Sociology Undergraduate Course Descriptions
SOCIAL CHANGE: AN INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY
An introduction to sociology with a comparative and historical focus. The aim of this course is to familiarize students with some of the basic concepts, main ideas and theories employed in sociological analysis, with contemporary United States as its main focal point and historical reference. The course will focuses on a selection of topics such as the world economy, the nature of work, labor and capital markets, the occupational structure and class transformation of post-World War II America, racism and ethnocentrism, gendered types of employment, and popular culture, changing values and family and gender relations, and social inequality and social mobility. The course focuses on current issues of contemporary relevance in the United States.
SOCIAL CHANGE: AN INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY
An introduction to sociology, focusing on the inception of sociological thinking, the centrality of race, gender and class as categories of analysis and inequalities both within societies and among countries.
SOC 118 (also PLSC 118)
INTRODUCTION TO POLITICAL SOCIOLOGY
Introduction to political systems in both the developed and developing world. Theoretical issues including constitutions, ideologies, political economy, political culture, political parties and the roles of the legislature, the executive and the judiciary are discussed first; then the political systems of Great Britain, France, Germany, Japan, China, Nigeria and Russia are examined. Multi-disciplinary thinking ¨ including examination of the interaction of politics, history, sociology and economics ¨ is encouraged.
SPECIAL TOPICS IN SOCIOLOGY
Intensive study of particular topic to be determined in advance. May be repeated for credit if different topic offered.
FOUNDATIONS OF SOCIAL THEORY
Critical reading, in their entirety, of a selection of the major works of Durkheim, Weber and Marx, to be augmented with further selections from these and other authors bearing on the development of the major conceptual frameworks and analytic perspectives that are the legacy of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Prerequisite: SOC 100.
SOCIAL CHANGE: AFRICA, U.S., EUROPE
Examines the changing relationships of Africa with the United States and Europe, from Greek-Nile links through slavery and pan-African struggles against colonialism and racism to contemporary economic and cultural flows.
SOCIOLOGY OF WORK AND OCCUPATIONS
Meaning of work in Western industrial societies; emphasis on contemporary U.S. Impact of technological and cultural change on occupational structure and workforce. Recent changes in nature of both blue-collar and white-collar work; changes in participation by racial and ethnic minorities and by women; relationship between American workforce and those of developing countries.
Structural base for the rise of movements, personal motivations for participation, success and failures of movements. Emphasis on local identities in civil society. Search for alternatives to the dichotomy of transnational capitalism versus socialism. Relation of local to international movements.
SOC 240 (also AFST 240, LA&C 240, WOMN 240)
WOMEN OF COLOR IN THE U.S.
Examination of the diverse struggles (political, economic, social, legal, etc.) of Asian, Native American, African American and Latina/Chicana women in the U.S. and the ways in which public institutions and agencies (federal, state, local) deal with women of color.
Theories of deviant behavior, illustrations from studies of delinquency, mental illness, alcohol and other drug use, etc. Implications of control policies such as hospitalization, imprisonment, therapy.
THE SOCIOLOGY OF REPRODUCTION
Exposes students to a variety of reproductive issues ű conception (and contraception), birth and motherhood. Focuses on the U.S. and on other countries in order to examine assumptions about reproductive practices and strategies. Explores issues such as birth control, pro-natalism, the construction of fetal personhood and the meaning and experience of families and motherhood.
SOCIAL PROBLEMS IN THE U.S.
Various theoretical perspectives for analyzing the nature of contemporary social conflicts and problems in the U.S. Issues raised may include social inequalities of various kinds, poverty, unemployment and the working poor, gender and race discrimination, and crime and social justice.
GENDER AND SOCIETY
Introduction to the study of gender and society from a sociological perspective. With an emphasis on placing U.S experience in comparative perspective, explores relationship of culture, the body, money and food to gender and various forms of gender inequality. Examines sociological research explaining why gender inequality persists at home, on the job and in poverty.
SOC 276 (also HIST 257)
THE AMERICAN WORKING CLASSES SINCE 1877
American working classes in industrial era: ethnic, racial, occupational characteristics, changing quality of life, evolution of organized labor movement, labor's various forms of political action. Working-class culture: religion, family structure, recreation.
IMMIGRATION IN CONTEMPORARY AMERICA
Focuses on recent trends in immigration to the U.S. Draws on both sociological theories of (im)migration and international development to explore such issues as the origins of immigration, trends in capital and labor movements within the present world-system, changing modes of incorporation in the receiving society, immigrant entrepreneurship, ethnic enclaves and the informal economy, as well as some of the challenges posed to both first- and second-generation immigrants in their efforts to adapt to new surroundings. Particular attention given to differences in experience emerging from gender, race and class positions of immigrants.
SPECIAL TOPICS IN SOCIOLOGY
Intensive study of particular topics to be determined in advance. May be repeated for credit.
SOCIOLOGY OF EVERYDAY LIFE
Focuses on the sociology of the everyday; considers the socially constructed nature of reality, self and identity; and looks at how the acquisition of a self through society is problematic given unequal distributions of power. Addresses the meaning of social categories in our lives.
SOCIOLOGY OF LATIN AMERICA
This course explores current topics in the study of society in Latin America including recent changes in the regionĂs social structure, the character of the regionĂs political and economic relationship to the United States.
This course focuses on the study of societies and societal change over historical times. It examines the theoretical and methodological assumptions underlying both comparative and global approaches to historical sociological inquiry. Among the topics discussed are pre-modern and modern societies, state formation, economic development, social stratification, group identities and social movements.
SOCIAL RESEARCH METHODS
Even if you do not plan on becoming a sociologist, understanding how sociologists and other social researchers conduct their research can help you interpret the world around you. This course will introduce you to the principles that guide how researchers select their research questions and the methods whereby they examine their research questions. Prerequisite: SOC 100, 200 or consent of instructor.
CONSUMING INTERESTS: SOCIOLOGY OF FOOD
A global history of power, identity and the environment as seen through the prism of food, examining famine and hunger; preparation and consumption of food as a gendered practice; state regulation of food provisioning and quality; eating patterns at home and in restaurants; labor relations in the food industry; ethnicity and foodways; eating disorders and diets; and attempts to resist Šmedical imperialism.Ă
SOC 311 (also AFST 311)
AFRICAN WORLD SYSTEMS PERSPECTIVE
Understanding the process of change in African sub-Saharan societies, mentalities, economies and culture. Examined are natural environment and major historical turning points; sociological heritage of so-called traditional societies; impact of Islam as a long-distance relationship with worlds of Mediterranean and Indian Ocean; organization of a Western world economy based on Atlantic trade in slaves and raw materials; colonial imperialism; 20th-century unrest, reactions, problems.
SOC 313 (also LA&C 313)
SLAVERY, RACE, CULTURE
Cross-cultural and socio-historical analyses of slavery and slave systems, including redefinition of social groups within the world economy. Draws on materials from the U.S. and elsewhere where slavery took root and developed. Different experiences of slavery, impact of slavery on populations of African origin and on the formation of African and African diaspora cultures; response of these populations to slavery.
SOC 321 (also LA&C 313)
RACE AND CULTURAL RELATIONS IN THE WORLD
Historical origins of "race" and "racism"; the growth and development of racial, ethnic and national identities. Cultural expressions of "race" and "ethnicity." Topics selected may vary.
SOC 324 (also WOMN 324)
Social and historical processes through which work is organized and allocated on basis of gender; relationship of these processes to changes in world economy. Growth in women's poverty and struggles of women in both paid and unpaid labor force.
GENDER AND DEVELOPMENT
Addresses the problems of development and underdevelopment in the Third World with a special focus on gender inequalities. Introduces students to the main theoretical perspectives on development, and evaluates them in the context of both the historical record of colonialism and important contemporary issues, such as the challenge of sustainable development and the ecological limits to limitless growth.
COMPARATIVE SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
Origins and development strategies of regimes in various zones or regions of the world. Social composition of regimes; changes in social base that accompany shifts in development policies. Consideration of costs/benefits that accrue to different classes.
LATIN AMERICAN WOMEN
Political, social and economic roles of women in Latin America. Examines the experience of women in the rural, urban, mining, industrial, service and informal sectors, and women's survival under military dictatorships, colonialism and neo-colonialism.
SOC 340 (also WOMN 340)
WOMEN AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE
This course is designed to familiarize students with issues pertaining to women who come in contact with the U.S. criminal justice system. It focuses on the inter-relationship between gender, ethnicity, race, class and sexual orientation/preference and on how these influence the causes for which women are arrested and incarcerated, the punishment they receive, the treatment they face once institutionalized and their responses to imprisonment. Required films/documentaries will complement required readings. Some required films/videos will not be available outside class times. You are, therefore, expected to be in class when they are scheduled to be shown.
Political economy of urban processes, covering contemporary issues such as economic restructuring, globalization, the "new" international division of labor and the "new immigrants" in global cities. Comparison of several cities in the U.S. and Western Europe. However, particular emphasis given to New York City and Miami.
Impact of social structure and social psychological factors on political attitudes and behavior of significant groups and strata. Structure of such groups; social characteristics of leaders and members, analyzed in light of sociological theory. Elites, intellectuals, students, women, ethnic and religious groups.
SOCIOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY ASIA
Surveys patterns of socio-historical transformation in Asia; colonialism and nationalism; social, economic and political trends after the Second World War; class, gender and culture.
Critical evaluation of the socio-historical processes resulting in various types of stratification and inequality in contemporary social settings. Relationships among class, status and power. Class consciousness and conflict; critical understanding of various perspectives explaining social inequality. Examination of class inequality, gender inequality, race inequality and various barriers to social mobility.
Social organization of economic institutions; meaning and value of work in world-historical perspective. The politics of technology, skills and organization of enterprises. Conflicts among economic markets and firms, and production relations. Special topics may vary.
THE SIXTIES: SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES
Uses the sociological theories of social movements and ideologies as a point of departure to retrospectively examine popular movements that originated during the turbulent decade of the 1960s. Issues investigated include the civil rights and Black Power movements, anti-war movements, feminist movements, the environmental and ecology movements and personal-growth movements.
SOCIOLOGY OF COLONIALISM
Political economy of colonialism; representations in film, novels, exhibitions, comics; changes in colonial societies and traditions; movements of national liberation.
LAW AND SOCIETY
Explores the relationship between law and society in the process of social change. Topics include the historical origins of modern legal traditions; different legal systems and how they are compatible with the state-society relationship in different societies; trends toward the worldwide dominance of Western law since the 19th century; law as a principal force of globalization in the current period; and new forms of property in post-industrial capitalism.
Meets special needs and interests of students doing independent research or community projects. Written analytical term report of project work required. May be repeated only as elective. Prerequisites: prior arrangement with and consent of chosen instructor.
Tutorial or seminar study of special problems that meets needs of advanced students. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.
CITIES IN THE POPULAR IMAGINATION
Theoretical debates regarding the historical development and structures of cities; space, place and urban form; cities in the popular imagination; cities as tourist sites; the built environment and architectural design; modernist and post-modernist cityscapes; and landscapes of power and the power of landscapes.
Independent study through teaching in particular sociology courses. Course instructor directs students in preparation of syllabi, other course materials, devising and reading examinations; lecturing and/or leading discussion; academic counseling. May be repeated for total of no more than eight credits. Credit may not be earned in conjunction with course in which student is currently enrolled. Does not satisfy major or Harpur College Distribution requirements. Prerequisites: consent of instructor and department. Pass/Fail only. Students must consult department for detailed guidelines.
Student or student-faculty initiated research project. Prerequisites: sociology course(s) in topic of research and consent of instructor. Paper written for this course may be submitted for consideration for honors, on advice of instructor.