Courses

Fall 2013

  • SOAN 100: 9-5 and then Bye Bye: Working Across our Lives

    We spend a substantial portion of our lives at work, and the jobs we hold shape our daily activities, personal identity, and social interactions. This course explores the meaning and experiences of work at four key life stages: adolescence, young adulthood, mid-life, and the elder years. At each stage we examine questions such as: is paid employment in the teenage years a good idea? If so, how does it affect schoolwork and well-being? Do the occupational aspirations of today's college students match the jobs available? How do people in mid-career balance work and family? What makes for a good retirement?

    6 credit; Writing Requirement, Argument and Inquiry Seminar, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2013 · A. Nierobisz
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 100

    Syllabus, Fall 2013

  • SOAN 100: Sex in the Colonial Era

    Why were sexual liaisons managed during the colonial era? How did people's sexuality become increasingly tied to their identity? What is the relationship between race, class, gender, and sexuality? We will examine how scholars have answered these and other related questions. As a first year seminar this course is designed to help students develop a critical understanding of how the management of sexuality shaped social life during the colonial era. Students will learn how anthropologists study sexuality and how they come up with conceptual and theoretical frameworks based on their data.

    6 credit; Writing Requirement, Argument and Inquiry Seminar, Writing Requirement, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Fall 2013 · L. Beck
  • 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 Sciences, Recognition and Affirmation of Difference Requirement, Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014 · L. Beck, C. Ocampo-Raeder
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 110

    Syllabus, Spring 2014

  • 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 Sciences, Social Inquiry; offered Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014 · A. Nierobisz, E. Raleigh, N. Sohrabi
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 111

     Syllabus, Winter 2014

  • 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 110 or 111 be taken prior to enrolling in courses numbered 200 or above. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2013 · C. Ocampo-Raeder
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 203

    Syllabus, Fall 2013

  • SOAN 219: Nations and Nationalism

    Emergence of national states has been one of the most consequential developments in the modern world in the last two centuries. How did national identities gain such an importance? How do nationalisms differ and on what basis do nations reconstruct their pasts differently? The course begins by considering influential theories of nationalism (and state formation). Extensive case studies from Western and Eastern Europe, Africa, India, and the Middle East advance our theoretical understanding, and examine our theories in context.

    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 2013 · N. Sohrabi
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 219

    Syllabus, Fall 2013

  • SOAN 239: Explorations in Social Data Analysis

    What does it mean if something is statistically significant? Why does it matter? This course will ask and answer these questions by providing social science students with the basic statistical tools for data analysis and interpretation. The course covers the foundations of univariate and inferential statistitics up to regression. Using the statistical program SPSS, well focus much more on learning to apply social statistics and how to make sense of the findings, rather than statistical theory. No prior knowledge of statistics is required.

    6 credit; Social Sciences, Formal or Statistical Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2013 · E. Raleigh
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 239

    Syllabus, Fall 2013

  • SOAN 259: Comparative Issues in Native North America

    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.

    Prerequisites: The department strongly recommends that 110 or 111 be taken prior to enrolling in courses numbered 200 or above. 6 credit; Social Sciences, Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Fall 2013 · J. Levi
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 259

    Syllabus, Fall 2013

  • SOAN 260: Myth, Ritual, and Symbolism

    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.

    Prerequisites: The department strongly recommends that 110 or 111 be taken prior to enrolling in courses numbered 200 or above. 6 credit; Social Sciences, Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2013 · J. Levi
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 260

    Syllabus, Fall 2013

  • 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 110 or 111 be taken prior to enrolling in courses numbered 200 or above. 6 credit; Social Sciences, Social Inquiry; offered Fall 2013 · N. Sohrabi
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 330

    Syllabus, Fall 2013

  • 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 consent of the instructor. 6 credit; Social Sciences, Writing Requirement, Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement; offered Fall 2013 · M. Sehgal
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 396

    Syllabus, Fall 2013

  • 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.

    6 credit; S/CR/NC; Does not fulfill a distribution requirement, Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014 · Staff

Winter 2014

  • 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 Sciences, Recognition and Affirmation of Difference Requirement, Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014 · L. Beck, C. Ocampo-Raeder
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 110

    Syllabus, Spring 2014

  • 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 Sciences, Social Inquiry; offered Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014 · A. Nierobisz, E. Raleigh, N. Sohrabi
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 111

     Syllabus, Winter 2014

  • 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 2014 · L. Raleigh
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 114

    Syllabus, Winter 2014

  • 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 Sciences, Recognition and Affirmation of Difference Requirement, Writing Requirement, Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, International Studies; offered Winter 2014 · L. Beck
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 226

    Syllabus, Winter 2014

  • SOAN 237: Debating Historical Sociology

    Historical sociology and historical anthropology provide compelling analyses of large-scale social and cultural change. Are historical social sciences simply about the application of socio-cultural methods to a place in the past, or are questions of change over "time" also central to the analysis? If the latter, then what makes historical sociology distinct from historiography? Do historians and social scientists have anything to learn from one another? We examine/debate these issues by exploring substantive topics (Revolutions, State Formation, Colonialism, Globalization, Cultural Clash, etc.) in relation to theoretical and methodological issues (synchrony vs. diachrony, time-narrative, event, contingency, agency, and comparative methodology)

    6 credit; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Winter 2014 · N. Sohrabi
  • 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 and Anthropology 110 or 111; Sociology and Anthropology 239 or Mathematics 115 or Mathematics 215. 6 credit; Social Sciences, Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Winter 2014 · A. Nierobisz
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 240

    Syllabus, Winter 2014

  • SOAN 241: Guatemala Program: Mesoamerican Cultures

    Mesoamerica, a major area of pre-Columbian civilization, is a region generally extending from around the Tropic of Cancer in Mexico to northwestern Costa Rica. This course will examine both ancient and modern peoples of Mesoamerica, with special reference to the Maya peoples of Guatemala and southern Mexico. Students will cover topics including economic, social, political, and religious organization as well as cosmology and symbolism. Course materials should assist students in selecting a topic for their individual research projects.

    6 credit; Social Sciences, Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Winter 2014 · J. Levi
  • SOAN 251: Guatemala Prog: Resource Mgmt, Community Develpmnt & Soc Change in Guatemala & Chiapas

    This course explores contemporary strategies for survival in Maya lands in the face of the global economy by examining how community groups, entrepreneurs, peasant organizations, niche markets, social movements, government and non-governmental organizations play important roles in promoting economic betterment, social justice, locally based decision making, and more equitable, environmentally sound, sustainable development. Through readings, lectures, interviews, and direct community engagement with human rights activists, conservation experts, development practitioners, and both farmers and foragers in the Maya tropical forest, students will learn about the complex interplay between cultural ecology, resource management and community revitalization.

    4 credit; Social Sciences, Recognition and Affirmation of Difference Requirement, Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Winter 2014 · J. Levi
  • SOAN 272: Race and Ethnicity in the United States

    With the election of President Obama, many pundits declared we are now in a post-racial society. However, as social scientists, we know race continues to shape our lives. This course provides an overview of the study of race and ethnicity through a sociological framework. Primarily, we analyze race through the lens of inequality, analyzing how race intersects with gender and class to shape identity and opportunity. We also explore how racial groups are represented in the media. In addition, we examine the fluidity of racial categories, concluding with a discussion of interracial unions and the multiracial population in the United States.

    6 credit; Social Sciences, Recognition and Affirmation of Difference Requirement, Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Winter 2014 · E. Raleigh
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 272

    Syllabus, Winter 2014

  • SOAN 290: Guatemala Program: Directed Reading

    During winter break participants are asked to read selected works chosen to provide background on Guatemalan history, Mayan culture, and contemporary social issues in preparation for the field seminar. Students will write an integrative essay on this material and participate in discussions covering the readings during the first week of the program.

    2 credit; Does not fulfill a distribution requirement, Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Winter 2014 · J. Levi
  • SOAN 295: Guatemala Program: Field Methods and Individual Research Project

    The first part of the course is designed to prepare students for their individual field research projects. Students will cover participant observation, interview methods, research ethics, and develop a prospectus for their field research. In the second part of the course, students will apply their knowledge of field methods and conduct four weeks of ethnographic research in a highland Maya community in western Guatemala based on their prospectus, followed by a one week period in Quetzaltenango during which students will write their research papers and present their findings in a research symposium.

    6 credit; Does not fulfill a distribution requirement, Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Winter 2014 · J. Levi
  • SOAN 333: Environmental Anthropology

    Can we learn to use resources sustainably? Are there people in the world that know how to manage their environment appropriately? What are the causes behind environmental degradation? These questions are commonly asked in public and academic forums but what discussions often overlook is the fact that these are fundamentally social questions and thus social analysis is needed to understand them fully. This course aims at exploring key issues of human/nature interactions by using anthropological critiques and frameworks of analysis to show how culture is a critical variable to understanding these interactions in all their complexity.

    Prerequisites: The department strongly recommends that 110 or 111 be taken prior to enrolling in courses numbered 200 or above. 6 credit; Writing Requirement, Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, International Studies; offered Winter 2014 · C. Ocampo-Raeder
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 333

    Syllabus, Winter 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.

    6 credit; S/CR/NC; Does not fulfill a distribution requirement, Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014 · Staff

Spring 2014

  • 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 Sciences, Recognition and Affirmation of Difference Requirement, Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014 · L. Beck, C. Ocampo-Raeder
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 110

    Syllabus, Spring 2014

  • 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 Sciences, Social Inquiry; offered Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014 · A. Nierobisz, E. Raleigh, N. Sohrabi
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 111

     Syllabus, Winter 2014

  • SOAN 115: Inequality in American Society

    This course examines the emergence and persistence of inequality in the contemporary United States. We will examine how institutions, ideas and interactions each contribute to the making of inequalities in education, employment, and other major social institutions of society. In doing so, we will pay particular attention to how class, race, gender and other social constructs matter to the making of inequality. We will consider how various theoretical traditions in sociology explain inequality. Finally, we will look at strategies for resistance and challenging inequalities.

    6 credit; Social Sciences, Recognition and Affirmation of Difference Requirement, Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Spring 2014 · D. Williams
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 115

    Syllabus, Spring 2014

  • SOAN 150: Who Cares and Who Gets Care? Women and Health

    This course will focus on the organization of the health care system in the United States and its impact on women's health. We will explore the politics of women's health from the perspective of women of different races, ethnicities, classes and sexual orientations. Gender and the social construction of health and illness, and women's activism (as consumers and health care practitioners) shall frame our explorations of menstruation, sexuality, nutrition, body image, fertility control, pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause. We will focus on the medicalization of these processes and explore alternatives that center on reproductive justice.

    6 credit; Social Sciences, Recognition and Affirmation of Difference Requirement, Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Spring 2014 · M. Sehgal
  • SOAN 231: Transnational Migrations and Diasporic Communities

    This class studies transnational migration and global diasporas. Students will learn theoretical perspectives on contemporary migration, transnational linkages, and the imaginative connections maintained by globally dispersed peoples. Special attention will be paid to the global flow of people across national boundaries and the ways in which dispersed peoples build and maintain social networks across national borders. As such, the course considers: the reasons that impel people to move about the globe, the ways that diaspora and transnational social identities are constructed among globally dispersed peoples, and the challenges that new social formations pose to the nation-state.

    6 credit; Writing Requirement, Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, International Studies; offered Spring 2014 · L. Beck
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 231

    Syllabus, Spring 2014

  • SOAN 252: Middle East: History and Society in Comparative Perspectives

    The great majority of the modern Middle east was born in the aftermath of WWI and breakdown of the Ottoman Empire. Iran was an exception as it lay outside the Ottoman fold, but in many respects its modern history developed in tandem as it reacted to the same influences. This course examines the state and society in the Middle East from the early nineteenth century to the present. Particular attention is paid to Turkey, Iran and Egypt, that are here approached comparatively. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Spring 2014 · N. Sohrabi
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 252

    Syllabus, Spring 2014

  • 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 Sciences, Social Inquiry; offered Spring 2014 · A. Falc√≥n
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 285

    Syllabus, Spring 2014

  • 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 permission from the instructor. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Spring 2014 · L. Raleigh
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 325

    Syllabus, Spring 2014

  • 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 permission of the instructor. 6 credit; Social Sciences, Recognition and Affirmation of Difference Requirement, Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Spring 2014 · 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.

    6 credit; S/CR/NC; Does not fulfill a distribution requirement, Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014 · Staff