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 & 02 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 201 01 Urban Geography
Pre-requisites: Minimum Math Placement 22, Permission of instructor
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 Contemporary Issues of Psychology and Sociology of Sport
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 210 01 & 02 Sociology of Family
This course explores the ways in which social, economic, political and cultural forces shape the family. During the semester we will review sociological literature on the family, reflect on our own experiences, analyze the social problems families face, investigate social policies surrounding the family, and seek to understand the interconnection between the family and the other institutions that constitute society. The class is designed to address the wide diversity in family forms, practices and experiences, and to acknowledge the link between societal changes and changes in family patterns. With this emphasis on diversity and change, course materials will continuously address the intersection of race and ethnicity, class, and gender on experiences in the family and family structure.
SOCI 290S 01& 02 Global Change
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 Topics: Who Are the Russians?
Pre-requisites: One course in Sociology or Permission of Instructor.
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.
SOCI 360 W Sociological Theory
Pre-requisites: Soci majors only; non-majors need permission of dept. chair
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 430 Race Matters: Identity and Experience in U.S. Society
Pre-requisites: One 300-level Sociology class
Racial differences remain large, and in some cases are growing, in the contemporary United States. Debate rages over the causes of these differences: Are some groups oppressed or privileged due to their race? Is everyone who is economically disadvantaged facing oppression, regardless of race? Do races “naturally” form cohesive groups with some unique qualities? In this seminar, students will explore the overwhelming evidence of how race continues to shape the identities and experiences of all Americans.
SOCI 498 & 499 01/W Senior Thesis & Honor Thesis
Pre-requisites: SOCI 307, Soci majors only, non-majors need permission of dept. chair
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.