91298

SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology

Allison McKim

M . W . .

3:10 -4:30 pm

OLIN 202

SSCI

Cross-listed: American Studies, Environmental & Urban Studies Sociology is the systematic study of social life, social groups, and social relations. It is a perspective on human beings that places people in both their immediate and their historical context. This course will provide you with an introduction to the wide array of problems and research methods found in sociology. Sociology looks at many levels of social life, from everyday interactions to social inequality to massive historical processes. Sociologists study things as widely varied as race, the birth of capitalism, the social control of sexuality, urban legends, suicide, and prisons. The course aims to teach you to think sociologically about the world around you and to develop your ability to critically read and write about social research. One main goal is to become familiar with how sociologists ask and answer questions and to practice doing this yourself. Another goal is to develop basic familiarity with sociological concepts and research methods. A third goal is to learn how to read sociological texts and to evaluate their arguments. Class size: 22

 

91294

SOC 120 Inequality in America

Yuval Elmelech

. T . Th .

1:30 -2:50 pm

OLIN 203

SSCI/DIFF

Cross-listed: American Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Human Rights, Social Policy Why do some people have more wealth, more power, and receive greater respect than others? What are the sources of this inequality? Is social inequality inevitable? Is it undesirable? Through lectures, documentary films and discussions, this course examines the ways by which socially-defined categories of persons (e.g., women and men, Blacks and Whites, rich and poor, native- and foreign-born) are unevenly rewarded for their social contributions. Sociological theories are used to explain how and why social inequality is produced and maintained, and how it affects the well being of individuals and social groups. The course will focus on two general themes. The first deals with the structure of inequality while studying the unequal distribution of material and social resources (e.g., prestige, income, occupation). The second examines the processes that determine the allocation of people to positions in the stratification system (e.g. education, intelligence, parental wealth, gender, race). Class size: 22

 

91293

SOC 205 Introduction to Research Methods

Yuval Elmelech

. T . Th .

10:10 - 11:30 am

HDRANX 106

MATC

Cross-listed: Environmental & Urban Studies; Global & Intl Studies; Human Rights; Social Policy The aim of this course is to enable students to understand and use the various research methods developed in the social sciences, with an emphasis on quantitative methods. The course will be concerned with the theory and rationale upon which social research is based, as well as the practical aspects of research and the problems the researcher is likely to encounter. The course is divided into two parts. In the first, we will learn how to formulate research questions and hypotheses, how to choose the appropriate research method for the problem, and how to maximize chances for valid and reliable findings. In the second part, we will learn how to perform simple data analysis and how to interpret and present findings in a written report. For a final paper, students use survey data on topics such as attitudes toward abortion, sexual attitudes, affirmative action, racism, sex roles, religiosity, and political affiliation. By the end of the semester, students will have the necessary skills for designing and conducting independent research for term papers and senior projects, as well as for non-academic enterprises. Admission by permission of the instructor. Class size: 20

 

91718

SOC 213 Sociological Theory

Allison McKim

M . W . .

11:50 -1:10 pm

OLIN 204

SSCI

Cross-listed: Human Rights This course traces classical and contemporary sociological theory. It considers foundational theories that emerged from the social upheavals of modernization in the 19th Century, including Marx, Weber, Durkheim, Simmel, and DuBois. The course thereby introduces many enduring themes of sociology: alienation and anomie; social structure and disorganization; group conflict and solidarity; secularization and individualism; bureaucracy and institutions, the division of labor, capitalism, and the nature of authority. We then follow these conversations into the contemporary era, examining traditions such as functionalism, conflict theory, rational choice, symbolic interactionism, feminist theory, and critical theory, including thinkers such as G.H. Mead, Robert Merton, Pierre Bourdieu, Dorothy Smith, Jurgen Habermas, and Michel Foucault. We consider the nature and role of theory in sociology, the contributions of theories to social science, and theorists aspirations to criticize, reform, or revolutionize modern society. Class size: 22

 

91330

SOC / HIST 324 Race, Ethnicity, and Assimilation In American Thought

Joel Perlmann

. . W . .

1:30 -3:50 pm

OLIN 101

HIST/DIFF

Cross-listed: American Studies, Human Rights, History We use these three terms as though they are clear and unchanging.   But the use of concepts usually has a history of change, and these three surely do.   How have the understandings of groups and group differences evolved?     At one time race differences was thought to capture differences in values and abilities among groups, differences found in the blood; not so today.    Also, race has referred to a different range of groups at different times first and foremost the color races black, white, yellow, and red.   But for decades the term was also used to include European immigrant groups, as in "the Irish race", the Hebrew race or  the Southern Italian race.   And how does contemporary usage of 'race' differ from ethnicity?    Indeed, how did our concept ethnicity -- unknown in 1930 -- even come into being?   Finally, how do groups undergo assimilation?   Different concepts of assimilation have implied different views of the American future.    This course falls between cultural history and social theory; it deals with changing American classifications of groups in social theory as well as in law, politics, literature, and popular cultural understandings.  It will concentrate on the century and a half from the Civil War to the present, and rest heavily on primary sources.   An extended term paper working with such sources will be the major writing assignment.  Class size: 15

 

91300

SOC 352 Gender and Deviance

Allison McKim

. T . . .

1:30 -3:50 pm

OLIN 303

SSCI/DIFF

Cross-listed: Gender & Sexuality Studies; Human Rights; Social Policy This seminar uses gender as a lens to approach the sociological field of deviance and social control. It will develop your understanding of different theoretical approaches to deviance and to gender. The course considers the relationship between gender and definitions of what is normal, sick, and criminal and investigates how norms about masculinity and femininity can produce specifically gendered types of deviance. We will learn about the role of gender in why and how people break rules, looking at both criminal and non-criminal deviance. We will then explore how social institutions construct and enact forms of regulation, punishment, or treatment. The course asks how responses to rule-breaking relate to the social organization of gender and sexuality. To help answer these questions, the course will continually ask how these processes intersect with race and class inequality. The course looks at both formal and informal responses to deviance, and considers their role in gender, class, and race inequality more broadly. The last half of the course examines major areas of gendered deviance, such as sex work, sexual violence, and the medicalization of deviance. Throughout, the course considers the ways that gendered social control both limits and creates possibilities for action and how individuals use gender to make rule-breaking meaningful. Class size: 15