Courses

Fall 2016

  • SOAN 100: Asian Americans: From Forever Foreigner to the Model Minority

    Are Asian Americans forever foreigners or honorary whites? This class introduces you to the sociological research on Asian Americans. We begin by a brief introduction of U.S. immigration history and sociological theories about assimilation and racial stratification. Paying particular attention to how scholars ask questions and evaluate evidence, we will cover research on racial and ethnic identity, educational stratification, mass media images, interracial marriage, multiracials, transracial adoption, and the viability of an Asian American panethnic identity. The course will examine the similarities and differences among Asian Americans relative to other minority groups when applicable.

    6 credit; Argument and Inquiry Seminar, Writing Requirement, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Fall 2016 · L. Raleigh
  • 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, economic, social, political and religious institutions, as well as ethnographic method and the ethical position of anthropology. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2016, Winter 2017, Spring 2017 · J. Rothenberg, 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 and twenty-first centuries. Pros and cons of various theoretical strategies will be emphasized. 6 credit; Social Inquiry; offered Fall 2016, Winter 2017, Spring 2017 · W. Markofski, A. Nierobisz
  • SOAN 122: Anthropology of Humor

    Laughter is found in all human societies, but we do not all laugh at the same things. In this course we will discuss why, cross-culturally, some things are funny and others are not, and what forms humor may take (jokes, riddles, teasing, banter, clowning). We will look at such topics as joking relationships, evolutionary aspects of laughter and smiling, sexual inequality in humor, ethnic humor, and humor in religion and language. Some prior exposure to anthropology is desirable but not required. The main prerequisite for the course is a serious sense of humor. 6 credit; Social Inquiry; offered Fall 2016 · J. Levi
  • SOAN 203: Anthropology of Good Intentions

    Is the environmental movement making progress? Do responsible products actually help local populations? Is international AID alleviating poverty and fostering development? Today there are thousands of programs with sustainable development goals yet their effectiveness is often contested at the local level. This course explores the impacts of sustainable development, conservation, and AID programs to look beyond the good intentions of those that implement them. In doing so we hope to uncover common pitfalls behind good intentions and the need for sound social analysis that recognizes, examines, and evaluates the role of cultural complexity found in populations targeted by these programs.

    Prerequisites: The department strongly recommends that Sociology/Anthropology 110 or 111 be taken prior to enrolling in courses numbered 200 or above 6 credit; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2016 · J. Rothenberg
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 203

    Syllabus, Fall 2014

  • SOAN 234: Ecology, Economy, and Culture

    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 similarities 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. Prerequisites: The department strongly recommends that 110 or 111 be taken prior to enrolling in courses numbered 200 or above. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2016 · J. Levi
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 234

    Syllabus, Spring '08

  • SOAN 325: Sociology of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction

    Where do babies come from? Whereas once the answer was relatively straight forward, the growth of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) and adoption has changed the field of potential answers. Nowadays babies can come from birthmothers, egg donors, and surrogates. In this course we will examine the meaning and making of families across these different types of formations and contextualize the popularity of ART relative to the decrease in adoption. We will take a sociological approach to analyzing these issues, paying particular attention to questions surrounding women's rights, baby "markets," and the racialization of children placed for adoption in the U.S. Prerequisites: Prior Sociology/Anthropology course or instructor permission 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Fall 2016 · L. Raleigh
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 325

    Syllabus, Spring 2014

  • 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 and Durkheim at the turn of the century. Prerequisites: The department strongly recommends that Sociology/Anthropology 110 or 111 be taken prior to enrolling in courses numbered 200 or above 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement; offered Fall 2016 · W. Markofski
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 330

    Syllabus, Fall 2014

  • SOAN 396: Advanced Sociological and Anthropological Writing

    This course explores different genres of writing and different audiences for writing in the social sciences, focusing particular attention on scholarly articles published in professional journals in sociology and anthropology. To that end, students both analyze sociological and anthropological articles regarding commonalities and differences in academic writing in our two sister disciplines. Students work on their own academic writing process (with the help of peer-review and instructor feedback). The writing itself is broken down into component elements on which students practice and revise their work. Prerequisites: Completion of Sociology/Anthropology 240 or submission of a topic statement in the preceding spring term and submission of a comps thesis proposal on the first day of fall term. Senior Sociology/Anthropology major or instructor permission 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement; offered Fall 2016 · P. Feldman-Savelsberg
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 396

    Syllabus, Fall 2014

  • SOAN 400: Integrative Exercise

    Senior sociology/anthropology majors fulfill the integrative exercise by writing a senior thesis on a topic approved by the department. Students must enroll in six credits to write the thesis, spread as the student likes over Fall, Winter, and Spring terms. The process begins with the submission of a topic statement in the preceding spring term and concludes with a public presentation in spring of the senior year. Please consult the Sociology and Anthropology website for a full description. 1-6 credit; S/NC; offered Fall 2016, Winter 2017, Spring 2017 · C. Ocampo-Raeder, A. Nierobisz, J. Levi, P. Feldman-Savelsberg, L. Raleigh

Winter 2017

  • 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, economic, social, political and religious institutions, as well as ethnographic method and the ethical position of anthropology. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2016, Winter 2017, Spring 2017 · J. Rothenberg, 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 and twenty-first centuries. Pros and cons of various theoretical strategies will be emphasized. 6 credit; Social Inquiry; offered Fall 2016, Winter 2017, Spring 2017 · W. Markofski, A. Nierobisz
  • SOAN 114: Modern Families: An Introduction to the Sociology of the Family

    What makes a family? How has the conception of kinship and the 'normal' family changed over the generations? In this introductory class, we examine these questions, drawing on a variety of course materials ranging from classic works in sociology to contemporary blogs on family life. The class focuses on diversity in family life, paying particular attention to the intersection between the family, race and ethnicity, and social class. We'll examine these issues at the micro and macro level, incorporating texts that focus on individuals' stories as well as demographics of the family. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Winter 2017 · L. Raleigh
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 114

    Syllabus, Winter 2016

    Syllabus, Winter 2015

  • SOAN 228: Sociology of Religion

    From its earliest days, sociology has found religion to be a fascinating and perplexing object of study. A powerful social force, sociologists have argued over religion’s place in the development of collective emotions, social inequality, social order, social movements, political oppression, political revolution, capitalism, and democracy. Other work has focused on secularization and post-secularism, race and religion, religious conversion, and lived religion. How do religion and society interact? How do we think about religion and politics in America? We will explore these themes through the writings of Weber, Durkheim, Berger, Habermas, Nancy Ammerman, James Hunter, and Christian Smith, among others.  

    Prerequisites: The department strongly recommends that Sociology/Anthropology 110 or 111 be taken prior to enrolling in courses number 200 or above 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Winter 2017 · W. Markofski
  • SOAN 253: Oil, Sand, Water: Environmental Anthropology of the Middle East

    This course explores anthropological questions about the environments of the Middle East and North Africa. We will start by illustrating key topics in the field of environmental anthropology with regional case studies by anthropologists of the Middle East. This will include classic topics including agriculture and resource distribution as well as the more recent anthropological concerns with climate change and the political ecology of conflict. In the second part of the course, we will follow water, oil, and sand: three central things in the experience and perception of Middle East environments.

    Prerequisites: The department strongly recommends that Sociology/Anthropology 110 or 111 be taken prior to enrolling in courses numbered 200 or above 6 credit; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Winter 2017 · J. Rothenberg
  • 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. Prerequisites: The department strongly recommends that Sociology/Anthropology 110 or 111 be taken prior to enrolling in courses numbered 200 or above 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, International Studies; offered Winter 2017 · P. Feldman-Savelsberg
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 262

    Syllabus, winter 2015

    Syllabus Winter 2015

  • SOAN 272: Race and Ethnicity in the United States

    This course considers the construction of race and ethnicity from a sociological perspective. We examine the changing boundaries of racial and ethnic identities, with a particular emphasis on the construction of whiteness. Drawing on population-based research as well as ethnographic studies, we will explore how immigration and multiracial identities complicate and potentially challenge the black/white paradigm. In addition, we will incorporate intersectional perspectives that highlight the importance of gender and social class in the construction of race in the United States.

    Prerequisites: The department strongly recommends that Sociology/Anthropology 110 or 111 be taken prior to enrolling in courses numbered 200 or above 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Winter 2017 · L. Raleigh
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 272

    Syllabus, Winter 2015

  • SOAN 285: The Ethics of Civic Engagement

    In this course, students will discuss the ethical questions that arise when they engage with others in research, service, organizing, or policy work. Students will read and talk about the meanings and forms of civic engagement and use these readings to reflect upon their own research or service projects, or to reflect upon the college's role in Haiti or Faribault, two areas where college members are actively engaged. Gaining insights from sociological and practice based readings, we will examine different perspectives on the ways that power and privilege relate to civic engagement. 3 credit; S/CR/NC; Social Inquiry; offered Winter 2017, Spring 2017 · A. Falcón
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 285

    Syllabus, Spring 2014

  • SOAN 314: Contemporary Issues in Critical Criminology

    This course examines contemporary criminological issues from a critical, sociological perspective. Our focus is on the United States with topics under examination including white collar crime, racial disparities in the criminal justice system, mass incarceration and other transformations in punishment, prisoner reentry, and the risk of recidivism. In addition to understanding both classic and contemporary sociological research and theory, we will seek answers to questions like: What is crime? Who is considered a criminal? What social changes drove the United States to get "tough" on crime?  What effects does incarceration have on prisoners, their families, their neighborhoods and communities? What happens when prisoners return to society? 

    Prerequisites: The department strongly recommends that Sociology/Anthropology 110 or 111 be taken prior to enrolling in courses numbered 200 or above 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Winter 2017 · A. Nierobisz
  • 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, Geertz, and Appadurai. The reading strikes a balance between ethnographic accounts and theoretical statements. Prerequisites: Sociology/Anthropology 110 or 111 or instructor permission 6 credit; Social Inquiry, International Studies, Writing Requirement; offered Winter 2017 · J. Levi
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 331

    Syllabus, Spring 2014

  • SOAN 400: Integrative Exercise

    Senior sociology/anthropology majors fulfill the integrative exercise by writing a senior thesis on a topic approved by the department. Students must enroll in six credits to write the thesis, spread as the student likes over Fall, Winter, and Spring terms. The process begins with the submission of a topic statement in the preceding spring term and concludes with a public presentation in spring of the senior year. Please consult the Sociology and Anthropology website for a full description. 1-6 credit; S/NC; offered Fall 2016, Winter 2017, Spring 2017 · C. Ocampo-Raeder, A. Nierobisz, J. Levi, P. Feldman-Savelsberg, L. Raleigh

Spring 2017

  • 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, economic, social, political and religious institutions, as well as ethnographic method and the ethical position of anthropology. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2016, Winter 2017, Spring 2017 · J. Rothenberg, 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 and twenty-first centuries. Pros and cons of various theoretical strategies will be emphasized. 6 credit; Social Inquiry; offered Fall 2016, Winter 2017, Spring 2017 · W. Markofski, A. Nierobisz
  • SOAN 226: Anthropology of Gender

    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, and explore 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. Readings include both theoretical articles and ethnographic case studies from around the world. Prerequisites: The department strongly recommends that 110 or 111 be taken prior to enrolling in courses numbered 200 or above. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, International Studies; offered Spring 2017 · P. Feldman-Savelsberg
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 226

    Syllabus, Winter 2013 (Feldman-Savelsberg)

    Syllabus, Winter 2014

  • SOAN 239: Social Statistics

    What does it for something to be statistically significant? This course will ask and answer this question by teaching social science students how to interpret data. This elementary statistics course covers descriptive and inferential statistics up to regression. Whenever possible, we will 'flip' the classroom -- using class time for activities and problem sets, and using out of class time for online lectures to introduce new material. We will focus on calculating and applying social statistics, rather than statistical theory. No prior knowledge of statistics is required. 6 credit; Formal or Statistical Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Spring 2017 · L. Raleigh
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 239

    Syllabus, Spring 2015

  • 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. Student will demonstrate their knowledge by developing a research proposal that is implementable. Prerequisites: Sociology/Anthropology 110 or 111; Sociology/Anthropology 239 or Mathematics 115 or 215 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Writing Requirement; offered Spring 2017 · A. Nierobisz
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 240

    Syllabus, Winter 2016

    Syllabus, Spring 2015

  • SOAN 256: Africa: Representation and Conflict

    Pairing classics in Africanist anthropology with contemporary re-studies, we explore changes in African societies and in the questions anthropologists have posed about them. We address issues of representation and self-presentation in written ethnographies as well as in African portrait photography. We then turn from the visual to the invisible realm of African witchcraft. Initiation rituals, war, and migration place selfhood and belonging back in this-world contexts. In-depth case studies include, among others: the Cameroon Grassfields, the Bemba of Zambia, and the Nuer of South Sudan. Prerequisites: The department strongly recommends that Sociology/Anthropology 110 or 111 be taken prior to enrolling in courses numbered 200 or above 6 credit; Social Inquiry, International Studies, Writing Requirement; offered Spring 2017 · P. Feldman-Savelsberg
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 256

    Syllabus, Spring 2015

  • SOAN 261: Designing for Diversity: Anthropology and New Technologies

    Despite increasingly interacting with technology in our everyday lives, the design of technology does not always reflect our diversity as users. As the study of human diversity, anthropology provides a framework to question assumptions about the uniformity of cultural experience. In this course, we apply anthropology to study user experience in order to propose ways to make technologies more inclusive and culturally sensitive. We will read ethnographies of technology and speak with tech industry professionals who use anthropological methods. Students will apply what they learn by conducting user experience research and designing for diversity in Carleton’s IdeaLab. 

    Prerequisites: The department strongly recommends that Sociology/Anthropology 110 or 111 be taken prior to enrolling in courses numbered 200 or above. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Spring 2017 · J. Rothenberg
  • SOAN 285: The Ethics of Civic Engagement

    In this course, students will discuss the ethical questions that arise when they engage with others in research, service, organizing, or policy work. Students will read and talk about the meanings and forms of civic engagement and use these readings to reflect upon their own research or service projects, or to reflect upon the college's role in Haiti or Faribault, two areas where college members are actively engaged. Gaining insights from sociological and practice based readings, we will examine different perspectives on the ways that power and privilege relate to civic engagement. 3 credit; S/CR/NC; Social Inquiry; offered Winter 2017, Spring 2017 · A. Falcón
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 285

    Syllabus, Spring 2014

  • SOAN 350: Diversity and Democracy in America

    The classical American pragmatist tradition of Jane Addams and John Dewey presents us with a vision of ethical democracy that accounts for the vast ethnic, religious, and cultural diversity of the United States. But what are we to make of this vision in practice? Can the cultivation of diverse human experiences and relationships among citizens lead to more robust and ethical democratic institutions? Or, as the culture war thesis implies, are our differences so great that American democracy is doomed to a future of intractable conflict? We will explore these questions drawing on influential studies of democratic theory and practice.

    Prerequisites: The department strongly recommends that Sociology/Anthropology 110 or 111 be taken prior to enrolling in courses number 200 or above 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Spring 2017 · W. Markofski
  • SOAN 400: Integrative Exercise

    Senior sociology/anthropology majors fulfill the integrative exercise by writing a senior thesis on a topic approved by the department. Students must enroll in six credits to write the thesis, spread as the student likes over Fall, Winter, and Spring terms. The process begins with the submission of a topic statement in the preceding spring term and concludes with a public presentation in spring of the senior year. Please consult the Sociology and Anthropology website for a full description. 1-6 credit; S/NC; offered Fall 2016, Winter 2017, Spring 2017 · C. Ocampo-Raeder, A. Nierobisz, J. Levi, P. Feldman-Savelsberg, L. Raleigh