SOCI 101S 01&02 Introduction to Sociology
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
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
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 01 - Urban Geography
World urbanization has increased dramatically in the course of the 20th century. About 50% of the global population lives in cities now verses to 5% in the 1800s. Developed countries are 73% urbanized, with Europe and Russia facing shrinking population. Developing countries with large portion of their population in rural areas face an extremely fast rate of urbanization, and lead the world in number of mega-cities, often surrounded by shanty towns. What is the origin of urban growth and decline? What is the spatial organization of a settlement’s network?
What is the structure of the land
use in North American cities, and how different it is from European, Russian,
and Latin American, and Asian centers? All these questions require that cities
be constantly rediscovered. The emphasis will be on American cities with their
long standing inner-city/suburb dichotomy. A lecture/discussion format is anticipated.
Field assignments connect theories to the real world. There will be two exams,
one oral report, a final paper, and several field and computer assignments.
Prerequisite: Math Placement 22.
This course is on WebCT.
SOCI 201 02 - Childhood and Adolescence: East Asian Perspectives
What is a child? Who is an Adolescent? Though the answers to these questions may seem obvious, people everywhere do not share the same ideas of what childhood and adolescence are, should be, or have the potential to be. This course explores East Asian (especially Japanese, and to lesser extents Chinese and Korean) views of childhood and adolescence examining how the experiences of children and young people are shaped by cultural beliefs and values, social practices, and institutions. Two highly influential institutions in the lives of children and youth are family and school. We will examine the roles these institutions play in the development of children and youth in East Asia.
Particular attention will be given
to education as we aim toward an understanding of East Asian schooling that
emphasizes the development of the “whole child,” while debunking
stereotypes of East Asian schooling that only emphasize examinations. Instead,
we will explore how emphasis on academic achievement fits into cultural, historical,
economic and social frameworks of East Asian society. Toward the end of the
course, we will also investigate the ways in which rapid economic and social
change resulting from globalization processes are impacting the nature and direction
of childhood and adolescence in East Asia.
SOCI 201 1W - Contemporary Issues of Sports Sociology and Psychology
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 245 C 01&01 - Gender and Society
This course introduces the student to the construction of gender categories, roles, and inequalities across cultures. Men and women are biological organisms embedded in complex cultural and personal histories that vary from society to society. We will begin with a discussion of whether or not gender is biologically or culturally constructed. We will then consider the ways in which sexuality (homosexuality, heterosexuality and bisexuality) is culturally and/or biologically constructed. We will look at the way that gender is constructed in societies which are egalitarian, move on to more complex hierarchical societies and end with a discussion of how gender is constructed in societies such as our own.
We will utilize ethnographic, archaeological,
linguistic, biographic, and biological data to explain the different worlds
in which men and women must learn culturally specific gender behavior. One of
the aims of the course will be to dissolve some of the stereotypes about other
cultures' constructions of gender and sexuality and develop a more rich and
sophisticated understanding of them and ourselves. Some of the topics of the
course will include definitions of femininity and masculinity, marriage, kinship
systems and how these shape men’s and women’s roles and relationships.
Comparative cross-cultural methodologies will be employed to examine particular
human traits across diverse societies in the world today and in the recent past.
SOCI 277 C/R 1W - Islam and Islamic Societies
This course will provide a broad introduction to the religion of Islam, accompanied by an examination of the connections between Islam and the varied life of Muslim societies and of Muslim minority communities in non-Muslim societies. Given the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the West’s military reprisals and subsequent reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan, the war in Iraq, the ongoing struggle of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the devastation of the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia and elsewhere in the Indian Ocean basin, and other problem situations, knowledge of these issues has become of highest priority.
We will seek to understand the complex
sources of conflict in areas in which Islam is implicated in some way; we will
also try to become acquainted with the rich cultural life of Muslims. We will
consider Muslim societies all over the world, but, in support of the minor in
Africana Studies, we will give a special emphasis to Islam in Africa and to
African American Islam.
Course format: lecture/seminar, with much group discussion. Graded Requirements: A variety of writing exercises throughout the term, oral presentations, examinations and a term project. This course is Writing Intensive (W) and can be taken for either “C” or “R” credit in General Education. Prerequisite: None.
SOCI 301 S 1W - Special Topics: Who are the Russians? The Russian Idea in History and Contemporary Affairs
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 the disjunctions of national identity for Russians and other groups in the Russian Federation 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: Seminar. 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 two book critiques and 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.
Prereq.: One course in Sociology
or Permission of Instructor.
SOCI 360 W - Sociological Theory
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
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 498 & 499 01/W - Senior Thesis & Honor Thesis
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, using either available data sets or 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 due at the end of the fall semester. However, revision tasks normally run into the beginning of spring semester.
All students are required to present their final research papers in a student conference format in late February. The Senior Thesis Presentations 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.
In addition, all sociology majors are strongly encouraged to present their thesis work at other undergraduate research conferences 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 at a professional meeting such as that of the North Central Sociological Association or the American Sociological Association.
Students interested in completing an Honors Thesis in Sociology should consult with the Department Chairperson and the Senior Thesis Professor when completing enrollment procedures for Fall Semester.