SOAN 1000 Introduction to Sociology (4 sem. hours). Adopting a cross-cultural and comparative approach, this course provides a comprehensive overview of sociological principles. Using the sociological imagination, students will explore the relationship between individuals and their social environment, as well as the origin, structure, and function of various social institutions. Specific issues include the self and society, marriage and the family, education, religion, popular culture and mass media, class, gender, and race/ethnicity. This class satisfies Core 6 requirements.
SOAN 1100 Introduction to Anthropology (4 sem. hours). This course introduces cultural anthropology as a way of understanding and studying culture in all its complexity. The class is discussion-driven and relies on ethnographic texts as primary learning resources. Class discussions will encourage students to consider the implications of cultural variability and to ask deep questions about the nature of human experience and social conditions. At the end of the course, students will possess the tools to examine culture much more closely and critically and to evaluate deep-seated assumptions about the way the world works. This class satisfies Core 6 requirements.
SOAN 1110 Introduction to Archaeology and World Prehistory (4 sem. hours). This class is designed to introduce students to the world's prehistory and to the anthropological field of archaeology. The class begins with the human family's earliest appearance approximately 5-6 million years ago in Africa and, through the course of the semester, travels down winding global paths to the dawn of written history. As the class works together to unravel humanity's complex past, students may also learning something about the present and our future.
SOAN 2500 Immigration in the 20th and 21st Centuries (4 sem. hours). While humans have moved from one country to another for hundreds or years, the reasons for their movement remain essentially the same: seeking better opportunities in income, employment, and education for themselves and for their children; escaping political or religious persecution; or being forced our of their homelands because of revolution and regime change. In this course, students will first conduct a general review of modern, worldwide migration, then examine the factors associated with the social and economic successes (or lack thereof) of different migrant groups in the adopted countries. Students will explore the relationship between culture and migration, the impact of immigration on jobs in the receiving country, the conflicts between immigrants and native-born workers, and the adaptive measures used by different immigrant groups to deal with the difficulties they have encountered in their adopted countries.
SOAN 2750-01 Sociology of African-Americans and Latinos (4 sem. hours). This course will provide an exploration of the historical and contemporary experiences of African Americans and Latinos in the United States. This course will examine the nature and dynamics of racial and ethnic relations in various institutions. Specific focus will be given to patterns of migration and incorporation along with an overview of how these groups contribute to and shape our social landscape and institutions. We start with an overview of the contemporary experiences of African American and Latinos by engaging in various theoretical explanations and end with an extensive look at how members of these groups interact with and influence social policy.
SOAN 2750-02 The Many Dimensions of Poverty (4 sem. hours). This course examines poverty as a problem for individuals, families, and societies. It focuses on the United States, which is arguably the most impoverished of any developed nation. In this course, we ask: How should we define and measure poverty? Who is poor and who is not? Are there different kinds of poverty? What is it like to live in poverty? What are the causes of poverty? What are its effects on individuals, families, communities, and societies? What values does it undermine? What moral and legal rights should the poor have, and what obligations do societies, governments, organizations, and individuals have to the poor? Do the poor also have obligations to themselves, others, and society? What are the plausible remedies for the negative aspects of poverty? The approach we will take is interdisciplinary but is mainly from a social scientific perspective.
SOAN 3120 Ethnography of East Africa (4 sem. hours). This seminar-style course will examine the peoples and cultures of East Africa through the lens of ethnography. Students will learn about cultural trends as well as cultural variety within the region and will also be asked to think critically about the practice of ethnography in East Africa. Course materials will include ethnographic monographs and ethnographic articles that range from classics in the field to contemporary work on hip hop and tourism. This course is open to all students who have successfully completed an introductory course in the department. The course is highly recommended for students planning to participate in the summer program in Tanzania.
SOAN 3200 Religion, Society, and Culture (4 sem. hours). This course is cross-listed in Sociology-Anthropology and Religious Studies and examines the intersection of the two disciplines. The primary organizing topic for the class is consideration of how social scientists can and should study religion. Students will be asked to take an active role in learning about various social theorists (from Frazer to Asad) and in engaging ethnographic studies of various religious phenomena. Rather than attempting to survey the religions of the world, the class aims to provide students with the knowledge and skills to study and to analyze any particular religion as a social scientist.
SOAN 3210 Urban Life (4 sem. hours). This class investigates the social, economic, and political processes that have given rise to the modern city in the U.S. and around the world, and how the same factors have continued to shape our urban communities today. We will examine the strategies used by both individuals and groups to face the demands of urban living. In so doing, we will explore the foundations of urban sociology and the current theories and practices in the building and ordering of our urban life.
SOAN 4200 Social and Cultural Theory (4 sem. hours). In this class, students will conduct critical, comparative, and synthetic examinations of historical and contemporary sociological theory, including functionalism, conflict theory, phenomenology, and symbolic interactionism.