SOCI 101S W 01 Introduction to Sociology
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 semiotics. In general, the course will encourage you to enjoy,
recognize, and actively engage in the practice of social inquiry.
SOCI 101S 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/SW 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 201S 01 Race and Ethnicity
Race and ethnicity continue to be
important markers of identity, stratification, and political action. This course
will expose you to concepts and theories that can promote an understanding of
the roles of race and ethnicity in contemporary society and guide new ways of
thinking about these issues. Specifically, the course will introduce you to
the socio-cultural analysis of race and ethnic group membership in its various
historical and geographical contexts, especially that of the contemporary United
States. Why has racial/ethnic group membership remained a salient factor in
social life? What factors perpetuate racial/ethnic stratification in our society?
When does racial/ethnic group membership form the basis of social and political
mobilization? Key concepts will be critically evaluated, with attention drawn
to their ideological basis, explanatory power, and policy implications. Students
will be encouraged to think critically about the social issues under study and
their relevance to their own lives as members of a multi-ethnic society.
SOCI 201C 02 Topics: Anthropology of China
This course is a basic introduction
to the anthropology of China – a nation with a written history years of
over 5000 years and the world’s largest population. After a brief historical
and geographic overview of China, we will divide our inquiry into two segments:
In the first segment, we will primarily focus on Chinese rural life, on the
Chinese peasantry and on China’s socio-cultural institutions. The second
part of the course will explore continuity and change in those institutions
since the formation of the Peoples Republic of China in 1949, and look at selected
aspects of contemporary Chinese life.
SOCI 245C 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 250S 01&02 Sociology of Deviance
Pre-requisites: Sociology 101 or 110 or permission of the instructor
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.
SOCI 277C/R 1W 01&02 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:
SOCI 292S 01 Population Geography
Cross-listed as GEOG292; you may
enroll in either SOCI 292 or GEOG 292.
From now until the middle of the 21st century, in only fifty years, the world's population will increase by 50% from 6 billion at the end of 1999 to close to 9 billion in 2050. October 12, 1999 has been chosen as the official date marking the advent of a planet with 6 billion inhabitants. On October 5, 2005, the total population of the World had reached 6,470,751,717; an increase by almost half a billion in just six years. Between 1995 and 2005, the growth rate was 78 million people per year, the equivalent of a new Egypt added every year. In 2050, Africa and Asia will be home to 20 and 60% of the world's population respectively. Developed nations will have twice as many elderly people as youth and the population of many in between will be in decline. The world's productive land is a constantly changing resource. Climatic variations, natural disasters, and human intervention are constantly at work changing the boundaries of productive land. Arable land covers 3% of the world's surface. Despite the fact that this land is continually being lost to urbanization, the total area under cultivation is rising because of deforestation.
During this course we would look at demographic data, population distribution and composition, theories of population growth and change. We will focus on basic demographic processes, as mortality, fertility, and migration. This class will be helpful in understanding the demographic processes in different cultural, social, and political settings.
SOCI 301S 1W Topics: Sociological Perspectives in Education
Pre-requisites: One Prior Class in Sociology
This course examines the foundations and outcomes of education from a sociological perspective. The roles of students, parents, teachers, administrators, and other stakeholders 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 also include a field experience component. 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.
SOCI 301 2 Education and Gender in Japan
Pre-requisites: One Prior Class in Sociology
This course will examine gender socialization practices in contemporary Japanese schooling and their impact on individual identity, academic achievement, career aspirations, and life course paths. While gendered behavior is highly salient in Japan and gender inequality pervasive, traditional notions have been challenged recently. We begin by investigating historical milestones, from the development of education for girls in the late 19th century, through several events linked with the United States, including the American missionary movement in Japan, the post-WWII Japanese Constitution, and the women's liberation movement. As we turn toward exploring contemporary gendered schooling practices, we will also consider future directions as we examine and critique Japan's recent Basic Law for a Gender-Equal Society . The course aims to develop a broad understanding of gender socialization through the specific case of Japan. Therefore, while focusing explicitly on girls' and women's education in Japan, course activities will also explore gender from Japanese male and American perspectives and raise awareness of students' own gendered experiences. This course is cross-listed also as EDUC 390. It meets general education requirements for social institutions and non-western cultures (pending).
SOCI 307 1Z Research Methods
Pre-requisites: SOCI 101S or SOCI 110C/S, Minimum Math Placement 23, and a
Stats Class. Note: Stats may be taken concurrently with SOCI 307.
This course will introduce students to the design and implementation of various social science research methods. The course examines every phase of the research process including the development of testable research questions, integration of theory into the empirical process, choosing effective methods for study, and various techniques for collecting, analyzing, interpreting, and reporting data. Students will construct and implement research designs using various quantitative and qualitative methods, primarily in preparation for the completion of their independent senior thesis project. This is a required course for sociology majors.
SOCI 340R 1W Sociology of Religion
Pre-requisites: One Prior Course in Sociology
Religion exists in two realms, the spiritual (or supernatural) and the human (or mundane). As social scientists, we do not presume to analyze the supernatural realm, but we try to apply our methods and perspectives to understanding the human, social side of religion.
Investigation of the social side of religion involves examining the organization of religious groups, their cultural settings, their political and economic correlates, and their capabilities as agents of social change. In general, we examine the interrelations between religion and other institutions of society.
In addition, the social scientific study of religion focuses attention upon the mechanisms by which particular religious groups seek to stimulate and sustain the religious impulse and to channel it into the favored mode of expression. Sociologists of religion are interested in how religion contributes to the values of culture and assists in their creation, invigoration, alteration, and demise. We ask both: how does religion influence society? and how does society influence religion?
Course requirements include field visits to local religious institutions, oral presentations, several short papers and three examinations. This course is writing intensive.
SOCI 380 01W Identity, Self and Society
Pre-requisites: One Prior Course in Sociology
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.
This course is also an opportunity for students to integrate service to the community with their actual course work. Students engage in service learning activities 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.