Spring 2018

Course Code Title/Instructor Meets
SOCI 110-01 Social Analysis
Instructor: Helene Lee
Course Description:
Selected topics in the empirical study of the ways in which people's character and life choices are affected by variations in the organization of their society and of the activities by which social arrangements varying in their adequacy to human needs are perpetuated or changed.
0930:MWF   DENNY 203
SOCI 225-01 Race and Ethnicity
Instructor: Erik Love
Course Description:
This course explores the historical and contemporary significance of race and ethnicity in the United States. Students will examine how racial inequality has become a pervasive aspect of U.S. society and why it continues to impact our life chances. We will address race and ethnicity as socio-historical concepts and consider how these social fictions (in collusion with gender, class, and sexuality) produce very real material conditions in everyday life. We will develop a theoretical vocabulary for discussing racial stratification by examining concepts such as prejudice, discrimination, systemic/institutional racism, racial formations, and racial hegemony. We will then look closely at colorblind racism, and examine how this dominant ideology naturalizes social inequality. With this framework in place, students will investigate racial stratification in relation to schools, the labor market, the criminal justice system, neighborhood segregation, immigration, etc. Finally, we will discuss strategies of anti-racism that seek to eliminate enduring racial hierarchies. Offered every two years.
0900:TR   DENNY 313
SOCI 228-01 Sociology of Sexualities
Instructor: Amy Steinbugler
Course Description:
Cross-listed with WGSS 202-04. This course explores the social origins of sexual behaviors, identities, and desires. We will investigate how sexuality intersects with other social hierarchies including race, gender, and class. Our current frameworks for understanding sexuality and sexual identity are the product of social, political, and economic forces, and reflect the common sense of a particular historical moment. We will consider a wide range of theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of sexuality and explore more closely how these perspectives inform the analysis of contemporary sexual issues. Offered every two years.
1030:TR   DENNY 103
SOCI 230-01 Prisons and Punishment in American Society
Instructor: Marisol LeBron
Course Description:
Cross-listed with AMST 200-02. The United States imprisons more people than any other country in the world. More than two million men and women are currently locked up behind bars, a population constituting roughly one in every one hundred American adults. What has led to this phenomenon of mass incarceration in the United States? This interdisciplinary course will examine the historical, political, economic, and social factors that have resulted in the growth of the prison system in American society. We will examine how race, class, education, gender, and sexuality shape the American legal system and impact the demography of prisons. We will also pay special attention to the intersections between the growth of for-profit prisons, the increasing criminalization of low-level drug offenses, and the rise of zero tolerance policing. We will conclude the course by considering alternatives to the current prison system and debate whether we can envision a world without prisons. This course will analyze a wide range of texts including, scholarly monographs, prison writings, documentaries, zines, and photographs. Readings for this course will include Michelle Alexanders The New Jim Crow, Sabrina Jones and Marc Mauers graphic novel Race to Incarcerate, and Angela Davis Are Prisons Obsolete?
1500:MR   DENNY 303
SOCI 230-03 Environmental & Social Justice
Instructor: Heather Bedi
Course Description:
Cross-listed with ENST 280-01. This course reviews social inequities in relation to environmental issues. We examine the social construction of notions of equity and justice, and apply this learning to understand how societies frame environmental risk. Drawing from domestic and international case studies, we will explore how marginalized communities disproportionately experience environmental externalities. The social and environmental consequences of uneven development across places exemplify justice and capitalism contradictions. A review of community agency to re-appropriate or reframe their environment will allow us to explore collective action to contest social and environmental injustices.
1030:TR   KAUF 187
SOCI 230-04 Sustainability: Social Justice and Human Rights
Instructor: Joyce Bylander
Course Description:
History "is a crab scuttling sideways, a drip of soft water wearing away stone, an earthquake breaking centuries of tension." (Solnit, Rebecca, Hope in the Dark, 2004). This course will examine the importance of the environmental movement and broader definitions of sustainability. We will explore examples of direct action, of serendipitous change, and of world-changing events that have moved us more clearly toward an understanding of "our" shared future on this planet. We will survey the issues connected to sustainable systems and will focus more specifically on issues related to food, water and energy. Through readings, film, and experiential activities the course will challenge us to analyze the impact of various actors and assess our own responsibility.
1330:MR   CMST SEM
SOCI 236-01 Inequalities in the U.S.
Instructor: Amy Steinbugler
Course Description:
Permission of instructor required This course takes a critical look at the layers of American society that shape, construct, and inhibit the basic pursuit for equality of opportunity. Students will be asked to examine how the three most fundamental elements of social stratification (race, class, gender) function both separately and in tandem to organize systems of inequality. The course uses theoretical and practical applications of stratification to evaluate how social constructions of difference influence the institutions and social policy. Additionally, class discussions will also consider how the forces of racism, sexism, and classism impact the attainment of basic needs, such as wages, health care and housing. Offered every year.
1330:TR   DENNY 304
SOCI 240-01 Qualitative Methods
Instructor: Helene Lee
Course Description:
This course introduces students to the theory and methods of social science research, beginning with an examination of the philosophies underlying various research methodologies. The course then focuses on ethnographic field methods, introducing students to the techniques of participant observation, structured and informal interviewing, oral histories, sociometrics, and content analysis. Students will design their own field projects. Prerequisite: 110 or ANTH 101.
1130:MWF   DENNY 103
SOCI 270-01 Social Movements, Protest and Conflict
Instructor: Erik Love
Course Description:
The study of protest politics and social movements is the study of collective agency. Social movements arise when people act together to promote or resist social change. Movements represent not only grievances on a particular set of issues, but also frustration with more established political forms of making claims in societies. In this course, we will engage with some of the large theoretical debates in the study of social movements, reading both empirical treatments of particular movements and theoretical treatments of key issues. The featured case studies will include civil rights, feminism, ecology, the antinuclear movement, the New Right and the alternative globalization movement. We will be particularly concerned with the social and political context of protest, focusing on basic questions, such as: under what circumstances do social movements emerge? How do dissidents choose political tactics and strategies? And, how do movements affect social and political change?
1030:MWF   ALTHSE 109
SOCI 272-01 Islam and the West
Instructor: Erik Love
Course Description:
Cross-listed with MEST 272-01. This course examines the contemporary relationship between the Islamic world and the Western world. In recent years, many interpretations of this relationship have developed, with some claiming a clash of civilizations is underway. The course critically engages the rapidly growing literature on this topic, while providing an introduction to the sociology of religion, an examination of so-called Western values and their Islamic counterparts, an analysis of key moments in recent history, and finally a survey of minority Muslim communities in the West. This course is cross-listed as MEST 272. Offered every year.
1500:TR   EASTC 102
SOCI 313-01 Micro Sociological Approaches: From Symbolic Interactionism to Microaggressions
Instructor: J Daniel Schubert
Course Description:
Much recent sociology focuses on the social structures that inform and shape (indeed, that structure) our daily lives. The discipline has a tradition of microsociological theories and methods, however, that focuses on social interaction and meaning construction that has been somewhat neglected by structural approaches. In this class we will examine those theories (symbolic interactionism, ethnomethodology, phenomenological sociology) and methods (participant and non-participant observation, thick description) and consider their potential contributions to sociological understanding. In addition, we will investigate a number of specific microsociological sites, such as microaggressions, intimacy, and the self in order to consider the value of microsociological approaches to our general understanding of social reality.
1030:MWF   DENNY 303
SOCI 313-02 Dealing with Data: Social Problems/Policy
Instructor: Anna Kozlowska, Susan Rose
Course Description:
How does one measure quality of life? If you had a free choice, where would you want to live? On what basis would you decide? How does your nationality, race, class, and gender affect your access to health care, prison, higher education, potable water? Or the probability of your dying before age 5 or living beyond age 75? Using a series of case studies, this course will examine demographic and socio-economic data, focusing on the development (and social construction) of social problems and social policy recommendations designed to eliminate or ameliorate those problems. While addressing social problems and policies, the course is skills-based and teaches students how to access relevant and reliable data, and then assess, analyze, and present those data in order to build strong arguments. Work will include short weekly readings and reports that use empirical data to argue points of view on a particular social issue and/or policy, debates, visual presentations, and a final policy brief of the students choosing. Issues to be examined are likely to include: wealth and health disparities both within and across countries; crime and incarceration rates by demographic characteristics and across countries; gender inequality and gender violence; teen pregnancy and reproductive health; MDGs and quality of life within and across countries; and immigration.
1330:W   DENNY 112
SOCI 331-01 Contemporary Sociological Theory
Instructor: J Daniel Schubert
Course Description:
This course will examine alternative ways of understanding the human being, society, and culture as they have been presented in contemporary sociological theory (1925-present). It will focus on the theoretical logic of accounting for simple and complex forms of social life, interactions between social processes and individual and group identities, major and minor changes in society and culture, and the linkages between intimate and large-scale human experience. Prerequisite: 110 and one additional course in sociology, or permission of instructor. Offered every spring.
1330:MW   DENNY 304
SOCI 333-01 The Sociology of Health and Illness
Instructor: J Daniel Schubert
Course Description:
This course is an examination of the theories and practices that constitute a sociological understanding of medicine, health, and illness. Social epidemiology, health care systems, stigma, medicalization, suffering, and death, are some of the phenomena considered. Offered every two years.
0930:MWF   DENNY 313
SOCI 405-01 Senior Thesis
Instructor: Susan Rose
Course Description:
Permission of Instructor Required Independent study, in consultation with a specially constituted faculty committee, of a problem area chosen by the student. The student should, in addition to pursuing his/her own interests, also seek to demonstrate how various perspectives within sociology and, where relevant, other disciplines bear on the topic chosen. Permission of the instructor required.
1330:F   CMST SEM