This course examines the law, legal profession, and legal institutions from a variety of traditional social-science perspectives. The primary frame of reference will be sociological and social psychological. The objective of the course is to expose students to a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives on law and to encourage the examination of law-related phenomena through the literature of multiple disciplines. Topics to be covered include law as a social institution; law as a social-control mechanism; a history of law in the United States; the U.S. criminal justice system; philosophies of law; law and psychology; comparative legal cultures; and law and social change. This survey course is intended to encourage and facilitate a critical study of law in society and serve as a foundation from which to pursue the study of law and legal issues in other curricular offerings. This course is required for those students who intend to complete a Law and Society Concentration. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or higher.
The central question in ethics is "How should I live my life?" This course explores this question by examining major ethical traditions such as honor ethics, Stoicism, Aristotelian virtue ethics, utilitarianism, Kantian deontology, and Nietzsche's genealogy of morality. The emphasis is on classical texts, as well as their connections with our contemporary life. This course is suitable for first-year students. Offered every year.
Does the U.S. Congress possess the capacity for independent and effective law-making, budgeting, and oversight of the executive? To what extent has Congress ceded policymaking responsibility to the president? How does Congressional performance vary across policy areas and what accounts for these variations? How have recent reforms affected Congressional performance? This course explores these questions by examining the historical development and contemporary performance of the U.S. Congress. We will analyze the factors that influence the policymaking process, including the electoral setting in which legislators operate, the relationship of Congress to interest groups, and the party and committee systems within the institution. We will also analyze the performance of Congress in several policy areas. This course can be used to complete the requirement in American politics for political science majors. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Offered every two years.
This course presents an overview of the concepts, operation, genesis, and content of international law and organizations, both respecting the international community generally and with particular reference and application to the United States. Our primary focus is public international law--those legal regimes and apparatus made by and for states and the handful of nongovernmental organizations endowed with international legal personality--we will also touch upon private international law, as respects corporations and individuals in such areas as trade and crimes. Contemporary issues covered include the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the law of armed conflict (LOAC), international trade, and human rights law (HRL) and emerging issues such as environmental and outer space law. Students will be familiarized with the current state of the international legal order, situate international law among competing theoretical approaches, and provide a toolkit for analyzing contemporary international controversies.
This course provides students with an introductory overview of the nature, causes, and treatment of adolescent and adult mental disorders, including anxiety disorders, mood disorders, schizophrenia, and organic mental disorders. Included there will be discussion of critical issues and controversies in this field, such as the definition of abnormality and the labeling of abnormal behavior. Prerequisites: PSYC 101 and PSYC 102 or PSYC 100. This course is typically offered every year.
This mid-level course will examine the development of theories of ethics and social justice from the ancient Hebrew tradition of Torah and the prophets, New Testament writers Luke and Matthew, and medieval natural law, to modern discussions about social, political, and economic justice. We will explore how critical social theory has been applied within the political and economic context of modern industrial societies and how biblical and later religious teachings have been used as the basis for social ethics. Questions of justice, freedom, development, individualism, and alienation will be major themes in this study of capitalism, Christianity, and Marxism. Special emphasis will be on contemporary debates about the ethics of democratic capitalism from within conservative theology and philosophy and radical liberation theology. Readings will be from the Bible, Papal encyclicals, the American Catholic Bishops' Letter on Economics and Social Justice, Friedman, Fromm, Pirsig, Schumacher, Wallis, and Farmer. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. This course is also listed as SOCY 243.
This mid-level course will examine the various theories of ethics and social justice from the ancient Hebrew tradition of Torah and the prophets, New Testament writers Luke and Matthew, and medieval natural law, to modern discussions about social, political, and economic justice. We will explore how critical social theory has been applied within the political and economic context of modern industrial societies and how biblical and later religious teachings have been used as the basis for social ethics. Questions of justice, freedom, development, individualism, and alienation will be major themes in this study of capitalism, Christianity, and Marxism. Special emphasis will be on contemporary debates about the ethics of democratic capitalism from within both conservative theology and philosophy and radical liberation theology. Readings will be from the Bible, Papal encyclicals, the American Catholic bishops' letter on economics and social justice, Friedman, Novak, Baum, Miranda, Fromm, Pirsig, Schumacher, and N. Wolf. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. This course is also listed as RLST 380 and is team-taught with Professor Royal Rhodes.
This mid-level course focuses on the American legal system's effect on racial, ethnic, and minority groups in the United States as well as on the manner in which such groups have influenced the state of the "law" in this country. It is intended to stimulate critical and systematic thinking about the relationships among American legal institutions and selected racial, ethnic, and minority populations. The class will examine various social and cultural conditions, as well as historical and political events, that were influenced in large part by the minority status of the participants. These conditions will be studied to determine in what ways, if any, the American legal system has advanced, accommodated, or frustrated the interests of these groups. Through exposure to the legislative process and legal policymaking, students should gain an appreciation for the complexity of the issues and the far-reaching impact that legal institutions have on the social, political, and economic condition of racial, ethnic, and minority groups in America. The primary requirement of this course is completion of a comprehensive research project. Prerequisite: introductory sociology course (100 level) or permission of instructor. This course may be counted toward the law and society concentration, African diaspora concentration and the American studies major.
Hip hop music is, if nothing at all, about the life experiences of urban youth. From Melle Mel to Jay-Z, MCs have provided listeners with intimate details of what it means and how it feels to live in Urban America, especially in the portions of it that are poverty stricken. So what has hip hop taught us about urban communities in places like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Atlanta? What has it taught us about racial, class, and gendered dynamics that make up these locales? What has it taught us about macro-level structural forces and micro-level interactions that are responsible for the transformation of these urban spaces? These are some of the questions we will take on in this class. To do so, we listen to a number of "classic" hip hop albums and read a wide range of journalistic and scholarly writings about hip hop. In addition, we consult sociological works in urban sociology, including ethonographic works, to help us make sense of and evaluate what hip hop music says about urban America. Prerequisite: Foundation course in sociology.