Displaying courses for Fall 2014
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|80108||SOCY 103.00||Society and Culture|
This course introduces students to the field of sociology through studying the role of culture in society. We examine the connections between culture and society by following four major sociological traditions, and we combine theoretical discussions with concrete sociological studies. For the Conflict tradition, we read Marx's writing on alienation as well as a study about the complex relationship between domestic help and their employers in contemporary America; for the Durkheimian Tradition, we discuss Durkheim's view of religion and morality while reading about why women turn to Orthodox Judaism in New York City today; for the utilitarian and rational choice tradition, we discuss rational choice theory by examining a sociological and historical analysis of the rise of early Christianity; for the microinteractionist tradition, we explore the ideas of Goffman and Bourdieu through reading a French sociologist's ethnographic account of training to be a boxer in an African American gym in Chicago. This course helps students develop a sociological imagination, as well as familiarity with research methods and social theory. Prerequisite: first-year and sophomore students only. Offered every year.
|TR||2:40 pm-4:00 pm|
|Seats filled/limit: 17/25|
|80109||SOCY 105.00||Society in Compar Perspective|
From our vantage point in the twenty-first 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 nineteenth 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. Offered every year.
|MWF||2:10 pm-3:00 pm|
|Seats filled/limit: 10/25|
|80110||SOCY 107.00||Institutions and Inequalities|
This introductory course will focus on an analysis of social structure and its 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 to be 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. Offered every year.
|TR||9:40 am-11:00 am|
|Seats filled/limit: 13/25|
|80111||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 affect social and political change? By examining the ways in which public life has changed from the Middle Ages to the present day, 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. No prerequisite.
|TR||1:10 pm-2:30 pm|
|Seats filled/limit: 12/25|
|80112||SOCY 244.00||Race, Ethnicity & American Law|
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. This course fulfills the "culture and identity" or "institutions and inequalities" requirement for the major. Prerequisite: 100- level sociology course or permission of instructor. This course may be counted toward the Law and Society Concentration, African Diaspora Concentration and the American studies major.
|M||1:10 pm-4:00 pm|
|Seats filled/limit: 4/12||Permission of Instructor Required|
|80113||SOCY 245.00||Cultural Sociology|
This course examines the influence of shared meanings and practices on a variety of dimensions of contemporary American social life, including race, class, religion, political participation, close relationships, economics, and social commitment. We will consider the following questions: What is culture? How does culture operate in society? How does culture interact with social institutions and with individuals? How do we study culture sociologically? Fundamentally, cultural sociology is a way of seeing society; the goal of the course is for you to learn to see the structured meanings and practices that order all of our lives, and the possibilities the culture provides for us to influence our society's future course. Our emphasis is distinctly on the contemporary American cultural mainstream. We will discuss in class the question of whether or not such a "mainstream" exists and, if so, how we might understand it. Our starting assumption is that it is essential for Americans to understand the themes of their own culture if we are to be responsible global citizens. This course fulfills the "culture and identity" requirement for the major. Prerequisite: 100- level sociology course or permission of instructor.
|MWF||3:10 pm-4:00 pm|
|Seats filled/limit: 12/20|
|80114||SOCY 249.00||Knowledge of the Other|
In this course we deal with some of the fundamental questions in our global age: How do we understand a culture or society that is radically different from our own? This course has two parts. In the first half, we read theoretical texts such as Said's Orientalism, excerpts from Hegel's and Marx's writing on race and world history, recent work on the epistemology of ignorance, studies of religion from the East (Lopez and Masuzawa), as well as debates about the "clash of civilizations" (Huntington) and the "geography of thought" (Nisbett) in order to conceptualize the notion of "the Other" and our relationship with "the Other." In the second half, we focus on writings about Asia (Tibet, Japan, and China), such as travel writing, historical analysis, and fiction. By analyzing these accounts of the journey to the East, we learn to recognize the complex relationships we have with the cultural, religious, and social traditions that are radically different from our own, with the hope that we can develop a meaningful connection with them through reflective understanding. This course helps both sociology and Asian studies students theorize the complex and creative relationship between oneself and "the Other," and it is of use to students who have recently returned from study abroad (particularly Asia), as well as the ones who are preparing to go abroad. This course fulfills the "culture and identity" requirement for the major. Prerequisite: 100- level sociology course or permission of instructor. Offered every other year.
|R||7:00 pm-10:00 pm|
|Seats filled/limit: 8/15||Permission of Instructor Required|
|80402||SOCY 251.00||Soc. Change, Dictatorship, Dem|
Why are some countries more democratic than others? What effects have industrialization and colonization had on developing world democracies? This course probes those questions from a comparative and sociological perspective. We will explore the relationship between political regimes and socioeconomic factors, like class relations, state-led development, and racial and ethnic tensions. To do so, we will look at the contrasting political and social trajectories of European nations, the United States, East Asia, and Latin America, using historical texts, sociological theory, and in-depth case study research. This course fulfills the "institutions and inequalities" requirement for the major. Prerequisite: 100- level sociology course or permission of instructor.
|WF||2:10 pm-3:30 pm|
|Seats filled/limit: 19/20|
|80116||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 fulfills the "methods" requirement for the major. Prerequisite: 100- level sociology course and sophomore standing. Offered every year.
|TR||1:10 pm-2:30 pm|
|Seats filled/limit: 15/14|
|80117||SOCY 291.01||Special Topic: Hip Hop & Urban Sociology|
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.
|WF||8:40 am-10:00 am|
|Seats filled/limit: 15/15||Waitlist|
|80699||SOCY 291.02||Special Topic: Mass Incarceration in the U.S.|
The United States is home to 5% of the world's population, yet it makes up 25% of the world's prisoners--by far the most incarcerating nation. Mass incarceration does not impact all communities equally. Low-income individuals, African Americans, and Latinos are disproportionately imprisoned or placed under systems of criminal surveillance, such as hyper-surveillance by police authorities and criminal probation. This course will examine the historical, economic, and social conditions that have produced the current state of mass incarceration. While the majority of the literature we will read is in sociology, we will also read works in anthropology, history, geography, and ethnic studies that will enhance our sociological understanding of the phenomenon of mass incarceration. First, we will engage classical social theories of power and punishment through the works of theorists such as Michel Foucault and Erving Goffman, to familiarize ourselves with dominant sociological perspectives on the social construction of deviance and criminalization. We will read prominent theories of racialization and mass incarceration, such as Loïc Wacquant's "hyperincarceration" and Angela Davis's concept of the "prison industrial complex," to explore how prisons as a social institution operate as important sites for the social reproduction of class, racial, and gender inequality. Following this, we engage empirical studies on the impact of criminal incarceration on the families, significant others, and communities of those most subject to incarceration. The course will end with readings on the prison abolition movement and discussions around prison reform and change. Prerequisite: 100- level sociology course or permission of instructor.
|MWF||2:10 pm-3:00 pm|
|Seats filled/limit: 20/20|
|80118||SOCY 361.00||Classical Social Theory|
This course examines the development of classical social theory in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. 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 fulfills the "theory" requirement for the major. Prerequisite:100-level sociology course and one additional sociology course or permission of instructor.
|T||7:00 pm-10:00 pm|
|Seats filled/limit: 14/14||Permission of Instructor Required|
|80120||SOCY 372.00||Quantitative Research Methods|
Ever wonder how sociologists gather the information upon which they base their claims? Curious about all those charts and graphs in newspapers and magazines? Thinking about a career in marketing, survey research, or program evaluation? This course is designed for students who want to become proficient in doing and understanding quantitative social research using SPSS. The focus of this class is survey research and design. Students will learn the basics of data mining, recoding and analysis while also learning to write and present their research findings. This course fulfills the "methods" requirement for the major. Prerequisite: sophomore standing, 100- level sociology course, and SOCY 271. Offered every two years.
|MWF||11:10 am-12:00 pm||QR|
|Seats filled/limit: 7/14|
|80704||SOCY 422.00||Topics in Social 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 which govern our society. Please note that the enrollment strictly limited to no more than 14 students. Prerequisites: foundation course in sociology and one mid-level course in sociology or permission of the instructor.
|T||1:10 pm-4:00 pm|
|Seats filled/limit: 5/12|
|80121||SOCY 491.01||Special Topic: Civil Society and Social Theory|
What is civil society? Though understood broadly as the set of human relationships outside the market and the state, theorists have debated these relationships' content and functions. What is the relationship between civil society and democracy? Who belongs in civil society and who is excluded from civic life? Can damaged civic relationships be repaired? We'll focus on four major contemporary thinkers who extend the work of Tocqueville, Marx, Weber, and Durkheim: Robert Putnam, Antonio Gramsci, Jurgen Habermas, and Jeffrey Alexander. In addition, we'll address some empirical applications of their work as well as several feminist critiques. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.
|W||7:00 pm-10:00 pm|
|Seats filled/limit: 3/12||Permission of Instructor Required|
|80715||SOCY 491.02||Special Topic: Muslims as Transnational Immigrants|
The unprecedented spread of technological and communication tools, among other factors, has helped many Muslim immigrants, like immigrants from other faiths, to lead transnational lives. In addition to discussing the structural (technological, political, and economic) circumstances that contribute to the transnationalization of Muslim immigrants, this course will examine the critical cultural factor of religion in the shaping of multiple identities, discourses, and behavioral types. We will investigate the theoretical background of transnationalism as the most dynamic immigration and integration theory, and review the most influential aspects of Islam (e.g., gender and Shari’ah guidelines) on Muslims’ lives in the West. We will also examine case studies of selected communities within the American-Muslim population, taking into consideration that the Muslim population is heterogeneous, embracing a wide spectrum of races, ethnicities, and doctrines. Finally, class will incorporate students’ own selection of literature about immigrant/minority communities of other faiths, for comparison. Class discussions will focus on the extent to which the transnational model applies to these communities and whether they might represent examples of immigrants who cross not only tangible borders but also cultural and social ones, between their original countries and the American mainstream. Prerequisite: permision of instructor.
|TR||9:40 am-11:00 am|
|Seats filled/limit: 4/12||Permission of Instructor Required|
|80729||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|