How to revise theory

These are some of the slides I have developed for this year’s revision lecture for my students on Modern and Contemporary Sociological Theory at Durham. I am posting them here as they may be a useful pedagogical resource for thinking through teaching – not only social (or sociological) theory but also other kinds of social and political thought.

These slides are meant to help students revise and prepare for exams – note that this is not the extensive engagement we seek to encourage in essays, and does not represent the way teaching or revising theory is approached in other modules (or the other half of this module) at Durham. If you are using these (or similar) slides in your own teaching I’d be keen to hear from you!

This is the introductory slide that describes the ‘4C’ approach to revision:

(1) Specify the social, historical and political context of theories;

(2) Discuss their content (and how they approach different elements of social ontology and epistemology – note that this is a longer discussion);

(3) Contribution: discuss how they contributed to sociologcal knowledge, and addressed and challenged preceding/existing theories;

(4) Critique: how have other (or later) theories challenged or deconstructed the theories you are summarizing?

This is an example of how to do this for Critical Race Theory and theories of intersectionality (as difficult as it is to reduce all of this to one slide!)

And here are two more…decolonial and postcolonial theory and (some of the) contemporary feminist theories, performativity and affect

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Some of my recent Youtube talks:

University of Cambridge Sociology Seminar Series, 21-22

19 October 2021

Jana Bacevic: Epistemic Positioning and Epistemic Injustice

Philosopher Spring seminar series, On Philosophy

Jana Bacevic in conversation with Sally Haslanger: Doing Justice to the Social

21 June 2021

Jana Bacevic & Federico Brandmayr: Authority and the politics of expertise

12 May 2021

CRASSH Politics of economics seminar series

Jana Bacevic: Disciplines, expertise and the Corona crisis

25 June 2020

The Philosopher Seminar Series, Autumn 2020: What is we?

The Universality of Non-Belonging: Jana Bacevic in conversation with Todd McGowan

10 November 2020