Displaying courses for Spring 2014
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|10139||SOCY 102.00||Social Dreamers|
This introductory course for first- and second-year students traces the development of modern social theory from the seventeenth to the twentieth 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 nineteenth and twentieth 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: 20/24|
|10140||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. Prerequisites: first- and second-year students only. Offered every year.
|TR||1:10 pm-2:30 pm||Ralston House 100|
|Seats filled/limit: 26/25|
|10141||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||Ralston House 100|
|Seats filled/limit: 11/25||Waitlist|
|10629||SOCY 106.0||Soc Issues/Cultrl Intersection|
The objective of this introductory-level course is to critically examine social problems in the United States by using sociological perspectives to investigate the cultural and structural foundations of our society. Toward that end, students will learn sociological and criminological perspectives that provide a basic understanding of the principles of social-problems research from a sociological perspective. Accordingly we will discuss the social problems endemic to social institutions in society. Among the topics to be covered are education, crime, the family, and work, using examples from the Age of Enlightenment up to the present day. The most fundamental expectation of students in this course will be to use their sociological imaginations each and every class period to engage in focused discussion of the readings and assignments completed outside of class. This is expected to aid students in the goal of mastering the necessary skills of critical thinking and discussion, both verbally and in their writing about contemporary topics of interest and concern. Prerequisites: first- and second-year students only. Offered every other year.
|WF||8:40 am-10:00 am||Cheever SEM|
|Seats filled/limit: 8/25|
|10138||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.
|WF||2:10 pm-3:30 pm||Graham Gund Gallery 101|
|Seats filled/limit: 23/25|
|10142||SOCY 221.00||Global Religns in Mod Society|
Is religion still important in modern society? Consider the following snapshots of active religious life in our contemporary world: a Zen Buddhist center in San Francisco, a Theravada Buddhist temple in Philadelphia, a Catholic church in Northern China, a Confucian temple in Korea, and a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in India. In this class we approach these fascinating developments of global religions from sociological perspectives, and learn how to understand religions in the context of culture, politics, identity formation, and globalization. We begin with an introduction to classical theorists such as Durkheim and Weber, and move on to contemporary sociology of religion classics such as Robert Bellah's Beyond Belief. Using these theoretical tools, we proceed to discussions of specific cases, such as orthodox Judaism in America; immigration and religion; the formation of a Jewish-Buddhist identity; and Islam in contemporary France. Prerequisite: introductory sociology course (100 level) or permission of instructor. Offered every other year.
|TR||2:40 pm-4:00 pm||Ralston House 100|
|Seats filled/limit: 19/20||Permission of Instructor Required|
|10630||SOCY 223.0||Wealth and Power|
People in the United States are keenly aware of social differences, yet few have a very precise understanding of "social class," the magnitude of social inequality in U.S. society, or why social inequality exists at all. This course provides a semester-long examination of social stratification--a society's unequal ranking of categories of people--in historical, comparative, theoretical, and critical terms. The historical focus traces the development of social inequality since the emergence of the first human societies some ten thousand years ago, the Industrial Revolution and, more recently, the Information Revolution. The comparative focus explores how and why societies differ in their degree of inequality, identifies various dimensions of inequality, and assesses various justifications for inequality. Attention is also given to the extent of social differences between high-and low-income nations in the world today. The theoretical focus asks how and why social inequality comes to exist in the first place (and why social equality does not exist). This course offers a true diversity of political approaches, presenting arguments made by conservatives, liberals, libertarians, and radicals about the degree of inequality in the United States and in the world. Prerequisite: introductory sociology course (100 level) or permission of the instructor.
|TR||9:40 am-11:00 am||Ralston House 100|
|Seats filled/limit: 18/20|
|10143||SOCY 233.00||Sociology of Food|
This course explores the social world(s) we live in by analyzing what we eat, where it comes from, who produces it, who prepares it, and how. In the first few weeks of class, we examine the patterned culinary choices of ordinary Americans like ourselves; how American foodways are differentiated by gender, race/ethnicity, and class; and how political, social, and historical forces have shaped these patterns in ways that are not necessarily obvious to the sociologically untrained eye. We then shift our focus away from ourselves and our own sociologically conditioned eating habits to analyze the local, regional, and global processes and factors that bring food to our table. One of the major themes here is the greater social and spatial distances that our food travels from field, farm, or factory to consumers in the United States and in other parts of the Western Hemisphere, and how these distances complicate and sometimes obscure the unequal power relations at the root of food production and consumption. Our exploration of the global ties that bind consumer and producer ends with a look at how social activists around the world have organized collectively to reduce these distances and inequalities. Prerequisite: introductory sociology course (100 level) or permission of the instructor. Offered every other year.
|MWF||11:10 am-12:00 pm||Ralston House 100|
|Seats filled/limit: 20/20||Waitlist|
|10574||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. Prerequisite: An intro sociology course (100 level) or permission of the instructor.
|WF||2:10 pm-3:30 pm||Ascension Hall 225|
|Seats filled/limit: 14/14|
|10144||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: Classical Social Theory and SOCY 362: Contemporary Social Theory.) 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. Prerequisite: introductory sociology course (100 level) or permission of instructor. Offered every year.
|TR||2:40 pm-4:00 pm||Samuel Mather Hall 308|
|Seats filled/limit: 15/14|
|10145||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. Prerequisites: introductory sociology course (100 level) and sophomore standing. Offered every year.
|TR||1:10 pm-2:30 pm||Treleaven House 101|
|Seats filled/limit: 14/16|
|10146||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. Prerequisite: sophomore standing, introductory sociology course (100 level) and one additional sociology course or permission of instructor. Offered generally every three out of four years.
|TR||9:40 am-11:00 am||Treleaven House 101|
|Seats filled/limit: 14/14|
|10147||SOCY 424.00||Vigilantism and the Law|
Why and under what historical conditions have particular groups of American citizens mobilized to take the law into their own hands? From the posses of the nineteenth-century Wild West, to the twentieth-century Klan lynchings, to the emergence of contemporary right-wing "patriot" and militia movements, American history is replete with instances of extralegal or "self-help" justice administration. This seminar surveys the history of vigilantism in the United States against the backdrop of national state consolidation and the evolution of this country's criminal justice system. Through analysis of primary and secondary texts covering a broad range of vigilante movements, it explores how the line between public and private administration of penal law has shifted over time and across geographical regions. This class will be run as a Socratic seminar that fosters learning through individual and collective analysis of course material. It will also allow students to develop the skills to conduct independent empirical research and to analyze findings in interaction with seminar participants. Prerequisites: sophomore standing and an introductory sociology course (100 level). Offered every two to three years.
|TR||2:40 pm-4:00 pm||Treleaven House 101|
|Seats filled/limit: 6/12|
|10148||SOCY 461.00||German Social Theory|
This seminar examines the evolution of German social theory in the twentieth century. Following a summary of the major tendencies and questions in social theory during the Weimar period, the course will consider a wide range of traditions, including phenomenology, existentialism, psychoanalysis, hermeneutics, Marxism, and Critical Theory. Readings will include the works of Nietzsche, Freud, Adorno, Horkheimer, Fromm, Arendt, Marcuse, Gadamer, and Habermas. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Offered every two years.
|M||7:00 pm-10:00 pm||Treleaven House 101|
|Seats filled/limit: 11/13||Permission of Instructor Required|
|10639||SOCY 491.02||Special Topic: Ethnographic Methods in American Sociology|
American sociology has its foundation in the ethnographic methods of early twentieth century Chicago School sociologists. Today his style of research is reemerging as an important way to understand communities and think about social problems. In this course we will read classic ethnographies as well as cutting edge recent works that represent some of the very best of social science writing. We will discuss the wide array of substantive areas covered by these studies, as well as the theoretical underpinnings of the arguments. Our primary focus, however, will be on their methods. We will examine how ethnographers establish rapport with their participants, embed themselves in the communities under study, and navigate the ethics of participant observation. We will conduct our own ethnographic research through small-group projects based on our campus. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.
|W||7:00 pm-10:00 pm||Treleaven House 101|
|Seats filled/limit: 8/12||Permission of Instructor Required|