Displaying courses for Spring 2017
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|10036||SOCY 101.00||Powers, Energies and Peoples|
This course introduces students to the field of sociology through the study of energy and power in several of their conceptual forms: as social levers of oppression and inequities, as the physical capacity behind economic development and material accumulation, and as complicated and contested cultural symbols. The course will draw from historical and contemporary case studies in western society. Students may take only one introductory-level course. Students are expected to take an introductory-level course to enroll in an area and core courses in sociology. Offered every year.
|TR||2:40 pm-4:00 pm||Ralston House 100|
|Seats filled/limit: 25/25|
|10037||SOCY 102.00||Social Dreamers|
This introductory course for first- and second-year students traces the development of modern social theory from the 17th to the 20th century. It begins by examining the fundamental social institutions and values that characterize modern society and the Enlightenment in the works of Descartes, Locke, Dickens, Weber and J.S. Mill: (1) rise of modern state, political democracy and utilitarianism; (2) market economy, industrialization and economic liberalism; (3) new class system and capitalism; (4) modern personality (self) and individualism; and (5) principles of natural science, technological reason and positivism. The course then turns to the dreams and imagination of Romanticism in the 19th and 20th centuries with its critique of modernity in the works of Marx (socialism), Freud (psychoanalysis), Camus and Schopenhauer (existentialism) and Nietzsche (nihilism). We will outline the development of the distinctive principles and institutions of modernity in the following works: Dickens, Hard Times; Marx, Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844; Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism and Science as a Vocation; Locke, Second Treatise of Government; Mill, On Liberty; Descartes, The Meditations Concerning First Philosophy; Freud, Dora: An Analysis of a Case of Hysteria and Five Lectures on Psychoanalysis; Camus, The Fall; Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation; and Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols. Students may take only one introductory-level course. Students are expected to take an introductory-level course to enroll in an area and core courses in sociology. Prerequisite: first-year and sophomore students only. Offered every year.
|MWF||10:10 am-11:00 am||Ralston House 100|
|Seats filled/limit: 24/24|
|10038||SOCY 107.00||Institutions and Inequalities|
This introductory course will analyze social structures and their impact on the experiences of individuals. We will look at the ways in which social structures construct and constrain reality for individuals and how society and social institutions shape individual values, attitudes and behaviors. The course will examine sociological concepts through an analysis of culture, social inequality, and social institutions. The first portion of the class will focus on understanding culture and how we become social beings. We will then move to an examination of social stratification and inequalities, paying particular attention to the impact of race, class, and gender on the lives of individuals in American society. We will look at recent changes in many social institutions and the impact these changes have had on individuals and society. By the end of the course, you should understand common sociological concepts and perspectives and be able to consider aspects of the social world through the sociological lens. Students may take only one introductory-level course. Students are expected to take an introductory-level course io enroll in area and core courses in sociology. Offered every year.
|MWF||2:10 pm-3:00 pm||Ralston House 100|
|Seats filled/limit: 26/25|
|10041||SOCY 237.00||Borders and Border Crossings|
Popular conceptions of globalization often allude to the growing magnitude of global flows and the stunning rapidity with which capital, commodities, culture, information and people now cross national borders. From this characterization, one might conclude that national borders and indeed nation-states themselves are becoming increasingly porous and irrelevant as sources or sites of social regulation and control. This course examines the material reality of border regions and movement across them as a means of interrogating these assumptions and exposing how globalization rescales and reconfigures power differentials in human society but does not eliminate them. It scrutinizes technological, economic, political and ideological forces that facilitate border crossings for some groups of people under particular circumstances, then explores the seemingly contradictory tendency toward border fortification. Topics include: regional trade integration and political economy of border regions; the global sex trade and illegal trafficking of economic migrants; global civil society and sanctuary movements; paramilitary and vigilante border patrols; and the technology of surveillance. This course includes a required off-campus experiential component at the U.S.-Mexico border that takes place during the first week of spring break. This course counts toward the "institutions and change" requirement for the major. Prerequisite: 100-level sociology course or permission of instructor. Offered every other year.
|TR||9:40 am-11:00 am||Treleaven House 101|
|Seats filled/limit: 11/12||Permission of Instructor Required|
|10709||SOCY 240.00||Sociology of Crime & Deviance|
Our common sense tells us that certain acts are "wrong"; that particular persons who engage in them are "deviant." But common sense suggests little about how and why a particular act or actor comes to be understood in this way. Using a wide range of readings from literature as well as sociology, this course explores the origins and significance of deviance within social life. We carry the distinction between being different and being deviant throughout the semester. This course provides a substantial introduction to criminology, with consideration of the social characteristics of offenders and victims, crime rates, and various justifications of punishment. This course should be of interest to students within many majors who are concerned with theoretical, practical and ethical questions concerning the concepts of good and evil as foundations of human society. This course counts toward the "institutions and change" or "culture and identity" requirement for the major. Prerequisite: 100-level sociology course or permission of instructor. Offered every other year.
|MWF||11:10 am-12:00 pm||Ralston House 100|
|Seats filled/limit: 18/18|
|10042||SOCY 242.00||Science and Society|
The first part of this mid-level course will examine the underlying philosophical and sociological foundations of modern science and rationality. It will begin by examining the differences between the ancient Greek and medieval views of physics, causality and organic nature, and the modern worldview of natural science in Galileo, Descartes and Newton. We will then turn to the debates within the philosophy of science (Burtt, Popper, Kuhn, Quine, Feyerabend and Rorty) and the sociology of science (Scheler, Ellul, Leiss, Marcuse and Habermas) about the nature of scientific inquiry and the social/political meaning of scientific discoveries. Does science investigate the essential reality of nature, or is it influenced by the wider social relations and practical activities of modern industrial life? Does science reflect the nature of reality or the nature of society? We will deal with the expanded rationalization of modern society: the application of science and technological rationality (efficiency, productivity and functionality) to economic, political and social institutions. We will examine the process of modernization and rationalization in science, labor, politics, the academy and ecology. Finally, we will discuss the debates within the environmental movement between the deep and social ecologists as to the nature and underlying causes of the environmental crisis. Readings will be from T. Kuhn, M. Berman, H. Braverman, E. A. Burtt, M. Horkheimer, C. Lasch, F. Capra, and M. Bookchin. This course counts toward the "culture and identity" requirement for the major. Prerequisite: 100-level sociology course.
|MWF||1:10 pm-2:00 pm||Treleaven House 101|
|Seats filled/limit: 13/14|
|10039||SOCY 262.00||Classical Trad to Contemp Thry|
The purpose of this course is to guide students to draw linkages from classical theory to the formation of contemporary sociological theory. Discussion will be guided by the personal biographies of the theorists: their family background, where they were educated, and what events or persons they were influenced by as they formulated the theories for which they are known. The emphasis is placed upon acquiring breadth of knowledge, rather than depth. For a more comprehensive understanding of many of the theorists discussed in this class, students are directed to SOCY 361 and SOCY 362. This course is not intended for seniors, although it is required for all majors. Students are advised, then, to enroll in this class as soon as they begin to consider majoring in sociology. This course counts toward the "theory" requirement for the major. Prerequisite: 100-level sociology course. Offered every year.
|MWF||9:10 am-10:00 am||Ralston House 100|
|Seats filled/limit: 26/20|
|10044||SOCY 291.01||Special Topic: Sociology of the Body|
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.
|MWF||10:10 am-11:00 am||Cheever SEM|
|Seats filled/limit: 24/20|
|10045||SOCY 291.02||Special Topic: Pop Culture: Window on Inequity|
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.
|MWF||12:10 pm-1:00 pm||Ralston House 100|
|Seats filled/limit: 19/20|
|10691||SOCY 291.03||Special Topic: Sociology of Organizations|
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.
|WF||2:10 pm-3:30 pm|
|Seats filled/limit: 15/20|
|10692||SOCY 291.04||Special Topic: Sociology of Race and Ethnicity|
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.
|WF||8:40 am-10:00 am||Cheever SEM|
|Seats filled/limit: 11/20|
|10046||SOCY 362.00||Contemporary Social Theory|
Social theories offer systematic explanations of human behavior as well as insights into the historical moments in which they were created. In this course we will investigate some of the last century's major theories concerning the nature of society and the human social process. Most of these sociological theories are American in origin, but some new developments in Western European thought will be included as well. Specific theories to be considered include: (1) the functionalist theory of Talcott Parsons; (2) social behaviorism, as articulated by George Herbert Mead; (3) Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann's sociology of knowledge; (4) the critical theory of Herbert Marcuse; and (5) intersection theory, as developed by Patricia Hill Collins. The consideration of the intellectual and social contexts in which these theoretical traditions have arisen will be central to our analysis throughout. This course will be of value to students interested in developing a systematic approach to understanding society and should be especially relevant to those concentrating in the social sciences. This course counts toward the "theory" requirement for the major. Prerequisite: SOCY 262 or permission of instructor. Offered every year.
|TR||9:40 am-11:00 am||Graham Gund Gallery 102|
|Seats filled/limit: 10/15|
|10047||SOCY 373.00||Qualitative Research Methods|
This course focuses on learning to use qualitative methods to answer questions about social life. We will discuss individual and group interviews, observational techniques, and content analysis of documents and visual images. Students will practice using these techniques by carrying out a semester-long research project using these methods. We also will discuss the "nuts and bolts" of designing a research project, writing research proposals, collecting data, analyzing data and writing up qualitative research. Finally, we will contextualize this practical instruction with discussions of research ethics, issues of reliability and validity in qualitative research, the relationship between qualitative methods and theory-building, and the place of qualitative methods in the discipline of sociology. This course counts toward the "methods" requirement for the major. Prerequisite: sophomore standing and SOCY 271 or LGLS 371 or permission of instructor. Offered every two years.
|TR||2:40 pm-4:00 pm||Treleaven House 101|
|Seats filled/limit: 11/15|
|10606||SOCY 463.00||Intersectional Theory|
This upper-level seminar explores the emerging paradigm of intersectionality. Its principal objective is to develop an understanding of the ways in which the salient identities of class position, race, and gender function simultaneously to produce the outcomes we observe in the lives of individuals and in society. While there is a large body of literature in each of the three areas (class, race, gender), only recently have theorists and researchers attempted to model and analyze the "simultaneity" of their functioning as one concerted force in our everyday lives. We will pursue this objective in this seminar by exploring the roles of gender and race/ethnicity in the United States during the early development of capitalism and in the present, by re-examining key concepts in conflict theory through the lens of intersectional theory, and by studying the roles of class, gender, and race/ethnicity at the level of the global economy today as in the past. This course counts toward the "culture and identity" or "theory" requirement for the major. This course fulfills the senior seminar requirement of the African Diaspora Studies Concentration and may be counted toward the American studies and women's and gender studies majors. Prerequisite: Junior standing and SOCY 262 or 361, or permission of instructor. Offered every two to three years.
|TR||1:10 pm-2:30 pm||Timberlake House 4|
|Seats filled/limit: 12/14|
|10214||SOCY 498.00||Senior Honors|
See the course description for SOCY 497.
|Seats filled/limit: 0/10|