SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology

Professor: S. Willie

CRN: 91693 Distribution: A/C

Time: Tue Th 1:20 pm - 2:40 pm OLIN 205

The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to the sociological perspective. Its goal is to illuminate the way in which social forces impinge on our individual lives and affect human society. The course is organized into four main parts. In the first, key sociological concepts and methods will be introduced via the study of the fathers of sociology: Durkheim, Weber, and Marx. In the second part, we will examine the significance of various forms of social inequality, particularly those based on class, race, and gender. We will then survey several important social institutions: the family, the economic order, the political order, education, and religion. The fourth and final part of the course will focus on the inter­related issues of ideology, social movements, and social change.

SOC 203 History of Sociological Thought

Professor: S. Willie

CRN: 91694 Distribution: A/C

Time: M W F 10:30 am - 11:30 am LC 210

In this course we study how eminent thinkers have attempted to come to terms with the fundamental problems of the relationship between the modern individual and Western society in the aftermath of the French Revolution of 1789 and the development of capitalism. These problems include social atomization, alienation, and loneliness (Marx, Durkheim); social disorganization (Comte, Durkheim); secularization and the decline of traditional religious beliefs (Weber, Comte, Durkheim); a growing pessimism about the individuals capacity for rational control (Freud, Pareto); class conflict (Marx, Veblen); and other forms of conflict within society (Simmel, Pareto, and others). In analyzing how classical sociologists attempt to make sense of the complex and changing modern world, we will also consider how they search for a fair and just society and what they consider to be the promise of sociology in terms of both its potential as a humanistic discipline and its claims to be a science.

SOC 205 Narrative and Numbers

Professor: R. Peterson

CRN: 91937 Distribution: E/Q

Time: M W 3:30 pm - 5:10 pm LC 208

This course introduces the narrative interpretation of numbers in social science through reading and writing assignments. Students will read, interpret and evaluate narrative descriptions of published research. For example, we will read Faludi's Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women to explore how statistics have been used and misused in the public debate over women's roles. Students will also learn to develop research questions, to examine numerical data using simple math (such as percentages) and to interpret and evaluate the significance of their findings. Through a series of writing assignments, students will construct a narrative interpretation of their numerical analysis. The course will highlight research on gender issues (e.g. gender inequality, gender roles), while providing opportunities to address a broad range of substantive topics. The course will be especially useful for first-year students as an introduction to the research process.

SOC 207 Deviance and Social Control

Professor: A. Ansell

CRN: 91695 Distribution: A/C

Time: Tue Th 10:30 am ­ 12:00 pm LC 208

A complete picture of society must include the fact that social norms are violated as well as adhered to. The sociological study of deviance and social control is largely concerned with the process by which certain people and/or behaviors are constructed as beyond the limits of tolerance. The sociological problem is not to explain why a particular person becomes deviant: it is to understand why deviance arises at all, why it follows specific patterns, and why some acts rather than others are defined as deviant in the first place. The course will include an examination of the history of sociological perspectives on deviance and will address current issues such as family violence, mugging, corporate crime, and the politics of sexual preference. Readings will include works by Goffman, Asylyms and Stigma; Foucault, Discipline and Punish; Watney, Policing Desire; and Erikson, Wayward Puritans. Prerequisite: Sociology 101 or permission of instructor.

SOC 211 Sociology of the Family

Professor: R. Peterson

CRN: 91936 Distribution: C

Time: Wed 10:30 am - 12:30 pm LC 206

The course examines the family, with an emphasis on contemporary American society. Among the issues to be addressed are marriage, divorce, remarriage, child care, domestic violence, the gendered division of household labor and the connections between family and the workplace. The course will examine the effects of industrialization and the movement of women into the labor force on the contemporary family. The influence of public policy on the family will also be considered.

SOC 310 Cultural Studies: A Sociological Perspective

Professor: A. Ansell

CRN: 91697 Distribution: A/C

Time: M 1:30 pm ­ 3:30 pm OLIN 308

Cultural studies is an exciting new interdisciplinary area of study that offers great potential for confronting such important contemporary sociological issues as multiculturalism, nationalism, leisure, media/iedology, and sexuality. Cultural studies meets the sociological perspective in its focus on the link between cultural representations, symbols and practices and the establishment, critique and maintenance of relations of power and inequality. By confronting a wide range of topics--from postcolonialism to youth subcultures, from queer theory to rock-n-roll, from the new racism to the politics of mugging--this course will introduce students to the distinctive theory and method of cultural studies.

SOC 312 Feminist Social Theory

Professor: S. Willie

CRN: 91698 Distribution: A/C

Time: W 1:20 pm - 3:20 pm OLIN 205

Designated course: Gender Studies

This course will examine feminist social theory from the concrete (hooks, Faludi, Hill Collins) and the legal (Williams, Young, Crenshaw, MacKinnon) to the abstract (Butler, Carby, Wittig) and the poetic (Rich, Piercy, Clifton). Though interdisciplinary in content, the orienting assumption of the course will be sociological: that the private is often best understood when examined as a public phenomenon and its corollary that public behavior has its most plausible explanation in biography and structural constraint. Themes will include the implications of feminist scholarship for individuals, groups, and institutions. Prerequisite: Introduction to Sociology OR a 100- or 200-level Gender Studies course OR permission of the instructor.