SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology

Professor: A. Ansell

CRN: 11629

Distribution: A/C

Time: Tu Th 3:50 pm - 5:10 pm OLIN 201

This course provides 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 inter-related issues of ideology, social movements, and social change.

SOC 205 Introduction to Research Methods in the Social Sciences

Professor: R. Peterson

CRN: 11630

Distribution: E

Time: Th 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm OLIN 310

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 qualitative 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. More specifically, students will learn how to formulate research questions, how to choose the best research method for the problem, and how to maximize chances for valid and reliable findings. Students will learn how to collect, analyze and interpret qualitative information by working on small-scale research projects and class assignments. The course will discuss sampling strategies for qualitative research, as well as the unique ethical issues posed by qualitative research. Prerequisite: Sociology 101 or permission of the instructor.

SOC 216 Confronting Inequality

Professor: A. Ansell

CRN: 11631

Distribution: A/C

Time: M 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm OLIN 202

cross-listed: American Studies, MES
This course explores an array of questions related to inequality and public policy in contemporary American society. What is the nature of inequality today? How do we explain its persistence, indeed intensification, in the face of concerted governmental action to eradicate it? What do we mean by equality, and what are the implications for government policy formation? In order to facilitate fruitful discussion of such questions, the course will be organized into three main parts. In the first we will examine class inequality and controversies over public welfare policy. In the second we will focus on racial inequality and tackle the affirmative action debate. Finally, we will examine gender inequality and issues involving sexual harassment and comparable worth legislation. Prerequisite: Sociology 101 or permission of the instructor.

SOC 221 The Holocaust

Professor: S. Vromen

CRN: 11632

Distribution: C

Time: Tu Th 10:30 am - 12:00 pm OLIN 201

cross-listed: Jewish Studies, MES
An examination of the sociology of the Holocaust. Topics to be covered include the nature of anti-Semitism as a problem in the sociology of knowledge, evil as a sociological question, the social context of genocide, the social structure of the concentration camp, and the issues of resistance.

SOC 224 Social Issues in the New Biosciences


CRN: 11636

Distribution: C

Time: W 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm OLIN 205
Th 10:00 am - 12:00 pm OLIN 205

In the last two decades, the increasing power of molecular genetics to decode human genetic defects has assisted our capacity to make diagnoses of an increasing spectrum of human health problems and disorders. We are now able to detect, in utero, scores of genetic diseases; and even from a saliva swab we can detect certain gene disorders. This is a powerful tool that permits health practitioners to make better judgments about the appropriate treatments of patients. At the same time, however, our diagnostic capacity is far outstripping our ability to intervene therapeutically. Put most simply, we are learning a lot more about the problems without being able to come up with solutions. Moreover, the promise of a "genetic fix" is seductive not only for those who have the highest stakes in a cure, but it reshapes how people think about possible interventions and solutions. Within science, there is always a tension between the paired concepts of "emergence and reductionism." The way in which this plays itself out at the clinical level, at the peculiar interface between molecular genetics and families at high risk for a genetic disorder, is a window into the future. There has been a parallel development of a "drift" toward a greater receptivity for the role of genetic explanations of an increasing variety of human behaviors. These two developments (advances at the molecular level--"drift" into greater acceptance of behavioral genetic explanation) are generally unrelated except in the halo of the association of the first with the second. This course is designed to help us better understand the base, location and strength of a variety of genetic claims, to separate the real advances from the hyperbolic claims, and to address some of the significant social, ethical and legal implications of these developments.

SOC 245 Explaining Racism

Professor: S. Willie

CRN: 11634

Distribution: A/C

Time: M W 10:30 am - 12:00 pm LC 208

cross-listed: MES
This course examines three sociological approaches to the study of race--approaches based on ethnicity, class, and nation--to explore themes relating to the social construction of racial differences, the political functions of racism, and the changing nature of race relations. While primary emphasis will be theoretical, we will also address comparative issues as well as questions relating to the formation of racial identity. Prerequisites: Sociology 101 or permission of the instructor.

SOC 304 Modern Sociological Theory

Professor: S. Vromen

CRN: 11633

Distribution: A/C

Time: W 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm OLIN 309

A critical investigation into the development of modern sociological theories in the United States and Europe, and their links to the classical theorists. Among others, we will examine symbolic interactionism, theories of power, the attempts to link micro and macro levels of analysis, and feminist theory. Readings include works by Erving Goffman, C. Wright Mills, Anthony Giddens, Pierre Bourdieu, Jčrgen Habermas, Nancy Chodorow, and Michel Foucault. Prerequisite: History of Sociological Thought or permission of the instructor.

SOC 315 Ethnic and Racial Intermarriage in America, Past and Present: Assimilation, Identity and Public Policy

Professor: J. Perlmann

CRN: 11637

Distribution: C

Time: Th 3:40 pm - 5:40 pm OLIN 205

cross-listed: American Studies, MES, History
of related interest: Jewish Studies
This course will explore several issues related to intermarriage. 1) How common intermarriage has been among America's various ethnic and racial groups at different times in modern American history--including the present. 2) The connection between ethnic and racial intermarriage and how the children of interethnic and interracial marriages have defined their ethnic identity. 3) The connection between intermarriage and ethnic or racial assimilation. 4) How social scientists and others have conceived of the emotional outcomes of intermarriage. Finally, 5) since this spring the federal government will be reassessing and perhaps revising the way it collects government statistics on race and ethnicity, and will be focusing especially on how to treat the multiracial population, the course will also follow the process of policy analysis and the politics of numbers. Throughout, the focus will be on a) the descendants of the various immigrant groups from Europe during the past century and b) on the racial minorities in America past and present. While the focus will be principally on ethnicity and race, some attention will also be given to religious intermarriage.

SOC 330 The Sociology of Knowledge

Professor: S. Willie

CRN: 11638

Distribution: C

Time: Tu 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm OLIN 310

This course will provide an introduction to the subdiscipline of the sociology of knowledge through close reading of advanced texts and the opportunity to apply its principles to the examination of empirical phenomena. Three theoretical works will ground the seminar: Karl Mannheim's Ideology and Utopia, Michel Foucault's The Archaeology of Knowledge, and Dorothy Smith's The Conceptual Practice of Power: A Feminist Sociology of Knowledge. We will also read Rosenham's "On Being Sane in Insane Places," and sample from Bakhtin's The Dialogic Imagination and Durkheim's The Rules of Sociological Method. Todd Gitlin's The Whole World Was Watching (on the American print media's representation of the antiwar movement during the Viet Nam War) will serve as an example of research in the sociology-of-knowledge tradition. The Letters of Abelard and Heloise, Thomas Kochman's Black and White Styles in Conflict, and Deborah Tannen's You Just Don't Understand all reveal different constructions of knowledge among categories of people within the same culture and have, therefore, been chosen as empirical examples of theories we will cover. Introduction to Sociology or permission of the instructor required.