The Department of Sociology & Anthropology

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Sociology

Courses

101. Introduction to Sociology
What is sociology? How do sociologists go about their work? How is society structured? Is inequality an inherent part of human life? How and why do societies change? This course introduces the central concepts and principles of major sociological perspectives. It provides an overview of the study of social institutions, social stratification, and social change. Taught every semester
Meets general academic requirement B.

224. American Ethnic Diversity
This course is designed to provide a general overview of the field of the sociology of race and ethnic relations with a particular emphasis on the historical situations and experiences of various immigrant and minority groups in American society. We will first examine the socio-political and economic history of a variety of minority and immigrant groups. A substantial amount of course material will then focus on analyzing the varying structural conditions and institutional barriers that affect the different strategies by which various minority and immigrant groups have sought entry and success in dominant society. Finally, throughout the course material discussions will be devoted to examining specific institutions and the various ways in which constructions of racial and ethnic categories and hierarchies are produced and reproduced in the United States.
Prerequisite: SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology
Meets general academic requirement D.

235. Inequality & Power
The study of inequality (how it emerges, its various manifestations, and why it persists) is a cornerstone of sociology. This course is designed for those who are interested in the theoretical conceptions and critiques of power and privilege and their combined effects on socio-political and economic life. The course is divided into three parts; the first part provides a brief survey of the various theoretical perspectives of inequality and stratification; the second examines the complex intersections of race, ethnicity, and class structures in American society; and the course concludes with a discussion of gendered effects of migrant work within a global and comparative perspective.
Prerequisite: SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology

243. Sexuality & Gender
In this class we will use sociological perspectives to explore sex, sexuality, and gender. We will examine the mechanisms of power that construct and regulate our identities, behaviors, and very bodies. In particular we will look at how sex, sexuality, and gender are shaped by law, research, medicine, “sexperts,” the media, and our family and friends. We will also look at how sex, sexuality, and gender permeate our daily lives often in ways we do not even see.
Prerequisite: SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology

270-279. Topics in Sociology
Selected courses with a specialized focus that are not contained within the regular sociology curriculum. Such topics might include Urban Sociology or Criminology.
Prerequisite: SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology

302. Sociological Theory
An investigation of the classical foundations of social thought in sociology. The course concentrates on the original works of theorists such as Marx, Weber, Durkheim, and other important authors from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as well as contemporary theorists. Analyses of central theoretical paradigms and questions are explored. Taught every fall semester.
Prerequisite: SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology
Meets general academic requirement W.

311. Research Design in Sociology
This course provides experience in the design and implementation of sociological research. It introduces quantitative and qualitative techniques for collecting, analyzing, and reporting data. The epistemological issues that underlie sociological research, the ethical questions involved in research, and the assumptions on which various research strategies are based are examined. The strengths and weaknesses of the most commonly used methods are evaluated. Students will design an original research project. Taught every fall semester.
Prerequisite: SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology and one elective
Meets general academic requirement W.

312. Quantitative Methods for Social Data
This course focuses on quantitative methods. Students will learn how to use statistics to address research questions in sociology, using popular statistical packages such as SPSS to analyze data. Taught every spring semester.
Prerequisite: SOC 311 Research Design in Sociology
Meets general academic requirement W.

317. Sociology of Health
In this course we will explore the social aspects of health, illness, and the health care system in the contemporary United States. This will include an introduction to the theoretical underpinnings of medical sociology and health disparities as well as examinations of the social and historical construction of medical problems and disease, the relationship between health care providers and providers and patients, the health care system, and pressures that are transforming the medical sciences. This seminar provides a survey of a number of topics related to health, illness, and the health care system — each could easily be a topic for an entire course. Students will have the opportunity during the term to delve more deeply into an issue of special interest or importance to them. Taught every other year.
Prerequisite: SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology

320. Environmental Sociology
This course analyzes the social causes and consequences of environmental change. We explore the relationships among production, consumption, population, technology, and environment. The major theoretical paradigms in environmental sociology are used to analyze environmental issues. Some of the questions we address include: Is “green” capitalism possible? Does population growth lead to environmental degradation? Can technical fixes solve environmental problems? Has the environmental movement been successful? Taught every other year.
Prerequisite: SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology
Meets general academic requirement B.

323. Sociology of Food
This course relies on a sociological lens to uncover the complexity behind what is an everyday activity by examining the inter-related systems of production, processing, marketing, and consumption of food across and within international, national, regional, and local markets. We will consider what, when , how, and with whom we eat and discover how various aspects of food consumption and production can be understood in terms of the organization of society’s social institutions as well as the structure of social relations among the individuals that comprise that society. Taught every other year.
Prerequisite: SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology

325. Imagined Communities: The Sociology of Nations & States
This course aims to elucidate the complex interactions between nation and state by examining the nationalist experiences of several post-colonial and non-Western societies in Southeast Asia. A central part of this examination will entail addressing questions of citizenship and identity amidst contemporary socio-political and economic changes. Readings will focus on some of the central debates in the sub-field of political sociology as well as the dominant theoretical paradigms in the study of nations and nationalisms. A substantial part of the course will focus on a critical analysis of the institutional processes underlying state formation and nation-building as well as assessing the impact of globalization on institutional and group-level definitions of national, ethno-cultural, religious, and gender identities. Taught every other year.
Prerequisite: SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology
Meets general academic requirement D.

340. Development & Social Change
This course analyzes development from a sociological perspective. It examines different theoretical models for understanding macro-level social change, such as modernization theory, dependency theory, and world-systems theory. Possible topics for exploration include the environment, economic development, revolution, urbanization, population, and poverty. Taught every other year.
Prerequisite: SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology
Meets general academic requirement B.

342. Boundaries & Belonging: Sociology of Diasporas
This course will investigate the impact of historical and contemporary movements of peoples across international borders on definitions of citizenship and identities by raising questions about the permeability of national borders and the fluidity of cultural boundaries. A close examination of how globally dispersed peoples maintain and cultivate real and imagined ties to the ideals of a “homeland” and/or “place” reveals the cultural and institutional productions of transnational migrant communities that challenge the binary boundaries of “home” and “abroad.” Relying on a sociological perspective, we will consider the negotiations of belonging within and between these peoples and their host societies and study the different forms of transnational, diasporic, and cosmopolitan identities that result from such negotiations. In particular, case studies will include but are not limited to that of the Chinese and African Diasporas. Taught every other year.
Prerequisite: SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology
Meets general academic requirement D.

350. Social Movements, Protests & Conflicts
A sociological investigation of the causes and consequences of social movements. The course will examine both historical and contemporary social movements in the United States and elsewhere to understand the underlying social, economic, political, and demographic factors that cause their emergence and that influence their evolution. Movements as diverse as the Civil Rights movement and the White Supremacy movement will be examined. Taught every other year.
Prerequisite: SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology
Meets general academic requirement B.

384. Qualitative Methods

This course provides a theoretical and practical introduction to multiple forms of qualitative research methods and the numerous phases of conducting a qualitative research project, including project proposal, data collection, data management, analysis, interpretation, linking findings to theory and presenting data.  It will also engage questions about what we can know, strategic and ethical concerns, and the use and impact of self in doing research.  The course assignments include a series of structured exercises to provide experience in collecting and analyzing data, as well as an original research project. Prerequisite: SOC 311 Research Design in Sociology

450. Senior Seminar in Sociology
A research practicum in which students develop and carry out independent research projects. Open only to sociology majors and minors. Taught every spring.
Prerequisite: SOC 205 Sociology Theory and SOC 311 Research Design in Sociology
Meets general academic requirement W.

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