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Past Course Descriptions

Course Listings -Spring 2002

Course Descriptions
Spring 2002

SOCI 101S.01S / Introduction to Sociology (4 Credits) / Professor Doubt

Introduction to Sociology introduces and studies various sociological principles on the nature of social interaction and the problem of social order. The course demonstrates how different sociological perspectives help us understand and articulate the compelling character of social life. The course is divided into three parts, and the leading, theoretical approaches within sociology--Symbolic Interaction, Social Conflict, Functionalism--are studied one at a time in each part of the course. The course also explores different methodologies for conducting sociological research, in particular, statistical analysis and discourse analysis. In general, the course will encourage you to enjoy, recognize, and actively engage in the practice of social inquiry.

During the course two distinct methodologies for conducting sociological inquiry will be compared and dramatized in this class, one being quantitative or statistical analysis and the other being qualitative or semiology. The purpose of the course is to introduce you to both the theoretical and the methodological diversity of the discipline.

SOCI 101S.02 & 3S / Introduction to Sociology, (4 Credits) / Professor Pankhurst

This course serves as an introduction to the cultural and structural patterns of human behavior as seen through the sociological perspective. The content of this course, as presented through readings, lectures, exercises, films, and discussions, focuses upon norms, social interaction, social organization, and social change. The course addresses socio-cultural differences in life styles through an analytical approach which views social behavior as the result of a complex integration of institutional affiliations (e.g., religious, family, educational, political, and economic). The course also introduces students to the discipline of sociology and to sociology as a profession. This section of Sociology 101 will have a lecture and discussion format. Grades are based on three examinations and several exercises.

SOCI 110C/S.1W / Cultural Anthropology (4 credits) / Professor Smith

This course is an introduction to the perspective of cultural anthropology. The course pays particular attention to the concept of culture and to the tremendous diversity of cultural patterns around the world. Topics include fieldwork as method and experience, institutions of society, and symbol and meaning. Students will read descriptions of societies from several different ethnographic areas, including the United States. We will end the term with a consideration of the role of anthropology and anthropologists in the world today. Writing intensive.

SOCI 201.01S / Animals and Society (4 Credits) / Professor Nibert

For thousands of years various non-human animals have figured prominently in both the material foundations and ideological underpinnings of human societies. Increasingly, social scientists are focusing on the ethical, ecological, and societal consequences of continuing these patterns into the next century. For example, some scholars argue that cultural practices, which define and use non-human animals as food figure prominently into various forms of environmental devastation and world hunger. In addition, health research indicates that high rates of heart disease and cancer in many cultures can be attributed to the consumption of animals. Others suggest that human perception and treatment of non-human animals are related in significant ways of such enduring problems as racism, sexism, and violence against vulnerable groups of people. This course will examine historical and contemporary relations between human and non-human animals and the issues that frame the animal rights debate.

SOCI 201.02 S / Sociological Perspectives in Education (4 Credits) / Professors McEvoy and Welker

This course examines the foundations and outcomes of education from a sociological perspective. The roles of students, parents, teachers, administrators, and other stake-holders in public education will be considered. In addition, issues of class, race, ethnicity, and gender will be examined as they affect school practices. How institutions and individuals are responsive or resistant to school reform is examined as well. Readings in the course will revolve around studies on the profession of teaching, school violence, social mobility, and equal opportunity.
The course will have a field experience component in which students will be matched with teachers and students in a Springfield City Schoo. Through these experiences, students will have the opportunity to gather data and write case studies regarding specific school practices and responses. Field experience of approximately 15 hours is required.
The course will be team taught with Education 103 (Dr. Welker). Students completing either Education 103 or Sociology 201 will fulfill one requirement for teacher licensure. Students seeking licensure through the teacher education program are required to take either this course or Educ. 104. Fulfills General Education requirement for social institutions, processes, and behavior. No prerequisite.

SOCI 201.03S / Race and Representation (4 Credits) / Professor Kanner

This course is designed to expose students to the concepts of "race" as a cultural category and lived identity in contemporary U.S. society. The focus of the course is the range of ways that race is expressed in popular media. A governing assumption of this approach is the position that media both reflect and shape collective and individual understanding and meaning-making. Hence, examination of popular media allows students to problematize that which they ordinarily take for granted and, at the same time, to gain some insight into the origins of their own ideas and beliefs.

SOCI 245C/S / Gender and Society (4 Credits) / Professor Plante

Gender is the most important variable in social life. When babies are born, the first thing we learn about them is sex/gender ("It's a boy!). In this course, we will examine 'ses' vs. 'gender', the social construction of gender, differences and similarities, and the consequences of gendering.

SOCIOLOGY 250S.01&02 S/ Sociology of Deviance (4 Credits) / Professor McEvoy

Sex, violence, insanity, fear and loathing! This course focuses on public perceptions and responses to behavior that is considered a violation of societal rules. Sociological theory, research, and case examples will be employed to help the student understand the causes and consequences of a variety of behaviors labeled as deviant. The emphasis will be on examining the patterns of interaction within which deviant behavior emerges, the impact of certain types of deviance on others, as well as attempts to prevent or reduce these behaviors by agents of social control. Of paramount concern will be our effort to understand the meaning of deviant behavior from the perspective of both the deviant actors and the audience that expresses disapproval. (Sociology 101 or 110 or permission of the instructor as a prerequisite.)

SOCI 292.01S / Population Problems / Professor Medvedkov

Examination of major population trends on global and regional scale. The following topics will be emphasized: population growth; distribution and redistribution of population due to natural increase and migration; population-resources equation; people as ultimate resources. The role of political, social and economic conditions in their relation to population problems will be assessed. A lecture/ discussion format is suggested. There will be two exams, one oral report, a final paper, and several computer assignments. Prerequisite: Sociology 101 or 110 or Geography 101. *Cross-listed with Geography 292 Population Geography. Students may enroll in either Sociology 292 or Geography 292.

SOCI 301.01W / Who are the Russians? The Russian Idea in History and Contemporary Affairs (4 Credits) / Professor Pankhurst

The Russian Federation - or, simply, Russia - is a vast, multi-ethnic country, the largest of the fifteen states which were made out of parts of the Soviet Union after it broke up in 1991. Although Russia has a long and distinguished history of its own, its national identity has always been ambiguous to some degree, and this is certainly the case in the post-Soviet situation since 1991. The earliest Russian nation was founded by a people who made their first capital at Kiev, which is now the capital of Ukraine. (In fact, the people of Russia and Ukraine [and in significant measure of Belarus, as well] share a common ancestry that is part of the story of the "Russian Idea".) Kiev was destroyed by Mongol conquerors in the thirteenth century and the capital moved northward, eventually settling in Moscow. In the eighteenth century, St. Petersburg was made the capital of the Romanov imperial state, but Moscow was restored as the capital by the Bolsheviks following the Revolution of 1917. The Bolsheviks subsequently created a supranational federation called the Soviet Union, which significantly impacted Russian national identity. In fact, the Soviet leaders made forceful efforts to reduce many of the historical national identities within the USSR and subordinate them to the Soviet Communist ideal.

The question of this course concerns how all of these disjunctions of national identity have been managed by the people who lived in the region of Russia and what impact these historical disjunctions might have on the formation of a national identity for the Russia of the twentieth-first century. How can this country recapture an old sense of self (which one would it choose?), or must it build a completely new one for the new millennium?

In exploring this question, we will venture into philosophical, political, social and artistic aspects of history, and then consider the range of contemporary affairs that have an impact on the construction and sustenance of national identity. The richness of Russian culture is our basic object of study.

Course Format: The course will include numerous readings, some to be presented to the class by students. Participation by students in class discussions will be important. Simultaneously, there will be some short papers working toward the enhancement of writing skills, and students will keep a portfolio of these papers to demonstrate patterns of improvement. Some peer review of these papers will be built into the course. In addition, each student will complete a term project on a subject selected in consultation with the instructor. Term projects will be presented to the class at the end of the semester. There will be two or three examinations on the core content of the course, and there may be an occasional quiz on the factual materials.

SOCI 307.01 Z & W / Research Methods (5 Credits) / Professor Plante

This course will introduce sociology majors to issues in research methodology (required for majors). Topics to be covered include the logic of the social sciences, research design, social measurement, and basic data analysis. Students will learn how to think about research, how to ask questions, and how to think about answers. The course will include both classroom and laboratory segments; the course is both writing intensive and math intensive. Students will undertake work that will prepare them for sociology senior thesis.

SOCIOLOGY 330S.01&02 S/ Social Stratification (4 Credits) / Professor Nibert

This course will examine the causes and consequences of social inequality with emphasis on the institutionalization and ideological legitimation of oppression. Special attention will be given to the role of the state. While historical and cross-cultural examples will be examined, primary attention will be given to the existence of inequality in the United States. Oppression by gender, race, cognitive ability, sexual orientation and species will be among the forms of inequality discussed. Prerequisite: One sociology course

SOCI 380.01W / Identity, Self, and Society (4 Credits) / Professor Doubt

This course will survey leading theories of self and identity in the tradition of symbolic interaction and apply them creatively and critically to the everyday world. After studying the conceptual positions of George Herbert Mead, Charles Cooley, and Erving Goffman on self, the course will test the explanatory character of these positions against demanding subjects like madness, prejudice, friendship, and leadership. The course will also address how self and identity are important issues in areas of postmodernism, feminism, and colonization. The question that will center our inquiries is, How is the individual dependent upon as well as autonomous from the social community? Lectures, group discussions, films, writing assignments, and tests will be oriented toward addressing this question. While taught from a sociological perspective, the course will encompass an interdisciplinary approach; it will draw upon readings in psychology, education, philosophy, theology, and political science. Prerequisite: One sociology course

SERVICE LEARNING 100 (1 Credit) / Professor Doubt

This course is an opportunity for students to more fully integrate service to the community with their actual course work, in particular, SOCI 380.01, Identity, Self, and Society. Students will engage in twenty hours of community service at Bridgehouse, a home and meeting place for people suffering from serious and chronic mental illness near Wittenberg University. Readings on schizophrenia and madness will be interwoven into the topic of identity and self-understanding and reinforced through students' service activity. Prerequisite: Completion of Community Service

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