Tuesday: 9 a.m.–4:45 p.m.
  • Wednesday: 9 a.m.–6:45 p.m.
  • Thursday: 9 a.m.–6:45 p.m.
  • Friday: 9 a.m.–4:45 p.m.

Note: Office hours during summer and winter intersession breaks varies.

Students should inform the professor if they have a disability or any other situation that may require Section 504/ADA accommodations.  The faculty and staff will attempt to work out whatever arrangements are necessary.

Please provide your professor with your course accommodation form and discuss your specific accommodation with your professor as soon as possible to ensure accommodations are met in a timely fashion.

In order to receive academic accommodations students must first be registered with the Center for Student Disability Services. Students who have a documented disability or who suspect that they might have a disability are invited to set up an appointment with the Director of the Center for Student Disability Services, Ms. Valerie Stewart-Lovell or the Assistant Director, Josephine Patterson or their general email

Center for Student Disability Services (CSDS) Mission:
It is the mission of the Center for Student Disability Services (CSDS) to ensure that students with disabilities have equal access to all campus facilities, curricula, and activities. The program’s objective focuses on providing students with reasonable disability-related accommodations and the opportunity to maximize their academic success at Brooklyn College. The goal is to ensure an inclusive environment while maintaining and enhancing the college’s academic excellence by providing students with disabilities the opportunity to achieve their highest possible academic potential.

Brooklyn College is committed to fostering a safe, equitable and productive learning environment. Students experiencing any form of prohibited discrimination or harassment on or off campus can find information Page 5 of 7 about the reporting process, their rights, specific details about confidentiality, and reporting obligations of Brooklyn College employees on the Office of Diversity and Equity Programs. All reports of sexual misconduct or discrimination should be made to Michelle Vargas, Title IX Coordinator (718.951.5000, ext. 3689), and may also be made to Public Safety (719.951.5511), the New York City Police Department (911 or a local NYPD precinct), or Melissa Chan, Associate Director of Judicial Affairs, Division of Student Affairs (718.951.5352), as appropriate. The CUNY Equal Opportunity and Non-discrimination Policy and Complaint Procedures includes additional information regarding reporting discrimination and/or retaliation. 

  • The New York State Education Law provides that no student shall be expelled or refused admission to an institution of higher education because he or she is unable to attend classes or participate in examinations or study or work requirements on any particular day or days because of religious beliefs.
  • Students who are unable to attend classes on a particular day or days because of religious beliefs will be excused from any examination or study or work requirements.
  • Faculty must make good-faith efforts to provide students absent from class because of religious beliefs equivalent opportunities to make up the work missed; no additional fees may be charged for this consideration.
  • If classes, examinations, or study or work requirements occur on Friday after 4 p.m. or on Saturday, similar or makeup classes, examinations, or study or work requirements will be made available on other days, where possible and practical.
  • The faculty and the administration will not allow any adverse or prejudicial effects to accrue to students availing themselves of this regulation.
  • If students have complaints about the application of this policy, they are entitled to bring action or a proceeding for enforcement of their rights in the Supreme Court of Kings County

Bereavement Policy:

  • Students who experience the death of a loved one must contact the Division of Student Affairs, 2113 Boylan Hall, if they wish to implement either the Standard Bereavement Procedure or the Leave of Absence Bereavement Procedure. The Division of Student Affairs has the right to request a document that verifies the death (e.g., a funeral program or death notice). Contact Email:
  • Typically, this death involves that of a family member, in parallel to the bereavement policy for faculty and staff. However, it is up to the discretion of the Division of Student Affairs to determine if a death outside of the immediate family warrants implementation of the student bereavement policy.
  •  As an option, and in consultation with the Division of Student Affairs, students may take the Leave of Absence Bereavement after the Standard Bereavement.
  • Reference to the Student Bereavement Policies will be noted on course syllabi.
  • Students requesting a religious accommodation should contact the Division of Student Affairs as well. The chief student affairs officer, or a designee, and the student will engage in an interactive process with the goal of finding an acceptable accommodation.

Bereavement Procedure:

  • Upon approval from the Division of Student Affairs, the student is allowed one week, commencing from the day of notification to the Division of Student Affairs, of excused absence.
  • Should the student feel that he/she needs additional days, these should be discussed with individual course instructors and/or the Division of Student Affairs.
  • The Division of Student Affairs will contact the student’s faculty and academic staff of the student’s courses.
  • Faculty and academic staff will be advised that extensions must be granted to the student for the period of one week of excused absence.
  • Further extensions may be negotiated with the student when he or she returns to campus.
  • Students are encouraged to discuss options with their instructors.

Leave of Absence Bereavement Procedure:

  • Students may be allowed to withdraw from the semester in which the death occurs.
  • The Bereavement Leave of Absence is for one semester only.
  • Students who have opted to take the Bereavement Leave of Absence and have already attended classes for the semester of the leave will be allowed to re-enter the following semester without having to reapply to the college.
  • Students who wish to take the leave of absence prior to the beginning of the semester will be required to reapply for the following semester.
  • Students who are in good academic standing will be given the opportunity to successfully complete the credits for the semester in which they return.
  • Students will consult with the Division of Student Affairs, on a case-by-case basis, as to whether they should withdraw from their courses during this leave of absence or to request incompletes from the faculty member.
  •  Given that there may be a potential impact on financial aid, students who receive financial aid and who take the Bereavement Leave of Absence, upon arrangement with the Division of Student Affairs, will meet with a financial aid adviser prior to taking this option.

Note from Professor: As an educator, I support the rights of undocumented students to an education. If you have any concerns in that regard, feel free to discuss them with me, and I will respect your wishes concerning confidentiality.

  • Brooklyn College’s Immigrant Student Success Office
    • Location:117 Roosevelt Hall
      Immigrant Student Success Office or access the College’s Resources for Undocumented Students and DACA. For those who would benefit from support with English language, ESL services are available. The mission of the Immigrant Student Success Office (ISSO) is to recruit, enroll, and retain students, with an emphasis on new immigrants, such as students granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) who identify with the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAMERS), and first-generation students by providing the necessary academic and non-academic support to ensure graduation from Brooklyn College in a timely manner.
  • Brooklyn College’s Resources for Undocumented Students and DACA
    • Brooklyn College has a long-standing commitment to diversity and equal opportunity in all aspects of employment and education practices. We are strongly committed to supporting policies and practices that foster nondiscrimination, affirmative action, diversity, and inclusion as well as to providing myriad resources that assist our students.
  • ESL (English as a Second Language) Program
    • Brooklyn College is the largest public university in Brooklyn, which in turn is the most populous of New York City’s five boroughs and the chosen destination of many college bound immigrants. As a branch of the English Department, the ESL Program serves the college’s immigrant population and international students by offering academic preparation in reading, writing and conversation to matriculated non-native speakers of English. Undergraduate students enroll in a series of undergraduate courses; graduate students may opt for an elective course within the graduate division.