SOC - Sociology

SOC 102 The Sociological Perspective: An Introduction to Sociology

Thinking sociologically enables us to understand the intersection of our individual lives with larger social issues and to grasp how the social world works. Students in this course will become familiar with the background of sociology and the core analytical concepts employed by sociologists. Students will also gain familiarity with the major substantive topics explored by sociology, with focused attention given to the study of social structures, material, cultural, and institutional explanations of social action, and using concepts for real world problem solving.

Instructor

Rutherford

Prerequisites

None

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Summer II

Degree Requirements

SBA

SOC 108 Thinking Global: An Introduction to Sociology

How are your personal problems related to larger issues in society and the world? In what ways do global economic and political shifts affect your personal trajectory as a college student in the United States? In this course, you will come to understand sociology as a unique set of tools with which to interpret your relationship to a broader sociopolitical landscape. By integrating classic readings in the discipline of sociology with the principles of global political economy, we will analyze and contextualize a range of social, economic, and political phenomena at the scales of the global, the national, the local, and the individual.

Instructor

Radhakrishnan

Prerequisites

None

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Spring

Degree Requirements

SBA

SOC 137Y First-Year Seminar: Reading Sociology: What Culture Teaches Us about Social Life

What do we learn about class, race, and gender by reading novels? What difference does it make when we read about these ideas rather than watching programs about them on TV? This course treats novels, short stories, poems, films, and radio and television programs as sociological texts. We will read and analyze them together to learn new concepts, methods, and analytical approaches. Class projects include debates, "author" interviews, and a creative writing project.

Instructor

Levitt

Prerequisites

None. Open to first-year students only.

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Fall

Degree Requirements

SBA

SOC 138 Deviance and Conformity: An Introduction to Sociology

Why are some behaviors, differences, and people considered deviant or stigmatized while others are not? This introductory sociology course examines several theories of social deviance that offer different answers to this question. We will focus on the creation of deviant categories and persons as interactive processes involving how behaviors are labeled as deviant, how people enter deviant roles, how others respond to deviance, and how those labeled as deviant cope with these responses.

Instructor

Cuba

Prerequisites

None

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Fall

Degree Requirements

SBA

SOC 150 The Individual and Society

Examination of the idea of the individual, the concept of individuality, and the ideology of individualism in comparative-historical perspective. Focus on social conceptions of the individual; free-will versus determinism; the social nature of mind and self; the role of the individual in social change; the state and the individual; tensions between individualism and collectivism; the quest for individuality and authenticity in the modern world. Draws on classic and contemporary works in sociology in an interdisciplinary framework.

Instructor

Cushman

Prerequisites

Open to first- and second-year students only.

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Not Offered

Degree Requirements

SBA, EC

SOC 190 Introduction to Probability and Statistical Methods

An introduction to the collection, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of quantitative data as used to understand problems in economics and sociology. Using examples drawn from these fields, this course focuses on basic concepts in probability and statistics, such as measures of central tendency and dispersion, hypothesis testing, and parameter estimation. Data analysis exercises are drawn from both academic and everyday applications.

Instructor

Levine (Economics), Swingle, McKnight (Economics)

Prerequisites

ECON 101, ECON 102, or one course in sociology and fulfillment of the basic skills component of the Quantitative Reasoning requirement. Not open to students who have taken or are taking MATH 220, PSYC 205, or POL 199.

Cross Listed Courses

ECON 103

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Fall, Spring, Summer I

Degree Requirements

SBA, QRF

SOC 200 Classical Sociological Theory

The discipline of sociology grew out of intellectual attempts to understand and respond to the dramatic political, economic, and social changes that swept across the world in the “long nineteenth century.” This course surveys the origins of sociology through the works of the classical founders of the discipline in Europe and America, with emphasis on learning to read and interpret primary texts. Students will understand the foundational sociological concepts classical theorists used to analyze modern phenomena such as democracy, capitalism, industrialism, urbanization, scientific and technological development, and changing forms of social domination. After understanding their historical origins, students will apply classical concepts to analyze contemporary social problems. We will also explore the development of the canon of classical sociological theory with special emphasis on the place of women and African Americans in the history of that canon. Theorists surveyed will include Auguste Comte, Harriet Martineau, Emile Durkheim, Karl Marx, Max Weber, Marianne Weber, Georg Simmel, W.E.B. DuBois, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, and Anna Julia Cooper. 

Instructor

Rutherford

Prerequisites

One 100-level unit. Required of all majors.

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Fall

Degree Requirements

SBA

SOC 201 Contemporary Sociological Theory

This course surveys important modern and post-modern social theories. The course is organized thematically around understandings of (1) human identity and selfhood, (2) knowledge and epistemology, and (3) social power and domination. Specific topics will include theories of mind and symbolic interactionism; theories of embodiment and emotion; social construction; neo-Marxist critical theory; a variety of feminist theories; theories of symbolic power; and intersectionality. Students will gain familiarity with the work of many influential sociological thinkers, such as Zygmunt Bauman, Peter Berger, Pierre Bourdieu, Patricia Hill Collins, Michel Foucault, Anthony Giddens, Erving Goffman, Donna Haraway, Arlie Hochschild, Max Horkheimer, Herbert Marcuse, Chandra Mohanty, and Judith Stacey. Emphasis will be given to using theoretical concepts to interpret contemporary social and cultural phenomena, assessing the relevance and application of theoretical concepts to empirical cases, and analyzing the development of sociological ideas in the history of the discipline.

Instructor

Rutherford

Prerequisites

SOC 200. Required of all majors.

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Spring

Degree Requirements

SBA

SOC 202 Human Rights in the Modern World

Human rights is one of the most powerful frameworks for promoting freedom
In the contemporary world. This course provides an interdisciplinary examination of key theories of human rights as they have developed in the modern world and the ways in which these theories have been put into practice in a variety of social and cultural contexts.  The course uses an empirical case study approach that focuses on central questions and tensions in the field of human rights. Where do human rights come from?  How do different human rights ideas reflect different ideas of freedom?  What do rights claims demand of others by way of duties?  Are there such things as universal rights, or are rights culturally specific?  Are human rights a form of cultural imperialism?  Are individual rights compatible with group rights? Do minority groups have special rights over an against majority groups and, if so, why?   What are the origins of human rights organizations and what are their strategies for mobilization on behalf of endangered human beings?  Students are expected to work in small groups and make presentations  each week based on case materials.

Instructor

Cushman

Prerequisites

None

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Fall

Degree Requirements

SBA

SOC 204 Social Problems

This course investigates why certain problems become matters of significant public and policymaking concern while others do not. We do not focus on a predefined list of social problems but rather on the process by which some issues capture more attention than others. Our discussions analyze the actions of those institutions involved either in calling public attention to or distracting public attention away from particular problems in our society. This focus enables students to acquire a perspective toward social problems that they are unlikely to gain from the many other forums where people discuss social problems, such as journalism or politics.

Instructor

Silver

Prerequisites

None

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Not Offered

Degree Requirements

SBA

SOC 205 Modern Families and Social Inequalities: Private Lives and Public Policies

Feminist scholarship demonstrates that family life is embedded in race, class, gender, sexuality and other social structures that shape our understanding and experience of the social world. In 2015 same-sex marriage became U.S. federal law; but at the same time fewer people are marrying, more are living together and there is a growing number of people who live alone. Further, government involvement and social policies are not distributed equally. Issues to be covered include: welfare to work programs (teen moms and baby daddies), work/family crises of those who are “getting by” and those at the top who argue for family “rights,” the gap in cultural capital between working class or immigrant children and those in the upper classes, the rise in donor conceived families and surrogates to create same-sex or single-parent families and the ethical meaning of “borrowing body parts” and finally why people are forgoing families and living alone.

Instructor

Hertz

Prerequisites

None

Cross Listed Courses

WGST 211

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Spring

Degree Requirements

SBA

SOC 209 Social Inequality: Race, Class and Gender

This course examines the distribution of social resources to groups and individuals, as well as theoretical explanations of how unequal patterns of distribution are produced, maintained, and challenged. Special consideration will be given to how race, ethnicity, and gender intersect with social class to produce different life experiences for people in various groups in the United States, with particular emphasis on disparities in education, health care, and criminal justice. Consideration will also be given to policy initiatives designed to reduce social inequalities and alleviate poverty.

Instructor

Rutherford

Prerequisites

None

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Spring, Summer I

Degree Requirements

SBA

SOC 214 Medicine as a Profession and Vocation

Two abiding tensions exist in the making of a physician. The first is between the humanistic and scientific sides of medicine, and the second is between defining the sociological foundation of medical practice and understanding the promise and limits of that foundation. A basic introduction to the sociology of the medical profession (applicable to the MCAT) will be offered in conjunction with a focus on physicians' self-reporting on the nature of their vocation.

Instructor

Imber

Prerequisites

None

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Fall

Degree Requirements

SBA

SOC 221 Globalization: Around the World in Fourteen Weeks

Why are K-pop and Korean soap operas so popular among Western youth? How are international competitions like the Miss Universe pageant or the Olympics also geopolitical contests? Should Wellesley partner with Peking University? Does the globalization of production and consumption mean that we are all becoming the same? This course is about the social aspects of globalization. We will explore how family life, politics, community development, religion, humor, sports, and fashion change when they take place in an interconnected world.

Instructor

Levitt

Prerequisites

None

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Not Offered

Degree Requirements

SBA

SOC 220 Freedom: Great Debates on Liberty and Morality

Among the various challenges that face democratic societies committed to the ideal of pluralism and its representations in both individuals and institutions, is what is meant by the term "liberty". Among those who identify as conservative, the concept of liberty has over time been addressed in ways that seek to impose order on both individual and institutional behavior or what some conservatives refer to as "ordered liberty". Classical liberal views of liberty stress the removal of external constraints on human behavior as the key to maximizing individual agency, autonomy and selfhood. This course examines the historical and sociological debates and tensions surrounding different visions of liberty. Focus on case studies of contentious social issues that are at the center of public debates, including freedom of expression; race and ethnicity; criminality; sexuality; gender; social class, religion, and the war on drugs.

Instructor

Cushman, Imber

Prerequisites

None

Cross Listed Courses

AMST 220

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Spring

Degree Requirements

SBA

SOC 225 Life in the Big City: Urban Studies and Policy

This course will introduce students to core readings in the field of urban studies. While the course will focus on cities in the United States, we will also look comparatively at the urban experience in Asia, Africa, and Latin America and cover debates on “global cities.” Topics will include the changing nature of community, social inequality, political power, socio-spatial change, technological change, and the relationship between the built environment and human behavior. We will examine the key theoretical paradigms driving this field since its inception, assess how and why they have changed over time, and discuss the implications of these shifts for urban scholarship and social policy. The course will include fieldwork in Boston and presentations by city government practitioners.

Instructor

Kaliner

Prerequisites

None

Cross Listed Courses

AMST 225

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Fall

Degree Requirements

SBA

SOC 232 South Asian Diasporas

If any mention of South Asian culture conjures for you Bollywood films, Bharatanatyam dancers, and Google engineers, then this course will prompt you to reconsider. Adopting a sociological perspective that examines culture from the specific context of migration, we will study the histories of Punjabi-Mexican families in California, Gujarati motel owners across the United States, South African Indians at the end of apartheid, and Bangladeshi garment workers in London’s East End, among others. Through our study, we develop a nuanced understanding of race, culture, migration, and upward mobility in the United States and beyond, while also considering the power of mobile South Asian cultures, including movies, music, dance, and religion.

Instructor

Radhakrishnan

Prerequisites

None

Cross Listed Courses

SAS 232

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Fall

Degree Requirements

SBA

SOC 233 Beyond Bollywood and Microfinance: Gender Politics in South Asia

How do we understand gender in South Asia? And how does gender shape social, economic, political, and cultural life in the region? This course examines relationships of power between men and women in far away South Asia to understand how we see, even as we learn about a new political geography. We examine popular and scholarly readings and films to understand iconic representations of South Asian women, and the relationship between those representations and their everyday lives. Topics include pop culture, rape culture, the state, garment work, microfinance, and new social movements.

Instructor

Radhakrishnan

Prerequisites

One 100-level unit or permission of the instructor.

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Not Offered

Degree Requirements

SBA

SOC 234 Gender and International Development

As theoretical approaches to studying gender have shifted in the academic world, practical approaches to international development have changed to reflect them. In this course, we will focus on the relationship between theories of gender and their translation into policies and programs designed to ameliorate the lives of the world's poorest over the past several decades. In so doing, we will discuss the major trends in feminist theorizing, particularly in the postcolonial world, as well as the shifting paradigms of local and global organizations in designing and implementing "local" development projects. Topics to be addressed include microfinance, water distribution, land reform, and economic liberalization in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

Instructor

Radhakrishnan

Prerequisites

One 100-level unit or permission of the instructor.

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Not Offered

Degree Requirements

SBA

SOC 241 A Nation in Therapy

What is therapy? Although historically tied to the values and goals of medicine, the roles that therapy and therapeutic culture play in defining life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are now ubiquitous. The impact of therapeutic culture on every major social institution, including the family, education, and the law, has created a steady stream of controversy about the ways in which Americans in particular make judgements about right and wrong, about others, and about themselves. Are Americans obsessed with their well being? Is there a type of humor specific to therapeutic culture? This course provides a broad survey of the triumph of the therapeutic and the insights into the character and culture that triumph reveals.

Instructor

Imber

Prerequisites

None

Cross Listed Courses

AMST 241

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Fall

Degree Requirements

SBA

SOC 246 Salsa and Ketchup: How Immigration is Changing the US and Beyond

We live in a world on the move.  Nearly one out of every seven people in the world today is an international or internal migrant who moves voluntary or by force. In the United States, immigrants and their children make up nearly 25 percent of the population. This course looks at migration to the United States from a transnational perspective and then looks comparatively at other countries of settlement.  We use Framingham as a lab for exploring race and ethnicity, immigration incorporation, and transnational practices. Fieldwork projects will examine how immigrants affect the economy, politics, and religion and how the town is changing in response.  We will also track contemporary debates around immigration policy. 

Instructor

Levitt

Prerequisites

None

Cross Listed Courses

AMST 246

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Fall

Degree Requirements

SBA

SOC 249 Celebrity, Fame, and Fortune

A critical examination of the concept of status in sociological and social-scientific thinking. Focus on the historical rise of fame and its transformation into celebrity in the modern era. The relationship of status and violence. The meaning of sudden changes in good and bad fortune as attributes of status, including contemporary examples such as lottery winners, disgraced politicians, and media-driven attention to the powerful and pathetic. Fame and celebrity among women and minorities. The psychopathologies of leadership and conformity in political, religious, and educational institutions.

Instructor

Imber

Prerequisites

One 100-level unit or permission of the instructor.

Cross Listed Courses

AMST 249

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Not Offered

Degree Requirements

SBA

SOC 251 Racial Regimes in the United States and Beyond

How can we understand the mechanisms and effects of racial domination in our society? In this class, we develop a sociological understanding of race through historical study of four racial regimes in the United States: slavery, empire, segregation, and the carceral state. We relate the U.S. experience to racial regimes in other parts of the world, including British colonialism, the Jewish ghetto in Renaissance Venice, and apartheid and post-apartheid states in South Africa, among other contexts. Thus, we develop a comparative, global understanding of race and power. We conclude with a hands-on group media project engaging a relevant contemporary issue.

Instructor

Radhakrishnan

Prerequisites

At least one social science course required.

Cross Listed Courses

AMST 251

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Fall

Degree Requirements

SBA

SOC 259 The Sociology of American Exceptionalism

Dating back to Alexis de Tocqueville, scholars have argued that American culture and politics are distinctly different from other liberal democracies. This idea, known as “American exceptionalism”, will motivate us throughout the semester. By examining such puzzles as the persistence of racial segregation after the civil rights movement, the rise of mass incarceration, and the idea of homeownership as the American dream in comparative perspective, this course will introduce students to comparative institutional analysis using the United States as a deviant case study. Through an in depth examination of why the U.S. is different from other countries on these issues and many others, students will gain a better understanding of the major institutions in U.S. society and the prospects for reform. Students will work with the instructor to design a research proposal on a puzzle of their choice using comparative methods. 

Prerequisites

One 100-level social science course or permission of the instructor.

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Not Offered

Degree Requirements

SBA

SOC 260 Courage and Conscience: Dissent and Freedom of Expression in The Modern World (1.0)

Freedom of expression is considered one of the most fundamental human rights. Why is this the case? Why are people willing to suffer, fight, and die and to protect the right of freedom of expression? Why is freedom of expression so dangerous to those with political and social power? How do powerful elites mobilize against dissent and dissidents?  What is the role of charismatic individuals and freedom of expression in social change?  This course examines sociological theories of communication and freedom of expression; the idea of “civil courage” and its relation to social change; the origins of dissent and dissidents in comparative-historical perspective.    Emphasis is on case studies of dissent and dissidents in authoritarian societies of the 20th and early 21st centuries in order to understand, sociologically, the elementary forms of dissent and “the dissident life.” The course introduces students to the life-history method of social research in examining case studies of dissent.

Instructor

Cushman

Prerequisites

None

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Not Offered

Degree Requirements

SBA

SOC 281 Morals and Markets

This course explores what the social scientist Albert Hirschmann called ‘rival interpretations of market society”. Are markets civilizing, destructive, or feeble forces within society? Focus on classical and contemporary theory and empirical research to explore key debates on morals and markets: How has capitalism made children both “economically worthless” and “culturally priceless”? Does market competition foster or discourage racism and sexism? Would markets for human organs help patients or dehumanize donors? What are the social consequences of paying men for sperm and women for their eggs? How do market pressures on hospitals affect patient care? Is it immoral for people to take bets that they will die soon? Does the pursuit of profit poison science? How do people come to different conclusions about the proper way to value nature?

Prerequisites

None

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Not Offered

Degree Requirements

SBA

SOC 290 Methods of Social Research

This course introduces some of the more prominent qualitative and quantitative methods used by sociologists to study the social world. The course emphasizes hands-on experience with several small-scale research projects with the goal of teaching students how to 1) integrate social theory with research methods, 2) ask good research questions, 3) define key concepts, 4) choose appropriate samples, 5) collect high-quality data in an ethical manner, 6) analyze data, and 7) write formal research papers. A section of this course will build upon the statistics learned in SOC 190, but statistics will not be the main focus.

Instructor

Swingle

Prerequisites

SOC 190/ECON 103 or permission of the instructor. Required of all sociology majors. Not open to students who have taken this course as SOC 301.

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Spring

Degree Requirements

SBA

SOC 304 Modernity and Social Change

This seminar focuses on sociological theories of modernity that seek to understand changes in a variety of social and cultural spheres. Substantive questions and themes include: the rise of individuality and individualism in modern societies; the quest for sincerity and authenticity in personal life; ideological conformity and the problem of freedom; cultural narcissism and the postponement of adolescence; the rise of the surveillance state and threats to privacy and individual rights; the violent consequences of unrestrained state power; terrorism and modernity; and the sociology of modern love.

Instructor

Cushman

Prerequisites

One 200-level sociology required. SOC 200 and SOC 201 recommended.

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Not Offered

Degree Requirements

SBA

SOC 306 Women Leaders at Work

More women leaders are in work settings and public office than any prior point in history. However, the fraction of women who are CEOs, board members of major corporations, heads of state and elected representatives in global assemblies remains shockingly small by comparison to the sheer numbers of women workers, consumers, and family decision makers. This course will examine the way that gender, race, and class shape women’s access to positions of leadership and power at work. Questions to be considered include: (1) Why are there so few women leaders in work settings? (2) What can we learn about leadership from women who have achieved it?

Four modules for the course are (1) Strategies developed by women who lead; (2) Efforts to achieve parity through policies, e.g., glass ceilings, affirmative action; (3) Tensions between work, family and carework; and (4) Profiles of Productive Rule Breakers.  Students will research women leaders in all sectors and countries.

Instructor

Hertz

Prerequisites

Open to sophomores, juniors and seniors. Priority will go to sociology or WGST majors and minors.

Cross Listed Courses

WGST 306

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Spring

Degree Requirements

SBA

SOC 307 Learning by Giving: Crime, Punishment and Collateral Damage

Students will collaborate with local non-profit organizations that are working on issues related to the U.S. carceral state, such as community re-integration of ex-offenders, changing sentencing laws or prison practices, or addressing the consequences of incarceration for families and neighborhoods. Working in small teams, students will identify an area of need with their organization, gather information and research ways to best approach this issue, and write a grant seeking funding to address this area of need. At the conclusion of the course, students will fund one or more of these grants through a generous award from the Learning by Giving Foundation. A significant component of this course will involve learning how to write in a professional context and how to collaborate effectively on a project of consequence. Our aim is to provide students with a set of communication skills transferable to a variety of different fields and ones that will prepare them for the kinds of writing they will do beyond the Wellesley classroom.

Instructor

Cuba, Brubaker (The Writing Program)

Prerequisites

One 200-level course in the social sciences. Preference will be given to students who have a demonstrated commitment to service.

Cross Listed Courses

WRIT 307

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Fall

Degree Requirements

SBA

SOC 308 Children in Society

This seminar will focus upon children and youth as both objects and subjects within societies. Beginning with consideration of the social construction of childhood, the course will examine the images, ideas, and expectations that constitute childhoods in various historical and cultural contexts. We will also consider the roles of children as social actors who contribute to and construct social worlds of their own. Specific topics to be covered include the historical development of childhood as a distinct phase of life, children’s peer cultures, children and work, children’s use of public spaces, children’s intersectional experiences of inequality, and the effects of consumer culture upon children. Considerable attention will be given to the dynamics of the social institutions most directly affecting childhood today: the family, education, and the state.

Instructor

Rutherford

Prerequisites

One 100- or 200-level sociology course, or permission of instructor

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Fall

Degree Requirements

SBA

SOC 309 Nations in Global, Intersectional Perspective

In a seemingly borderless world full of hyphenated identities, do nations still matter? How and why are nations built and sustained? This course examines these questions with attention to race, class, and gender as interlocking systems of power, and utilizes the theoretical toolkits of feminism, post-colonial theory, and global sociology. We examine Native American, immigrant, and Black forms of belonging in the United States in relation to indigenous and post-colonial movements in various countries of the world, including India and South Africa, among others.

Instructor

Radhakrishnan

Prerequisites

At least 1 social science course or instructor permission

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Spring

Degree Requirements

SBA

SOC 310 Encountering the Other: Comparative Perspectives on Mobility and Migration

This course looks comparatively and historically at the social and cultural aspects of migration and mobility.  We will study different kinds of movement, involving different levels and intensity of contact between residents and newcomers. How does the “encounter” differ when it involves a tourist versus a permanent settler?  How does the migration of ideas and practices enable the migration of people? How are ethnic, racial, and religious diversity managed in different contexts? Class projects will include oral histories, media and literary analyses, and a major independent research paper on the immigrant experience in a country of the student’s choice.

Instructor

Levitt

Prerequisites

One 100-level social science or humanities unit or permission of the instructor.

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Not Offered

Degree Requirements

SBA

SOC 311 Seminar: Families, Gender, the State and Social Policies

This course examines the politics facing contemporary U.S. families and potential policy directions at the State and Federal Levels. Discussion of the transformation of American families including changing economic and social expectations for parents, inequality between spouses, choices women make about children and employment, daycare and familial care giving, welfare and underemployment, and new American dreams will be explored. Changing policies regarding welfare and teen pregnancy will also be examined as part of government incentives to promote self-sufficient families. Expanding family  (i.e. single mothers by choice, lesbian/gay/trans families) through the use of new reproductive technologies is emphasized as examples of legislative reform and the confusion surrounding genetic and social kinship is explored. Comparisons to other contemporary societies will serve as foils for particular analyses. Students will learn several types of research methodologies through course assignments. Student groups will also produce an original social policy case.

Instructor

Hertz

Prerequisites

Open to sophomores, juniors and seniors. Priority will go to sociology or WGST majors and minors.

Cross Listed Courses

WGST 311

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Not Offered

Degree Requirements

SBA

SOC 314 Global Health and Social Epidemiology

Concerns about the health of communities date back to antiquity. Social epidemiology is the study of the incidence and distribution of disease among populations. This course offers historical, sociological, and ethical perspectives on the uses of epidemiology as it emerged from an age defined principally by infectious disease to one of chronic illness. What are the social and collective responses to pandemics, real and imagined? Case studies address in particular global public health issues, including smoking, nutrition, AIDS, mad cow disease, and influenza, among others. Both governmental and nongovernmental approaches to health, including the World Health Organization and Doctors Without Borders, are considered. Special attention is given to disparities in health care, a core sociological focus.

Instructor

Imber

Prerequisites

One 200-level unit or permission of the instructor.

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Spring

Degree Requirements

SBA

SOC 318 Punishment

Over the past 30 years the purposes and practices of punishment in the United States have changed dramatically, becoming increasingly harsh (death penalty, three strikes, supermax prisons), retributive (an abandonment of rehabilitation efforts) and far reaching (more than 2 million Americans are in prison or jail). These changes represent a near-complete and rapid reversal of long-term trends in penal justice in the United States. This course explores the cultural, demographic, political, and technological factors that moved crime from a remote possibility in the minds of most Americans to a defining concern of a nation. Why, despite similar experiences of modernity, are European democracies characterized by such different cultures of control? What do our penal practices reveal about contemporary American culture, social structure, and politics?

Instructor

Cuba

Prerequisites

One 200-level course in sociology, or by permission of the instructor. Preference will be given to students who have taken SOC 138.

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Not Offered

Degree Requirements

SBA

SOC 320 Technology, Society, and the Future

This course explores the powerful roles that technology plays in contemporary social life and suggests that some of the impacts that our ever-greater reliance on, and faith in, technology might have upon our lives. The course begins with a critical overview of the heralded promises that technology often carries; here, we explore some of the undersides of so-called "technological progress." The remainder of the course examines a variety of salient contemporary issues concerning the social implications of technological change.

Instructor

Silver

Prerequisites

None

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Not Offered

Degree Requirements

SBA

SOC 324 Calderwood Seminar in Public Writing: Public Sociology

American race relations and police shootings, the Occupy Wall Street movement, Obamacare, partisan gridlock in Congress, amnesty for illegal immigrants—these are just a few of the issues grabbing today’s headlines. What does sociology offer to our understanding of these and other pressing social, economic, and political issues? In this seminar, students will use sociological research and theory learned in previous courses to engage with wider audiences. The focus of the course will be public writing intended for non-sociologists and non-experts. Students will write reviews of survey research and journal articles, submit book reviews and op-eds, and conduct interviews of leading sociologists. Class sessions will be organized as workshops devoted to critiquing the sociological content and rhetorical effectiveness of student work.

Instructor

Swingle

Prerequisites

(1) One course in sociological theory: SOC200 or SOC201; (2) An introductory statistics course: SOC190 or equivalent (PSYC 205, MATH 101, or MATH 220); and (3) One additional course in sociology

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Not Offered

Degree Requirements

SBA

SOC 334 Consumer Culture

How and why does consumerism exercise so great an influence on global culture today? How are our institutions and relationships shaped and transformed by the forces of commodification and consumerism? Are there any realms of life that ought to be free from the market-driven forces of commodification? Can consumerism offer a positive means of cultural critique to processes we wish to resist? In this seminar, we explore the history of consumer culture in the United States and globally, with special attention to understanding the effects of commodification upon the self, human relationships, and social institutions. We will consider both classical and contemporary critiques of commodification and consumerism, as well as arguments for the liberatory dimensions of consumer society. Course projects will give students opportunities to connect theory with questions of practical interest and to develop skills for communicating ideas in a variety of creative formats. 

Instructor

Rutherford

Prerequisites

One 100- or 200-level sociology course, or permission of instructor.

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Not Offered

Degree Requirements

SBA

SOC 348 Conservatism in America

An examination of conservative movements and ideas in terms of class, gender, and race. Historical survey and social analysis of such major conservative movements and ideas as paleoconservatism, neoconservatism, and compassionate conservatism. The emergence of conservative stances among women, minorities, and media figures. The conservative critique of American life and its shaping of contemporary national discourse on morality, politics, and culture.

Instructor

Imber

Prerequisites

A 100-level sociology course or permission of the instructor. Open to juniors and seniors only.

Cross Listed Courses

AMST 348

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Not Offered

Degree Requirements

SBA

SOC 350 Research or Individual Study

Prerequisites

Permission of the instructor. Open to juniors and seniors.

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Fall, Spring

Degree Requirements

None

SOC 350H Research or Individual Study

Prerequisites

Permission of the instructor.

Unit(s)

0.5

Semesters Offered

Fall, Spring

Degree Requirements

None

SOC 360 Senior Thesis Research

Prerequisites

Permission of the department.

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Fall, Spring

Degree Requirements

None

SOC 370 Senior Thesis

Prerequisites

SOC 360 and permission of the department.

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Fall, Spring

Degree Requirements

None
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