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Past Course Descriptions

Course Listings — Fall 2004

Sociology Department
Course Descriptions
Fall 2004

SOCI 101S 01&02 Introduction to Sociology
Warren, Kiesha

This course examines the cultural and structural patterns of human behavior. The content of this course focuses upon norms, social interaction, social organization, and social change. This course pays special attention to the characteristics of social institutions and how they shape human conduct.

SOCI 110C/S 01 Cultural Anthropology
Smith, Stephen

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.

SOCI 110 C/S 02 Cultural Anthropology
(4 Credits)
Jobrack, Stewart

Anthropology is a scientific and humanistic discipline that studies the entire human species throughout the world and throughout time. Cultural anthropology is the part of anthropology that focuses on human society and culture. Cultural anthropologists try to describe, interpret and explain socio-cultural similarities and differences. This class is an introduction to the field of cultural anthropology, with an emphasis on how the anthropological perspective can be applied to a wide range of human problems. Some topics that will be addressed in this class are language and symbols, the role of religion, equality and inequality, and the place of sexuality and gender in human life. Through a combination of readings, films, lectures, discussions and web-based online activities, we will explore what is unique to our culture and society and what we share with the most remote human groups. Students will be expected to participate in discussions and activities in the classroom and on the web and to write several short essays on assigned topics.

SOCI 201 C/S 01W Anthropology of Food
Smith, Stephen

Food is more than just nutrition for the body, more than just a source of pleasure to the senses. Food is also rich with cultural meaning and the focus of much social action. This course is an anthropological inquiry into the place of food in diverse societies around the world. In keeping with the holistic, four field approach of American Cultural Anthropology, consideration will be given to geographic and biological constraints on diet, but the emphasis in this course is on the theorizing of foodways (including issues such as cooking techniques, table etiquette, and ceremonial food use) as logically consistent elements of larger sociocultural systems. Students may be required to pay additional lab fees for snack foods and field trips.

SOC 201C 02 Everybody Was Kung Fu Fightin': Viewing China and Chinese America through Martial Arts
Frank, Adam

This course begins with the premise that we can understand something about what it means to be "Chinese" by focusing on a specific practice, in this case, martial arts. Through film, visual art, literature, and ethnography, the course touches on issues of diaspora, identity, history, politics, economy, globalization, gender, and phenomenology. Our objective for the semester is to come away with not only a deeper understanding of how "Chineseness" is constituted through popular culture, but also how we as human beings often strategically construct and experience racial and ethnic categories. What are our personal, political, and economic rationales for seeing one another in terms of race and ethnicity? What are the histories, both personal and public, that lead to a particular individual's conception of China and Chinese America? Since these broad questions often lead us beyond the immediate subject of China and martial arts, some of the readings will deal with general theoretical issues about the construction of identity, about representation, and about the globalization of popular culture.

SOCI 201 02 Sport in Culture
Dawson, Steve

At a time of major political and economic change in the world, this course will examine the nature and role of international sport in the emerging global village. Students will seek to uncover the unique elements of sport in the United States and to explain its appearance in terms of the nation’s dominate system of cultural values. Sport will be placed against the broader, sometimes contradictory, backdrop of American culture. As well as the United States, sport will be analyzed in the following cultures: Japan, China, the "New Europe" (e.g., former Eastern Bloc), South Africa, New Zealand, and the United Kindom. A background in sociology and cultural studies would be beneficial, although not a requirement.

SOCI 290S 01 & 02 Global Change
Nibert, David

Examination of the theories, processes, dynamics, and consequences of global change with respect to the emergence of global economic and political systems. Topics include the emergence of industrialization and colonialism, contemporary relationships of advance capitalist nations to the Third World, growing levels of poverty, hunger, repression, and continued environmental destruction.

SOCI 301 0 Death Penalty: A Sociological View
Warren, Kiesha

The course is designed to examine capital punishment in the United States. The course will examine arguments for and against its use as well as issues of ethics and justice. The macrosociological issues that contribute to individuals being sentenced to death will also be a subject of the course.

SOCI 360 W Sociological Theory
Doubt, Keith

This course will survey the history of modern social thought and the establishment of sociology as an empirical science. We will focus on key theorists who have made substantial contributions toward defining the limits and character of sociological inquiry. We will compare and contrast competing conceptual paradigms (functionalism, conflict theory, critical theory, exchange theory, ethnomethodology, symbolic interaction, and phenomenology) and study recent significant developments within the field (rational choice theory, feminism, semiotics, and queer theory). The course will require intensive readings of challenging but rewarding texts. The course will also require clearly written and analytically astute papers. Two to three hours of outside preparation - involving reading, journal writing, and library research - are required for each class. (At least three semester hours in Sociology is a prerequisite. It is advisable that students taking this course have had several courses in sociology at the 200 and 300 level.) .

SOCI 370 01 & 02 Criminology
McEvoy, Alan

This course will emphasize explanations of criminal behavior, consequences of crime for victims and for society, types of juvenile and adult crime, and societal responses to crime. The strengths and limitations of the criminal justice system will be examined, and various approaches to corrections and to crime prevention will be considered.

SOCI 376S 01 Law and Society
Nibert, David

This course is designed to develop and expand students' awareness and understanding of the social construction of the state and how law functions as a social institution; special attention will be given to the role of the state and law as instruments of social control and oppression. While a brief survey of historical uses of state power will be undertaken, the preponderance of assigned readings will be given to an analysis of oppressive uses of state power and law in the 20th and 21st centuries in the United States and the use of U.S. power in the Third World.

SOCI 498 & 499 01/W Senior Thesis & Honor Thesis
Doubt, Keith

As part of the major in Sociology, Wittenberg students are required to complete a senior thesis under the supervision of the "Senior Thesis Professor" and a "Primary Reader" who has a related scholarly interest. The thesis is seen as a capstone experience for majors in that it allows them both to explore research and analytical skills that they have learned earlier and to develop these skills with direct application. In addition, in the process of research and writing, the student develops new skills for the analysis that grow out of the first-hand research tasks. Finally, the thesis process allows the department to assess how well it is doing in preparing students for critical and creative thinking, and for professional or allied careers using their major.

The topic of thesis research is chosen in consultation between the student and the faculty. Hands-on empirical research is encouraged, sometimes using available data sets — including those developed through the surveys carried out in the Research Methods course in the department &mdash' and sometimes requiring the full initiation and carrying out of data gathering in the form of a survey, participant observation project, content analysis or other research method.

Complete drafts of senior theses are completed at the end of the fall semester. However, revision tasks normally run into the spring semester, and a presentation of the research paper in a student conference format is carried out in the middle of spring semester. The Senior Thesis Presentation is one of the programs in the departmental colloquium series, so an audience made up of students, faculty, and local guests has an opportunity to hear about the studies carried out by the senior majors.

Every sociology major is strongly encouraged to present their work at an undergraduate research conference either on or off campus. Outstanding and accomplished majors are encouraged to seek to earn department honors in Sociology by preparing a Senior Honors Thesis in place of the regular Senior Thesis. The honors thesis is more extensive and requires completion of a more complex and detailed research paper comparable to those found in journals in the discipline. When appropriate, you will be encouraged to submit your work for possible publication or presentation in a student session the ASA Annual Meeting.

Required of all Sociology majors. Prerequisites: Soci 307 (Methods); Soci 360 must be completed or taken concurrently.

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