Displaying courses for Fall 2015
Log in to plan your semester and create a list of courses to bring to your adviser.
You may mix and match any of the browse option below.
Entries in grey have reached their registration limit.
|80108||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 century 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,
|MWF||10:10 am-11:00 am||Ralston House 100|
|Seats filled/limit: 24/24||Permission of Instructor Required|
|80109||SOCY 105.00||Society in Compar Perspective|
From our vantage point in the 21st century, we perceive that the nature and fate of American society is increasingly connected to the nature and fate of society in other parts of the world. But what is "society" and how does it change over time? How, exactly, does society shape the human experience and human behavior in the United States and elsewhere? And how can we understand the ties that bind society "here" to society "there"? Sociology crystallized in the 19th century to address big questions like these in light of the profound uncertainty and human suffering that accompanied the rise of industrial capitalism, rapid urbanization and the consolidation of the centralized bureaucratic state. This course introduces students to the discipline by revisiting the work of early sociologists, then using the analytical lenses they developed to examine concrete cases of social change and globalization. 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.
|MWF||2:10 pm-3:00 pm||Ralston House 100|
|Seats filled/limit: 22/25||Permission of Instructor Required|
|80556||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 come 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 in order to enroll in area and core courses in sociology. Offered every year.
|TR||9:40 am-11:00 am||Ralston House 100|
|Seats filled/limit: 27/25||Permission of Instructor Required|
|80110||SOCY 108.00||Public Life|
Sociologists study the intersection of private troubles and public concerns. We argue that participating in a vibrant public life is important to a free and democratic polity. But what is "the public"? Who belongs to it? And can public discussion and participation really effect social and political change? By examining how public life has changed from the Middle Ages today, this course introduces the core theories, concepts and approaches that form the basis of modern sociology. Students will explore the idea of America as "a nation of joiners," the sociology of a social gathering, the tensions inherent in the civilizing effects of modernity, the forces that exclude people from public life and how we might innovate ways to make our publics and our democracies more inclusive. Students may take only one introductory-level course. Students are expected to take an introductory-level course in order to enroll in area and core courses in sociology. No prerequisite.
|WF||2:10 pm-3:30 pm||Ascension Hall 226|
|Seats filled/limit: 18/25|
|80111||SOCY 235.00||Transnational Social Movements|
Especially since the civil rights, student, and antiwar movements of the 1950s and 1960s in the United States, sociologists have studied how individuals mobilize collectively and self-consciously to promote social change at a national level. Building on this tradition, this mid-level course examines a recent wave of protest movements that self-consciously organize across national borders. Under what circumstances and with what chances of success do national movements form alliances that cross borders? Is it true that globalization has generated new resources and strategic opportunities for the rise of transnational movements? In an age of accelerated globalization, do national borders still contain movements in any significant way? We will address these questions and others using case studies of contemporary environmental, anti-sweatshop, indigenous rights and religious movements. This course counts toward the "institutions and change" requirement for the major. Prerequisite: 100-level sociology course. Offered every other year.
|MWF||11:10 am-12:00 pm||Ralston House 100|
|Seats filled/limit: 19/20||Permission of Instructor Required|
|80114||SOCY 241.00||Sociology of Gender|
Sociology has long recognized the different roles of men and women in society, but the systematic, sociological analysis of how and why these roles have been developed and maintained continues to be a contested terrain of scholarship and popular debate. This course will analyze the social construction of gender and its salience in our everyday lives. Using sociological theory in the context of gender, we will link the private experiences of individuals to the structure of social institutions. The course will begin with the familiar world of socialization and move to the more abstract level of institutions of social control and sex-based inequalities within social institutions, including the economy and family. This course counts toward the "culture and identity" or the "institutions and change" requirement for the major. Prerequisite: 100-level sociology course or permission of instructor. Offered every two years.
|WF||2:10 pm-3:30 pm||Tomsich Hall 101|
|Seats filled/limit: 19/20|
|80112||SOCY 243.00||Soc Justice:Ancient/Mod Tradit|
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, Wallis, Farmer, Novak, Baum, Miranda, Fromm, Pirsig, Schumacher and N. Wolf. This course counts toward the "culture and identity" or "institutions and change" requirement for the major. This course is also listed as RLST 380. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.
|MWF||1:10 pm-2:00 pm||Ralston House 100|
|Seats filled/limit: 9/10||Permission of Instructor Required|
|80113||SOCY 271.00||Methods of Social Research|
Knowing how to answer a question, including what constitutes good evidence and how to collect it, is a necessary ability for any sociologist, or for any student reading the sociological research of others. The primary goal is to understand when and how to use research strategies such as survey questionnaires, interviews, fieldwork and analysis of historical documents. Students will conduct small-scale research projects using these techniques. This course is not intended for seniors, although it is required for all sociology 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 "methods" requirement for the major. Prerequisite: 100-level sociology course and sophomore standing. Offered every year.
|TR||2:40 pm-4:00 pm||Ralston House 100|
|Seats filled/limit: 16/16||Permission of Instructor Required|
|80115||SOCY 291.00||Special Topic: Women, Crime and the Law|
This course is designed as a middle-level seminar and directed research course that will focus upon the role and status of women within the U.S. criminal justice system. Students will examine the evolution of roles, responsibilities, and treatment of women who occupy various statuses within the system, including that of criminals, victims/survivors of crime, and criminal justice professionals. This course will examine contemporary theories of women's criminality, especially a growing body of literature in the field of feminist criminology. Using a wide range of texts, monographs, and articles to stimulate critical thinking and discussion about the problem of crime in and upon the lives of women, a primary inquiry in the course will be "Does, and in what ways can, one's sex or gender affect one's access to and response from the American criminal justice system?" The format of the class meetings will be primarily one of discussion. The success of the course depends significantly upon the effective mixture of class discussion and participation; conventional "lectures," if they occur at all, will be a very minor part of the class. Thus, student participation is not only strongly encouraged, but is essential toward maximizing the full potential of the course and the students in it. The final letter grade will be determined by the students' performance with respect to class participation and successful completion of a semester-long research project. All phases of the research will be incorporated into the required course blog that each student will maintain. Each student will identify a woman (criminal, victim, or law enforcer) through whose story the research will be built. The facts and issues raised in that narrative will form the basis of the outline for the research. At the end of the semester, each student will have written and produced a feature radio program or podcast containing the prescribed elements of the research. The expectation is that students enrolled will have taken an introductory course in a social science course and/or an introductory course in legal studies. Prerequisite: sophomore standing.
|M||1:10 pm-4:00 pm||O'Connor House SEM|
|Seats filled/limit: 11/14||Permission of Instructor Required||Waitlist|
|80720||SOCY 291.02||Special Topic: Sociology of Mental Health and Illness|
Currently, there is in American society much discussion surrounding issues of mental illness and how to deal with those identified as having a mental illness. These discussions are usually framed within psychological and medical discourses. This means that sociological paradigms are left out of most conversations about the causes of mental illness, treatment practices, and the means by which our society can improve the psychological well-being of its individual citizens and the population as a whole. The goal of this course, then, is to provide students with sociological insights into several issues surrounding mental illness, those identified as mentally ill, and the treatment of mental illness by the field of psychiatry. To that end, we will trace the history of the perception of, and treatment practices applied to, the psychologically “deviant;” we will investigate the medicalization (by psychiatry) of psychological deviance and the social construction of mental illness; and we will explore the various treatment practices of psychiatry in the post-war years and the subsequent anti-psychiatry movement of the 1960s and 1970s. In addition, we will discuss many of the social determinants of mental illness, the disparity in the rates of mental illness across the population, and we will seek to understand the lived experience of those with mental illness and the social stigma that is attached to mental illness. This course, then, has been developed in order for students to be able to present a sociological contribution to current cultural debates surrounding mental illness and rationales for psychiatric treatment. This course counts toward the "institutions and change" requirement for the major. Prerequisite: 100-level sociology course or permission of instructor.
|MWF||10:10 am-11:00 am||Samuel Mather Hall 306|
|Seats filled/limit: 21/20|
|80721||SOCY 291.03||Special Topic: Sociology of Medicine|
While sociology in medicine uses sociology to clarify medically defined problems such as the nature of patient compliance, a sociology of medicine takes a critical look at how medicine both enables and constrains human behavior. That is, sociologists of medicine want to understand the practices of medical control of individuals, groups, and populations. These practices work to control those within medicine, such as those studying to become medical professionals as students in medical school, and those practicing the healing arts and sciences in clinical settings. Medical control is also deployed onto lay individuals, both the sick and the healthy, through its claims to scientific authority (and resistance to lay opinions), through seeing illness as only treatable by western medicine, and through defining deviance and, conversely, normal human conditions and experiences, as pathological. Therefore, in this mid-level sociology course, we will use concepts such as power, status, role, structure, organization, practice, labor, socialization, and culture to develop a sociological and critical analysis of medicine as an institution of social control. After a brief summary of the history of medicine, we will discuss and examine sociological monographs on medical education, nursing, the medicalization of society, the clash of two cultural perceptions of disease and treatment, and the conflict within medical science and the conflict between medicine and interests groups regarding the nature and treatment of an epidemic. This course counts toward the "institutions and change" requirement for the major. Prerequisite: 100-level sociology course or permission of instructor.
|TR||2:40 pm-4:00 pm||Fischman 205|
|Seats filled/limit: 8/20|
|80116||SOCY 361.00||Classical Social Theory|
This course examines the development of classical social theory in the 19th and early 20th centuries. In the first part, we will stress the philosophical and intellectual foundations of classical theory in the works of Descartes, Hobbes, Locke, Hume, Kant and Hegel. We will examine how social theory integrated modern philosophy, classical political science (law) and historical political economy in the formation of a new discipline. Distinguishing itself from the other social sciences as an ethical science, classical sociology, for the most part, rejected the Enlightenment view of positivism and natural science as the foundation for social science as it turned instead to German idealism and existentialism for guidance. It also rejected the Enlightenment view of liberal individualism and utilitarian economics, and in the process united the ancient ideals of ethics and politics (Aristotle) with the modern (neo-Kantian) concern for empirical and historical research. The second part of the course will examine the classical analysis of the historical origins of Western society in the structures and culture of alienation (Marx), rationalization (Weber), and anomie and division of labor (Durkheim). At the methodological level, we will study the three different views of classical science: critical science and the dialectical method (Marx), interpretive science and the historical method of understanding and value relevance (Weber), and positivistic science and the explanatory method of naturalism and realism (Durkheim). This course counts toward the "theory" requirement for the major. Prerequisite:100-level sociology course and one additional sociology course or permission of instructor.
|M||7:00 pm-10:00 pm||Treleaven House 101|
|Seats filled/limit: 11/14||Permission of Instructor Required|
|80117||SOCY 374.00||Comptv.-Historical Analysis|
Social scientists have used comparative-historical methods to answer "big questions" about social and political phenomena. Indeed, focusing on historical patterns in small numbers of key cases, scholars have contributed canonical texts about democratization, revolutions, identity formation and economic development (among others). Students will work closely with exemplary texts, learn and apply different techniques of causal inference, and explore the ongoing debate between comparative-historical methods and quantitative analysis. This course counts toward the "methods" requirement for the major. Prerequisite: SOCY 271 or permission of instructor.
|M||1:10 pm-4:00 pm||Treleaven House 101|
|Seats filled/limit: 12/12||Permission of Instructor Required|
|80118||SOCY 422.00||Topics in Soc Stratification|
The primary objective of this advanced seminar is to pursue a comprehensive examination of contemporary issues which determine social stratification in the United States and, thereby, impact public policy and societal values. Some of the topics which may be addressed during the course of a semester are race relations in the United States, gender, work, family, sexuality, poverty and religion. The topics covered from one semester to the next may change radically or not at all, though they will be of importance to any discussion of the institutional forces that govern our society. Enrollment is strictly limited to 14 students. Prerequisite: foundation course in sociology and one mid-level course in sociology or permission of the instructor.
|TR||1:10 pm-2:30 pm||Treleaven House 101|
|Seats filled/limit: 7/14|
|80626||SOCY 426.00||Civil Society & Social Theory|
For many scholars, activists, and development professionals, a robust civil society increases the quality of democratic governance. NGOs, self-help organizations, and even singing clubs have been seen as democratic bulwarks. On the other hand, some observers think civil society may weaken democratic institutions and may even be vehicles for extremism. What is civil society and how does it relate to democracy? Who belongs in civil society? Can we repair damaged civic relationships? To address those puzzles, this course explores contemporary theories of civil society through the work of four thinkers who extend the work of Tocqueville, Marx, Weber, and Durkheim -- Robert Putnam, Antonio Gramsci, Jurgen Habermas, and Jeffrey Alexander. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.
|W||7:00 pm-10:00 pm||Timberlake House 4|
|Seats filled/limit: 10/12||Permission of Instructor Required|
|80748||SOCY 497.00||Senior Honors|
This course is for students pursuing departmental honors. Prerequisite: permission of instructor and department chair.
|Seats filled/limit: 1/10|