The years between 1954 and 1975 have been variously described by historians as a Second Reconstruction and the "fulfillment of the promise of the American Revolution." These years, which constitute the civil rights era, witnessed African Americans and their allies transforming the nation by overturning Jim Crow segregation, challenging racism, and expanding the idea and reality of freedom in America. While this period was one in which most African Americans fought for greater inclusion in American society, it also was one which saw the rise of militant nationalist organizations like the Nation of Islam and the Black Panther Party that sought to separate themselves from an America they saw as hopelessly depraved and racist. This seminar will be an intense exploration of this revolutionary period and its personalities through close examination of a variety of primary and secondary sources, documentaries and motion pictures.
This course has been designed as a discussion course with a series of mini-research assignments. The course focuses on the role and contributions of sociology and the social sciences to the conceptualization of law and legal policymaking. Course materials will draw upon research performed primarily within the context of the American civil and criminal justice system. We also will examine some prevalent notions about what law is or should be, legal behavior and practices, and justifications for resorting to law to solve social problems. Through the use of mini-research assignments, students will gain an appreciation for the complexity and far-reaching impact that the social sciences have upon social policymaking and legal policymaking as well as the difficulty of determining or measuring law and its impact. This course is highly recommended for students participating in the John W. Adams Summer Scholars Program in Socio-legal Studies. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.
This is an upper-level seminar that offers students in the concentration an opportunity to integrate the various topics and approaches to which they were exposed in the law-related courses they have taken. Each year, the senior seminar will be designed around a specific substantive theme or topic; the themes as well as the format and approach to the course will change from year to year, depending upon the faculty members teaching the course and their interests. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.
This course provides students with an overview of the classification, causes, pathways, and treatment of adult mental disorders, including anxiety, mood disorders, and personality disorders. Included will be discussion of critical issues and controversies in this field, such as the definition of abnormality, as well as an extended emphasis on cross-cultural issues in psychopathology. Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or 110 or AP score of 5. Typically offered every year.
What are the forces that shape human bodies and bodily experience? How do these forces vary across societies, cultures, and historical periods? This mid-level course will examine the body, not as a pre-social, biological or physical fact, but through a lens that considers the ways in which bodies are socially, culturally and historically constructed. Furthermore, this course will examine how bodies are gendered, raced, classed, sexualized, medicalized, and disabled in ways that affect embodied experience and life chances. While the body has not often been at the forefront of classical sociological analyses of social control and social stratification, multiple focused approaches to theorizing and researching the body have emerged in recent decades. This course, then, will survey the wide variety of contemporary sociological approaches to the body, as well as provide students with ample opportunities to understand and then critically analyze these approaches. This course counts toward the "institutions and change" and "culture and identity" requirements for the major. Prerequisite: 100-level sociology course.
We are surrounded by popular imagery that reflects, reinforces, and reproduces hierarchical divisions between us. This course applies sociological theories in examining artifacts of popular culture that emphasize these processes and social divisions. Drawing from popular television, film and literature, the course pursues an academic understanding of how social division is portrayed in and projected upon society, as well contemplates explanations and repercussions of those processes. This course counts toward the "culture and identity" requirement for the Sociology major. Prerequisite: 100-level sociology course.
In this course, we survey the broad field of the sociology of organizations and consider how major theories in the literature shed light on different organizational settings, from the workplace to the state. We’ll discuss major concepts in organizational ecology, survey institutional and field theory and address issues of power and inequality through the study of individuals within organizations. We will then couple these broad schools of theoretical explanation with the lens of gender to examine the relationship between organizations and careers, education and the state. We will ground our analysis in current issues,including job applicant inequality and cultural matching, the changing meaning of a college education, sexual assault on campus, and the role and meaning of the American state in structuring citizens’ social life and meaning-making processes. Throughout the course students will develop presentation skills, critical reading and writing skills and individual analysis skills. In the final project for the course students engage with the class’s theories to study an aspect of Kenyon College as an organization. Prerequisite: 100-level sociology course.
In this course, we will engage and examine the sociological theories of race and ethnicity from Du Bois’ classic writings to the empirical analyses of the contemporary literature. We will address theories of the social construction of race, racial formation, consciousness, identity, racial and ethnic boundaries, panethnicity and intersectionality. We will use empirical readings to examine how these theories apply, explain, and complicate our understanding of how race and ethnicity inform and are informed by the state, the labor market, education, the family, class, the law and the prison system. Grounding our study primarily in the context of the United States, we will ask questions about the changing racial order, the social problem of mass incarceration, the social and political implications of colorblindness, and racism across history and in the contemporary moment. Students will develop skills of oral presentation, theoretical application and analysis, and research design and implementation throughout the course. Prerequisite: 100-level sociology course.