Sociologists often grapple with the inherent tension between structure and agency. That is, how is our free will constrained by circumstances beyond our control? The purpose of this course is to systematically investigate your life story and communicate to others how your individual biography fits into a larger context. In this course, you will learn a variety of new skills. You will learn how to analyze your life from different angles, such as race, class, and gender. You will receive training on how to collect and analyze information regarding the events occurring around you as you grew up. To improve your skills as a writer, you will learn how to tailor your story to an academic audience. During draft workshops, you will practice giving and receiving feedback to make your writing better. These methods will help you write clear, concise, and well organized arguments based upon detailed empirical observations.
Introduction to Sociology
Introduction to the sociological perspective on human behavior, including an analysis of theory, research methods, culture, society, personality, the socialization process, social institutions and social change.
Sociology of Dance
An examination of dance through a sociological lens. Students will briefly study and practice a variety of forms of dance. Application of core sociological concepts to formal and informal dance styles and analyzation of how cultural practices are shaped by wider social forces will be the focus of the course. May Experience ONLY. 2 credits.
Training in community based research methods. Students will learn how to collect and analyze data regarding a specific problem facing the local community. They also will assess the needs of community members and analyze them in relation to past and present social trends.
Sociology of Gender
Analysis of the role of gender in society. Exploration of the ways gender differences are culturally reproduced transforming male and female biology into masculinity and femininity. Historical and cross-cultural examples are examined as well as a discussion of the nature/nurture debate. Consideration of the influences of the family, media and language are included. Additional attention is paid to the role of gender in the social institutions (e.g., education, work, health care).
Race and Ethnic Relations
An exploration of racial, ethnic and religious minorities in United States and around the world. Topic covered include: race" and social identities; stigmatization and prejudice; inter-group cooperation
Self and Society
Examination of the self at the intersection of the individual and society with particular attention to the interdependent nature of micro-level interactions and macro-level structures and institutions. Exploration of how sociologists understand the relationship between the self and society, surveying the fields of symbolic interactionism, social structure and personality, ethnomethodology, role theory, social exchange theory, phenomenology, social constructionism, and the life course.
Philosophical and historical influences on and contemporary orientations in sociological theory. The sociological approach to knowledge is compared to that of the other sciences and the humanities.
Qualitative Research Seminar
Advanced reading, research and discussion course for majors covering a specific topic in sociology. Topics vary by professor and term and could include such topics as Subcultures and Alternative Lifestyles, The Built Environment or Ethnography of Everyday Life. Special emphasis on qualitative methodology. This course requires an independent or collaborative research project.
Advanced Qualitative Methods
Advanced training in qualitative methods such as participant-observation and in-depth interviews. Students will learn how to design and conduct an independent research project in order to make a substantive or theoretical contribution to previous academic literature.
Issues in Women & Gender Stds
Focus on both classical and contemporary issues in Women's and Gender Studies. Survey of feminist theory and historical developments in the women's movement, it provides a foundation for the understanding of contemporary women's issues, including education, family, health, religion, economics and politics.