You are here: Campus >Registrar's Office > Academic Catalog 2001-2002 > Courses > Sociology and Anthropology

Sociology and Anthropology (SOAN)

Chair: Professor James F. Fisher

Professors: James F. Fisher, Beverly Nagel, Nader Saiedi, Nancy C. Wilkie

Visiting Professors: Naran Bilik, Michael R. Leming

Associate Professors: Pamela Feldman-Savelsberg, Jerome M. Levi

Assistant Professor: Annette Nierobisz

Visiting Instructor: Javier Morillo-Alicea

Joining two disciplines as it does, the Sociology and Anthropology Department at Carleton seeks to present a truly unified vision of them, both in the major as a whole and in many of the individual courses. Our principal goal is to give students a comparative perspective on human societies, exploring the vast range of similarities and differences among them in space and time.

Non-majors may take either 110 or 111. We strongly recommend, however, that students considering a major in the department take both of them (in either order) by the end of the sophomore year. Unless otherwise noted, 110 or 111 is prerequisite for courses numbered 200 and above, though juniors and seniors lacking the prerequisite may apply to the instructor for permission to enroll.

Requirements for a Major:

Sixty-six credits in the department, including 110, 111, 240, 330, 331 and 400. Students should plan on taking the theory courses, 330 and 331, and the research methods course, 240 in their junior year. The integrative exercise is spread out over the senior year, with most of the work falling in winter term. A maximum of 12 credits can be applied toward the major from relevant courses in off-campus programs.

In keeping with our philosophy of comparative studies and commitment to understanding human societies other than the one we live in, majors are required to carry out an in depth study of a culture other than their own. This may be done in conjunction with regular courses, through independent study, or on off-campus programs. Plans for completing this requirement should be discussed with the student's advisor early in the junior year.

Sociology/Anthropology Courses

SOAN 110. Introduction to Anthropology An introduction to cultural and social anthropology which develops the theoretical rationale of the discipline through the integration of ethnographic accounts with an analysis of major trends in historical and contemporary thought. Examples of analytical problems selected for discussion include the concepts of society and culture, value systems, linguistics, cultural evolution, structural/functional analysis of economic, social, political and religious institutions, ethnographic method and the ethical position of anthropology. 6 credits cr., SS,RAD, Fall,Winter,SpringP. Feldman-Savelsberg, J. Fisher, J. Levi

SOAN 111. Introduction to Sociology An introduction to sociology, including analysis of the sociological perspective, culture, socialization, demography, and social class and caste institutions in modern industrial societies and cultures; stability and change in societies of the twentieth century. Pros and cons of various theoretical strategies will be emphasized. 6 credits cr., SS, Fall,Winter,Spring N. Saiedi, B. Nagel, A. Nierobisz

SOAN 130. Population and Food in the Global System Cross-listed with ENTS 130,LTAM 130. This course focuses on issues of population growth, hunger, and world food supply. Topics to be considered include: dynamics of population growth and demographic change; food production systems and sustainable development in the Third World; socio-political and ecological causes of famine; and patterns of world food distribution. Special attention will be given to policies aimed at controlling population and increasing food production, and why they succeed or fail. No prerequisites. 6 credits cr., SS, SpringB. Nagel

SOAN 210. Colonial Cultures in the Modern World Cross-listed with LTAM 209,HIST 209. What exactly is colonialism, and what is meant by "modern" colonialism? Are imperialism and colonialism purely European phenomena? What does our study of the past tell us about the colonized and their colonizers? What does it mean to be "post-colonial"? Who, if anyone, is living in a post-colonial world? This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to nineteenth- and twentieth-century imperialism and colonialism, drawing from both history and anthropology. Case studies from Latin America, Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and the Pacific. 6 credits cr., HU, WinterJ. Morillo-Alicea

SOAN 212. Death, Dying, and Bereavement In this class we will attempt to investigate the phenomenon of death as it relates to the social structure of selected cultures. We will try to gain an understanding into the patterns of social interaction, which surround the phenomenon of death and which give meaning to it. Finally, we will concern ourselves with the various aspects or facets of death as humans define them and with the plans of action which they develop to guide them as they confront death. While this course will have an interdisciplinary flavor, the primary emphasis of the class will be sociological. 6 credits cr., SS, FallM. Leming

SOAN 216. Anthropology of Music Cross-listed with MUSC 216. This course examines the anthropological study of music, including consideration of the role of music in culture and society, the social organization of musical life, symbolism, creativity, relationship of music and cultural values, musical change, and the musical results of contact among cultures. Examples are drawn from a variety of cultures, including South Asian, Middle Eastern, Native American, and West African. Prerequisite: Either any introductory music course or any Sociology/Anthropology course. 6 credits cr., AL,RAD, Not offered in 2001-2002.

SOAN 220. Class, Power, and Inequality in America Cross-listed with AMST 224. The processes, structures, and functions of stratification in advanced capitalist societies. Marxist, neomarxist, Weberian, and functionalist models of class analysis; theories of status attainment and mobility; the relationship between class, gender, and ethnicity; the relation of education to status attainment; class and socialization; models of justice and rationality; and the global stratification system. Prerequisite: Sociology 111 or consent of the instructor. 6 credits cr., SS, Not offered in 2001-2002.

SOAN 221. Law and Society Law is everywhere, permeating every aspect of our lives. Yet, law does not exist in a vacuum. Law is responsive to its social, cultural, political and economic context. In this course we will examine the social context of law. We will explore questions such as: What is law? How does law respond to its environment? How do legal systems operate? Does law facilitate or reduce social inequality? Can law be used to create social change? What is the future of law in American society? These questions will be answered by examining major theories and research in the sociology of law. 6 credits cr., SS, WinterA. Nierobisz

SOAN 222. Work and Occupations in Contemporary Society Whether we work at home, in an office, or in a factory, work is a prominent aspect of our daily lives. In this course, we will examine work from a sociological perspective. The course is designed to help students understand what work is, how work and occupations developed to what they are today, how work is changing, and what its future may be. We ill explore questions such as: What makes a job satisfying? What is skill? Where are the good jobs? In what ways are women and minorities gaining equality at the workplace? What does the global world economy mean for the future of work? 6 credits, SS, Fall — Not offered in 2001-2002.

SOAN 226. Anthropology of Gender Cross-listed with WGST 226. This course examines gender and gender relations from an anthropological perspective. We discuss such key concepts as gender, voice/mutedness, status, public and private spheres, and the gendered division of labor, exploring the intellectual history of these terms and how they have been used. The course focuses on two areas: 1) the role of sex, sexuality, and procreation in creating cultural notions of gender, and 2) the impacts of colonialism, globalization, and economic underdevelopment on Third World women. Reading include both theoretical articles and ethnographic case studies from around the world. Prerequisite: Sociology/Anthropology 110 or 111 or permission of the instructor. 6 credits cr., SS,RAD, FallP. Feldman-Savelsberg

SOAN 228. Sociology of Religion Cross-listed with RELG 261. The social dimension of religion and the relationship between religion and society. Sociological theories of religion; conversion and commitment; sects, churches and cults; secularization debate; institutionalization; civil religion and new religious movements; religion and politics; and social basis of religious behavior and organization. Prerequisite: Sociology 111 or consent of instructor. 6 credits cr., SS, Not offered in 2001-2002.

SOAN 230. Human Evolution and Prehistory Cross-listed with ENTS 230. A survey of the course of human evolution from Australopithecenes to the Upper Paleolithic. Areas of discussion include genetics, primate ethology, the role of archaeology in providing evidence for human evolution and culture, and the importance of environment and technology in the evolution of culture. No prerequisite. 6 credits cr., SS, Not offered in 2001-2002.

SOAN 234. Ecology, Economy, and Culture Cross-listed with ENTS 234,LTAM 234. This course examines the ways in which economic goods are embedded in social relations. When does a thing become a commodity? What relationships exist between culture and ecology? Formulating an anthropological perspective for the interpretation of "economic facts," we will examine simularities and differences among hunter-gatherers, horticulturalists, and peasants. We will also discuss the interpretation of traders in the brokering of culture, asymmetrical articulation of local and transnational economies, gender bias in classical exchange theory, Mauss on gift-giving and Marx on "commodity fetishism." Theoretical material will be illustrated with ethnographic examples from Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas. 6 credits cr., SS, SpringJ. Levi

SOAN 240. Methods of Social Research The course is concerned with social scientific inquiry and explanation, particularly with reference to sociology and anthropology. Topics covered include research design, data collection, and analysis of data. Both quantitative and qualitative methods are considered. Prerequisites: Sociology and Anthropology 110 and 111 and Mathematics 115. 6 credits cr., SS, WinterA. Nierobisz

SOAN 241. Dialects Cross-listed with LING 240. In this course, we examine the power of dialect as a means of expressing our own, and identifying other people's, social identities. Using both linguistic and sociological criteria, we address such questions as: What is a dialect? In what ways do social phenomena such as regional loyalties, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, gender and age shape the dialect we speak? What consequences does dialect variation have with regard to social equality? To what extent can this variation help us understand how and why languages change over time? Prerequisite: Linguistics 110 or another linguistics course and consent of the instructor. 6 credits cr., SS, Not offered in 2001-2002.

SOAN 246. Archaeological Methodology A study of the methods currently employed in the retrieval, recording and interpretation of archaeological evidence. Among the topics to be covered are regional surveys, selection of sites for excavation, methods of excavation and recording, conservation of artifacts, scientific analyses of archaeological material and data, and the final publication of results. Lab course; no prerequisite. Required for the Archaeology Concentration. 6 credits cr., SS, WinterN. Wilkie

SOAN 250. Ethnography of Latin America Cross-listed with LTAM 250. This course explores the historical development and contemporary experience of selected peoples and cultures of Latin America. We will examine the historical and structural processes that have shaped contact among indigenous, European, and African peoples in Latin America during Conquest and the colonial period, under conditions of global economic expansion and state formation, and in present day urban centers and extractive/agricultural "frontiers." Special attention will be given to local-level transformations and resistance. Examples will be drawn principally from Mayan, Afro-Brazilian, Aymara-Quechua, and mestizo cultures. 6 credits cr., SS,RAD, Not offered in 2001-2002.

SOAN 252. Middle Eastern Social Theory This course will investigate the development of social theory and political philosophy in both medieval and contemporary middle east. The relation between secular and religious power, the questions of identity in a modern world, nationalism, imperialism, fundamentalism, cultural diversity, Islamic social thought, and the idea of justice will be discussed. We will read works by Ibn Khaldun, Samir Amin, Al-Afghani, Abdal-Malek, Tibi, Shariati, Mutahhari, Mernissi, IQbal, Said and others. 6 credits cr., SS,RAD, Not offered in 2001-2002.

SOAN 254. Anthropology of South Asia This course will consider some of the methodological and theoretical problems involved in studying complex Hindu civilization. Topics such as caste, marriage and kinship, economics, politics and leadership, religion and social change will be treated, primarily as they appear at the level of selected Hindu and Buddhist villages of India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. 6 credits cr., SS,RAD, Not offered in 2001-2002.

SOAN 256. Ethnography of Africa Cross-listed with AFAM 256,FRST 256. This course emphasizes the study of several sub-Saharan African societies so as to deal with themes that have concerned anthropologists working in Africa. The types of questions anthropologists have posed about African societies, and the role Africa has played in the development of anthropological theory is explored. Texts include two classics, The Nuer and Chisungu, as well as contemporary re-studies and ethnographic case studies by both African and Western scholars to address issues affecting the entire continent, including colonialism, gender, local-state relations, the role of history, and debates about cultural identities. Prerequisite: Sociology/Anthropology 110 or 111 or permission of the instructor. 6 credits cr., SS,RAD, FallP. Feldman-Savelsberg

SOAN 259. Comparative Issues in Native North America Cross-listed with AMST 259,LTAM 259. This course examines the cultural and historical situation of indigenous groups in the United States, Mexico, and Canada to develop a comparative perspective for understanding native peoples in North America. How have indigenous peoples variously coped with continuity and change? What strategies have they employed in pursuit of political sovereignty, economic survival, and cultural vitality? In answering these questions, we will explore the politics of representation regarding "the Indian" as a symbol in national consciousness; the negotiation of identity in inter ethnic contexts; patterns of resistance; the impact of European powers and state agendas; and the resurgence of tradition. 6 credits cr., SS,RAD, SpringJ. Levi

SOAN 260. Myth, Ritual, and Symbolism Cross-listed with RELG 260. Exploring the ways in which people make sense of their world through myth, ritual and symbolism, this course takes an anthropological approach to the study of comparative religion. What is the relationship between "myth" and "history?" How do animals, food, color, music, and the human body function as idioms of symbolic communication? Why is ritual credited with the ability to heal illnesses, offer political commentary, maintain cosmic harmony, and foster social cohesion through the exhibition of interpersonal tensions? Examining major theories in the anthropology of religion, students learn to record and analyze both "familiar" and "unfamiliar" myths, rituals, and symbols. 6 credits cr., SS, WinterJ. Levi

SOAN 262. Anthropology of Health and Illness An ethnographic approach to beliefs and practices regarding health and illness in numerous societies worldwide. This course examines patients, practitioners, and the social networks and contexts through which therapies are managed to better understand medical systems as well as the significance of the anthropological study of misfortune. Specific topics include the symbolism of models of illness, the ritual management of misfortune and of life crisis events, the political economy of health, therapy management, medical pluralism, and cross-cultural medical ethics. Case studies range from birth and death to epilepsy, AIDS and cancer, and from a working class neighborhood in Philadelphia, to Hmong immigrants, to South African street children. Prerequisite: Sociology/Anthropology 110 or 111 or permission of the instructor. 6 credits cr., SS, Not offered in 2001-2002.

SOAN 273. The Caribbean: Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Anthropology and History Cross-listed with LTAM 273,HIST 273. This course will explore topics in the history and anthropology of the Caribbean. Beginning with the Haitian Revolution and its aftermath, the creation of the world's first black republic, going on to examine the history and cultures of the Caribbean through separate case studies of Jamaica, Martinique, and Puerto Rico. Students will seek to find commonalities and differences of these islands during and in the aftermath of British, French, Spanish, and United States colonialism in the region. Does the region's history unite or divide the island nations and peoples of the West Indies? Can we speak of common "cultures of the Caribbean?" 6 credits cr., HU,RAD, SpringJ. Morillo-Alicea

SOAN 281. Race and Ethnicity in US and China In this course we will read and discuss anthropological and sociological works on race and ethnicity in U.S. and China. It will help students to understand how different cultural prejudices create cultural images. We will compare lines of thinking between the two peoples and will communicate different mental images of each other. We will also discuss whether notions of race and ethnicity can overstep cultural boundaries and share the same "roots". The course should make students become more culturally reflexive and critical. 6 cr., SS, SpringN. Bilik

SOAN 282. Anthropology of Japan This course will provide students with the genealogy of postwar anthropological knowledge on Japan beginning with Chrysanthemum and the Sword by Ruth Benedict. We will read and discuss anthropological texts and other related literature that have helped the western academy in forming images of Japan and the knowledge of her society and culture. We will also look at Japanese "national character" and cultural uniqueness by unfolding the Anthropological Other in Japan, such as Koreans. 6 cr., SS, SpringN. Bilik

SOAN 302. Anthropology and Indigenous Rights Cross-listed with AMST 300,LTAM 302. This seminar examines the relationship between culture and human rights from an anthropological perspective. By asking "who are indigenous peoples?" and "what specific rights do they have?" this course introduces students to a comparative framework for understanding cultural rights discourse. Given the history of intolerance to difference, the seminar demonstrates the need to explore the determinants of violence, ethnocide, and exploitation routinely committed against the world's most marginalized peoples. At the same time, it also asks about the limits of tolerance, if human rights abuses are perpetrated under the banner of cultural pluralism. Students will analyze case studies drawn from Africa, Asia, and the Americas, as well as issues that cross-cut these regions Prerequisite: Sociology/Anthropology 110, 111 or permision of the instructor; upper division coursework in anthropology, sociology, history or philosophy recommended. 6 credits cr., SS, Not offered in 2001-2002.

SOAN 303. Criminology: Classical and Contemporary Perspectives This course is designed to familiarize students with sociological approaches to the study of crime and criminal behavior and criminal justice responses to criminal activity. Students will learn dominant sociological theories of crime, understand how social forces play a key role in crime and reactions to crime, and understand how sociological theory and research can prevent criminal activity. 6 credits cr., SS, SpringA. Nierobisz

SOAN 312. Actors and Issues in Contemporary Third World "Development" Cross-listed with ENTS 312,LTAM 312. This course focuses on the processes known as "development," the roles of various social actors in these processes, and the social, environmental, and human rights implications of these processes. We discuss the concept of development, the construction of an ideology of development, and the various theoretical perspectives on development within the fields of sociology and anthropology. Specific issues that we examine include: the political economy of agrarian change; gender issues in development; international development actors and institutions, and their roles in shaping the social and environmental impacts of development; the role of social movements and grassroots organizations in contesting development activities and in shaping new models and meanings of development; and strategies for sustainable, democratic development locally, nationally, and internationally. 6 credits cr., SS, WinterB. Nagel

SOAN 320. Schooling and Opportunity in American Society Refer to EDUC 353 for description. 6 credits cr., SS, FallJ. Ramsay

SOAN 330. Sociological Thought and Theory Classical sociological theory has been concerned with at least three fundamental questions. They are the nature of the historic transition from feudalism to capitalism, the appropriate method of social studies, and the form of a rational society. Beginning with the Enlightenment and romanticism, we study nineteenth century positivism, liberalism, Marxism and nihilism, and investigate the ideas of Weber, Durkheim, Simmel and Husserl at the turn of the century. 6 credits cr., SS, FallN. Saiedi

SOAN 331. Anthropological Thought and Theory A systematic introduction to the theoretical foundations of social and cultural anthropology with special emphasis given to twentieth century British, French and American schools. The course deals with such seminal figures as Morgan, Boas, Malinowski, Radcliffe-Brown, Levi-Straus, Harris, Sahlins, Bourdieu, and Geertz. The reading strikes a balance between ethnographic accounts and theoretical statements. Prerequisites: Sociology/Anthropology 110 and 330 or consent of the instructor. 6 credits cr., SS, SpringJ. Fisher

SOAN 332. Contemporary Social Theory Basic overview of nature and major types of contemporary sociological theory, from roughly 1920s to the present. Major issues include analysis of action theory, the method of social sciences, structuralist-historicist debate, the relation between rational and normative social institutions, the linguistic turn in sociology, new approaches to hermeneutics, and the question of domination and critique. Major figures include Mannheim, Mead, Parsons, Schutz, Lukacs, Althusser, Habermas, Gadamer, Foucault, Bourdieu and Luhman. 6 credits cr., SS, SpringN. Saiedi

SOAN 340. Advanced Topics in Research Design and Data Analysis This course will examine special topics in sociological and anthropological research, including survey design, data management, qualitative fieldwork techniques, interviewing strategies, and quantitative data analysis. The course will be run as a seminar; each student will work on a project of their own design. This project could involve development of a detailed empirical research proposal, design of a survey instrument, qualitative or quantitative data collection and analysis, or some combination of these activities. Prerequisite: Sociology/Anthropology 240 or consent of the instructor. 6 credits cr., SS, Not offered in 2001-2002.

SOAN 395. Ethnography of Reproduction Cross-listed with LTAM 395,WGST 395. . This seminar explores the meanings of reproductive beliefs and practices in comparative perspective. It focuses on (but is not limited to) ethnographic examples from the U.S./Canada and England and from sub-Saharan Africa (societies with relatively low fertility and high utilization of technology and a set of societies with mostly high fertility and low utilization of technology). Topics examined include fertility and birth, fertility rites, new reproductive technologies, abortion, population control, infertility, child survival and child loss. Prerequisites: Sociology/Anthropology 110 or 111; 226, 260, 262 or 130 is recommended; or permission of the instructor. 6 credits cr., SS, SpringP. Feldman-Savelsberg

SOAN 395. Idioms of Inequality: Ethnicity, Gender, and Exchange in Latin America Cross-listed with LTAM 395,WGST 395. Focusing on Indian as well as Hispanic cultures in Mexico, Central, and South America, this course will analyze the ways in which identity is processed through symbols of difference. It seeks to understand how ethnicity, gender, and exchange sometimes operate as means for achieving solidarity and complementarity, yet at other times function as the quintessential sources for inequality. Drawing ethnographic materials from Latin America, this course examines the meaning and significance of culturally variable expressions of inequality as modulated through critical social relations. An emphasis will be placed on highlighting salient theoretical debates through the interpretation of both classic and contemporary ethnographies. Prerequisites: Sociology/Anthropology 110, 111, upper division coursework in Latin American Studies, or permission of the instructor. 6 credits cr., SS,RAD, FallJ. Levi

SOAN 395. Archaeology Seminar, Contemporary Issues in Archaeology Cross-listed with LTAM 395,WGST 395. Refer to ARCN 395 ro description. 6 credits cr., SS, SpringM. Savina, N. Wilkie

SOAN 400. Integrative Exercise The integrative exercise in Sociology and Anthropology consists of carrying out and presenting a major piece of research, and in sharing and discussing the work-in-progress with a group of others engaged in the same process, under the guidance of a faculty supervisor. Please consult the "Sociology/Anthropology Handbook for Majors" for a full description. 6 credits cr., S/NC, ND, Fall,Winter,SpringStaff