Courses

  • SOAN 100: Debating Difference in Twenty-first Century America

    For decades, sociologists have studied race, gender, and class as clearly-bounded social categories. This paradigm emphasized multiculturalism and focused on the experiences of subordinated groups--racial minorities, women, and the working and lower class. More recently, social, political, and economic changes such as increasing immigration, globalization, the "war on terror," and marriage equality, have questioned who belongs to these categories, and where within them, as well as the implications and meaning of inclusion and diversity. In this A and I seminar, we will examine recent scholarship which considers these questions through the concept of "difference' in the twenty-first century United States. 6 credit; Writing Requirement, Argument and Inquiry Seminar, Writing Requirement, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Fall 2014 · D. Williams
  • 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 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015 · C. Ocampo-Raeder, J. Levi
    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 Inquiry; offered Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015 · E. Raleigh, Staff
    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 2015 · L. Raleigh
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 114

    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 Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; not offered 2014–2015
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 115

    Syllabus, Spring 2014

  • 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; not offered 2014–2015
  • SOAN 139: Society and Social Problems

    All societies have what are considered to be "social problems," but a sociological lens offers a unique approach to understanding and examining them. In this course, we consider social problems through three dimensions: who is affected by a social problem; how a social phenomenon becomes a "social problem;" and what kind of a problem it becomes. We consider particular contemporary social problems including the changing nature of work and the economy, contemporary changes in families and relationships, and gender and sexuality. We will also engage in debate about social problems and their solutions from different sociological perspectives. 6 credit; Social Inquiry; not offered 2014–2015
  • 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 Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; not offered 2014–2015
  • SOAN 157: Culture and Politics in India

    India is a region of immense diversity where more than one billion people live. This course will explore social structures in India--through a focus on key areas of everyday life such as family, religion, economy, systems of stratification and social movements. Close attention will be given to religious nationalism, globalization and militarism as dominant trends affecting contemporary India. Questions we will consider include: How has India been represented in the Western imagination and why do such representations matter? What are the forces of modernity and tradition in India? What are the similarities and differences in systems of stratification in India and the United States? 6 credit; Social Inquiry, International Studies; not offered 2014–2015
  • SOAN 202: Girls Gone Bad: Women, Crime, and Criminal Justice

    Criminologists agree that sex is a major correlate of criminal activity. Whether we examine official statistics, self-report data, or victimization surveys, the pattern is strong and persistent: males commit more crime than females and the types of offenses males commit tend to be more serious. While crime is predominantly a male phenomenon, in this course we examine female criminality. In doing so, we learn about the social basis of criminal activity, the assumptions present in criminological theory, and the ways in which criminal justice practices are gendered. Prerequisites: The department strongly recommends that 110 or 111 be taken prior to enrolling in courses numbered 200 or above. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Spring 2015 · A. Nierobisz
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 202

    Syllabus, Spring 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 2014 · C. Ocampo-Raeder
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 203

    Syllabus, Fall 2013

  • SOAN 204: Media and Society

    Do you feel lost without your iPhone? Did you feel empty when Breaking Bad ended? Have Twitter and Instagram improved your life? In this course we critically examine the socio-cultural origins and impact of media technologies. Using perspectives from sociology, critical theory and cultural studies, we investigate the ways in which media of communication help shape ourselves and our social world. From mass media to social media, we focus on issues of power and inequality to understand and evaluate our media-saturated world. 6 credit; Social Inquiry; offered Fall 2014 · B. Fuller
  • SOAN 217: Capitalism, Consumption, and Culture

    Our contemporary world is importantly structured by the market system. In this course we'll explore the significance of the economy for our everyday lives. Grounding our analysis in political economy and critical sociology, we'll explore the nature and origins of our economic system, and the economic dynamics which help to structure our selves, lives, and communities. Significant themes will include inequality, identity, morality, and freedom. 6 credit; Social Inquiry; offered Winter 2015 · B. Fuller
  • SOAN 218: Asians in the United States

    Are Asian Americans forever foreigners or honorary white? 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. We then 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. We will also examine the similarities and differences of Asian Americans relative to other minority groups when applicable. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Fall 2014 · L. Raleigh
  • 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; not offered 2014–2015
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 219

    Syllabus, Fall 2013

  • SOAN 220: Class, Power, and Inequality in America

    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; comparative welfare states; the relationship between class, gender, and ethnicity; the relation of education to status attainment; class and socialization; and models of justice and rationality. Prerequisites: The department strongly recommends that 110 or 111 be taken prior to enrolling in courses numbered 200 or above. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; not offered 2014–2015
  • SOAN 223: Sport and Society

    Our love of sport is matched only by the belief that it is not worthy of deeper thought, inquiry, or critique. In this course we will work through theoretical approaches that help us understand the social phenomenon and its seemingly paradoxical position as both one of our most powerful and least respected institutions. We will then examine the way sport intersects with and shapes our understanding of important social issues such as gender, race, politics, nationality, and the human body. Our discussions will cover a wide-range of sports and physical practices ranging from the mainstream to the subcultural to the extreme. 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, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Spring 2015 · K. Green
  • SOAN 225: Social Movements

    In this course we will consider questions of how ordinary women and men have come together to reshape the societies in which they live and the difficult choices they have faced in the process. We will explore factors affecting the emergence, growth, structure and impact of social movements as their participants intentionally attempt to bring about social change, transform social relationships and reshape social values. Major theoretical perspectives (concerning collective behavior, resource mobilization, and new social movements) will be examined in light of some of the most important social movements from around the world. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Winter 2015 · D. Williams
  • 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; not offered 2014–2015
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 226

    Syllabus, Winter 2014

  • SOAN 227: Masculinities and Gender

    In the study of gender, masculinity has been largely hidden as a social construct; yet masculinity informs and shapes nearly all aspects of social life. In this course, we examine how masculinity operates in institutions such as schools, the workplace, sports, and the family; in social interactions and identities in everyday life; and in popular culture, media, and national and social formations. As a socio-historical construct, there is not one, but multiple masculinities. We will therefore adopt a comparative, intersectional lens, examining how masculinity is simultaneously constructed through categories of difference such as race, nationality, class, and sexuality. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Fall 2014 · D. Williams
  • 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; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, International Studies; not offered 2014–2015
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 231

    Syllabus, Spring 2014

  • SOAN 233: Anthropology of Food

    Food is the way to a person's heart but perhaps even more interesting, the window into a society's soul. Simply speaking understating a society's foodways is the best way to comprehend the complexity between people, culture and nature. This course explores how anthropologists use food to understand different aspects of human behavior, from food procurement and consumption practices to the politics of nutrition and diets. In doing so we hope to elucidate how food is more than mere sustenance and that often the act of eating is a manifestation of power, resistance, identity, and community. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Spring 2015 · C. Ocampo-Raeder
  • 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 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. 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; not offered 2014–2015
  • SOAN 236: Introduction to Peace Studies

    Peace studies is an evolving and emerging holistic interdisciplinary study of collective harmony and collective violence. In this course we will study the alternative definitions of peace and examine the relation between peace and a variety of societal factors including modernity, post modernity, international anarchy, forms of state, cultural construction of violence, religious prejudice, patriarchy, nuclear weapon, ecology, militarism, globalization and a global civil society and culture. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, International Studies; not offered 2014–2015
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 236

    Syllabus, Spring 2013

  • 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 2015 · L. Raleigh
  • 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 Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Spring 2015 · 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 Inquiry, International Studies; not offered 2014–2015
  • SOAN 250: Ethnography of Latin America

    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 "frontiers." Special attention will be given to local-level transformations and resistance as well as issues of migration and gender construction. Prerequisites: The department strong recommends that 110 or 111 be taken prior to enrolling in courses numbered 200 or above. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, International Studies; not offered 2014–2015
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 250

    Syllabus, Spring 2007

  • 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 Inquiry, International Studies; not offered 2014–2015
  • 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; not offered 2014–2015
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 252

    Syllabus, Spring 2014

  • SOAN 256: Ethnography of Africa

    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 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 Spring 2015 · P. Feldman-Salvelsberg
  • SOAN 257: Culture and Politics in India

    India is a region of immense diversity where more than one billion people live. We will explore social structures in India--through a focus on key areas of everyday life such as family, religion, economy, systems of stratification and social movements. Close attention will be given to religious nationalism, globalization and militarism as dominant trends affecting contemporary India. We will consider: How has India been represented in the Western imagination and why do such representations matter? What are the forces of modernity and tradition in India? What are the similarities and differences in systems of stratification in India and the United States? 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; not offered 2014–2015
  • 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 Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; not offered 2014–2015
    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 Inquiry, International Studies; not offered 2014–2015
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 260

    Syllabus, Fall 2013

  • 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 110 or 111 be taken prior to enrolling in courses numbered 200 or above. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, International Studies; offered Winter 2015 · P. Feldman-Salvelsberg
  • SOAN 265: Globalization, Gender and Militarism

    This course examines the relationship between globalization, gender and militarism to understand how globalization and militarism are gendered, and examines processes through which gender becomes globalized and militarized. We will take up the different theoretical and disciplinary approaches to this project, as well as the perspectives and methods put forth for studying gender, race and class transnationally. We will explore how economic development, human rights, and the politics of resistance are gendered. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, International Studies; not offered 2014–2015
  • SOAN 272: Race and Ethnicity in the United States

    Some people think that we are in a post-racial society. However, social scientists know that race continues to shape our lives. This course provides an overview of the study of race and ethnicity through a sociological framework. Primarily, we focus on the changing construction of racial categories and analyze race through the lens of inequality. We investigate how race intersects with gender and class to shape identity and opportunity. 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 Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Winter 2015 · L. Raleigh
  • SOAN 274: Language, Culture and Society

    With an emphasis on the linking of language, culture, and social context, this course introduces linguistic anthropology. We begin by looking at its roots in linguistics, anthropology, semiology and semiotics. Then we introduce the central concepts of speech community, communicative competence, and language functions. We explore both classic studies (e.g., terms of address; linguistic relativity; language variation) and contemporary research (e.g., ritual performance; political economy of language; language socialization; social contexts of literacy; language ideologies; language endangerment). We will read ethnographic material from the United States (e.g., Hmong, Apache) and the world (e.g., Indonesia, Africa). Students will also do field observations of language practice in their own communities. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, International Studies; not offered 2014–2015
  • SOAN 283: Immigration and Immigrants in Europe and the United States

    Immigration has always been a defining feature of American society, yet in European countries it has also been raising a number of questions about national identity, citizenship, belonging and rights. Who are contemporary immigrants in the United States and Europe? How are they received in host societies? How do they participate in and become incorporated into the host society? What ties do they maintain to their countries of origin? How do policies respond to and shape immigrants and immigration? In this course, we will consider these questions and more from the perspectives of immigrants as well as host societies. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Winter 2015 · D. Williams
  • 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 2015 · A. Falc√≥n
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 285

    Syllabus, Spring 2014

  • 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; Social Inquiry, International Studies; not offered 2014–2015
  • SOAN 302: Anthropology and Indigenous Rights

    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 and Anthropology 110, 111 or permision of the instructor; upper division coursework in anthropology, sociology, history or philosophy recommended. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2014 · J. Levi
  • SOAN 311: Anthropology and/of Globalization

    Late twentieth century-early twenty-first century globalization--speeding up and intensifying transnational flows of people, goods, capital, ideas, and images--has challenged modernist thinking about our social world. This course explores both the challenges that globalization has posed to mainstream anthropological thought and theory and the ways that anthropologists have contributed to the interdisciplinary study of globalization as a social process. 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; not offered 2014–2015
  • SOAN 323: Mother Earth: Women, Development and the Environment

    Why are so many sustainable development projects anchored around women's cooperatives? Why is poverty depicted as having a woman's face? Is the solution to the environmental crisis in the hands of women the nurturers? From overly romantic notions of stewardship to the feminization of poverty, this course aims to evaluate women's relationships with local environments and development initiatives. The course uses anthropological frameworks to evaluate 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; Writing Requirement, Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, International Studies; offered Winter 2015 · C. Ocampo-Raeder
  • 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; not offered 2014–2015
    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 110 or 111 be taken prior to enrolling in courses numbered 200 or above. 6 credit; Social Inquiry; offered Fall 2014 · Staff
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 330

    Syllabus, Fall 2013

  • 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 Inquiry, Writing Requirement, International Studies; offered Winter 2015 · J. Levi
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 331

    Syllabus, Spring 2014

  • 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; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, International Studies; not offered 2014–2015
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 333

    Syllabus, Winter 2014

  • SOAN 395: Ethnography of Reproduction

    This seminar explores the meanings of reproductive beliefs and practices in comparative perspective. Using ethnographies, it explores the relation between human and social reproduction. It focuses on (but is not limited to) ethnographic examples from the United States/Canada and from sub-Saharan Africa (societies with relatively low fertility and high utilization of technology and 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 and Anthropology 110 or 111; and 226, 260, or 262; or permission of the instructor. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, International Studies; offered Spring 2015 · P. Feldman-Salvelsberg
    Extended departmental description for SOAN 395

     Syllabus, Spring 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 Inquiry, Writing Requirement; offered Fall 2014 · P. Feldman-Salvelsberg
    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 curricular exploration requirement; offered Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015 · Staff