Sociology

Professors: Norman Fainstein (Dean of the Faculty), Eileen Leonard, Marque MiringoffabAssociate Professors: Pinar Batur-VanderLippe, Diane Harriford, William Hoynes (Chair), Robert McAulay; Assistant Professors: Seungsook Moon, Leonard Nevarez.

Requirements for Concentration: 101/2 units, including Sociology 151, 247, 254, 3 units at the 300-level, including Sociology 300a-301b.

After declaration of major, no NRO work is permissible in the major.

Senior-Year Requirements: Sociology 300a-301b (for a total of 1 full unit of credit), a senior thesis under the supervision of a member of the department.

Recommendations: Field Work 290.

Advisers: The department.


I. Introductory

151a or b. Introductory Sociology (1)

An introduction to the concepts of sociology rooted in the ideas and thinkers of the classical tradition, exploring their historical meaning and contemporary relevance. The department.

Open to all classes. Required of majors.

180a. Social Problems (1)

W.E.B. Dubois asserted that the color lines was the problem for the 20th Century. Is there a similar problem for the 21st Century? This course examins contemporary social problems and ways that classical and contemporary sociologists have chosen to address them.


II. Intermediate

Sociology 151 is a prerequisite for all intermediate courses.

206b. Social Change in the Black Community (1)

(Same as Africana Studies 206b)

[208b. Sociology of the Afro-American Family] (1)

(Same as Africana Studies 208)

Not offered in 2000/01.

[215b. Perspectives on Deviance] (1)

This course analyzes the concept of deviance within a historical and comparative framework. Various forms of behavior traditionally labeled as "deviant'' are examined. Mr. McAulay.

Not offered in 2000/01.

[224b. Race and Ethnicity from a Global Perspective] (1)

This course is designed to explore diverse approaches to race, ethnicity and the racial and ethnic experience, and to provide a comparative analysis of race and ethnicity from a global perspective. It has two major aims: the first is to offer a historical perspective and examine theoretical debates on race and ethnic relations. The second is to provide current examples from the United States, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, to develop insights into the complexities of race and ethnic relations. Ms. Batur-VanderLippe.

Not offered in 2000/01.

[234a. Disability and Society] (1)

(Same as Science, Technology and Society 234a) This course addresses classic and contemporary conceptualization of disability in modern society. The course begins with Goffman's concept of stigma, then analyzes the conflict between the more traditional perspective of disability, as deviance, and the more modern concept of disability as a civil rights issue. Public policy analyses will include the origins of the civil rights movement in section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the passage and implementation of the Americans With Disabilities Act. Finally cultural issues of disability are addressed, including the arts, literature, and film. Ms. Miringoff.

Not offered in 2000/01.

236b. Women, Men, and Social Change in East Asia (1)

This course examines meanings and practices of femininity and masculinity in the context of rapid social change in East Asia in the twentieth century. Drawing upon case studies from China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, it focuses on such sites of social change as work, marriage/family and popular culture. Its aim is also to gain critical understanding of the politics of cross cultural studies that produce Eastern (the self) and Western (the other) representation of East Asia in various forms of knowledge produced about the region. Ms. Moon.

Not offered in 2000/01.

240b. Law and Society (1)

Law is analyzed in its social context focusing on the relationship between law and social control, and law and social change. Topics discussed include psychiatry and the law, Blacks and the law, and women and the law. The criminal justice system is examined in a comparative framework, emphasizing the role of judges, juries, and particularly lawyers, in society. Ms. Leonard.

[243a. Birth, Death, and Public Policy] (1)

(Same as Science, Technology and Society 243a) An examination of social factors and public policy affecting birth, death, and population distributions. Special attention to such issues as contraception, sterilization, eugenics, genocide, genetic engineering, abortion, and population control. Coverage includes China's one-child family program and other international policies. Ms. Miringoff.

Not offered in 2000/01.

247a. Modern Social Theory: Marx, Durkheim, and Weber (1)

(Same as Anthropology 247a) This course focuses on a comparison of the principal assumptions and the central concepts contributing to the formation of modern social theory. Readings include selections from Marx, Durkheim, and Weber. Ms. Leonard.

250a. Sex, Gender, and Society (1)

In the context of general sociological theory, the course analyzes sex roles in various institutional settings. Topics include: the effect of social, cultural and scientific change on traditional notions of male and female; the social construction of masculine and feminine; implications of genetic engineering; interaction of sexual attitudes, sexual practices, and social policy. Ms. Harriford.

254b. Research Methods (1)

Examines dilemmas of social inquiry. On what basis are sociological generalizations drawn? What are the ethics of social research? Course includes a critical analysis of research studies as well as an introduction to and practical experience with participant observation, interviewing, questionnaire construction, sampling, experimentation, and available data. Mr. Nevarez.

256b. Mass Media and Society (1)

This course takes a critical approach to the study of the production and consumption of mass media, focusing primarily on the United States. Using case studies, the course examines the economic and social organization of mass media, the content of media messages, and the impact various media have on the public. Topics may include: the political economy of television, gender and Hollywood film, music television, competing theories of media spectatorship, the politics of romance novels, the role of noncommercial media. Mr. Hoynes.

257b. Class, Gender, and Race/Ethnicity in Asian American (1)
Communities

Based on sociological theory of class, gender, race/ethnicity, this course examines complexities of historical, economic, political, and cultural positions of Asian Americans beyond the popular image of "model minorities." Topics include the global economy and Asian immigration, politics of ethnicity and panethnicity, educational achievement and social mobility, affirmative action, and representation in mass media. Ms. Moon.

[258a. Race and Ethnicity] (1)

(Same as Africana Studies 258) An examination of racial and ethnic minorities in the United States. Focus is on the social forces behind institutional dominance and minority group responses, assimilation versus cultural pluralism, and collective movements for social change. Policy implementation of affirmative action, busing, I.Q. testing, genetic screening and birth control. Ms. Harriford.

Not offered in 2000/01.

[259a. Social Stratification] (1)

How social prestige and power are unequally distributed in various societies of the past and the present. The role of the propriety of the means of production and of the military is stressed. The formation of classes as subcultural units, status symbols, class consciousness and class struggles are analyzed. Ms. Harriford.

Not offered in 2000/01.

263a. Criminology (1)

The course consists of a consideration of the nature and scope of criminology as well as an historical treatment of the theories of crime causation and the relation of theory to research and the treatment of the criminal. Ms. Leonard.

264a. "The Nuclear Cage": Environmental Theory and Nuclear Power (1)

(Same as Environmental Studies 264) The central aim of this course is to explore debates about the interaction between beings, including humans, animals, plants and the earth within the context of advanced capitalism by concentrating on the production, distribution, consumption, and disposal of nuclear power. The first question concerning the class is how does Environmental Theory approach nuclear power and its impact on the environment. The second question deals with how this construction interacts with other forms of debate regarding nuclear power, especially concentrating on the relation between science, market and the state in dealing with nature, and how citizens formulate and articulate their understanding of nuclear power through social movements. Ms BaturVanderLippe.

[265b. News Media in America] (1)

This course joins the ongoing debate about the meaning of press freedom and explores the relationship between news and democracy. It will examine how the news media operate in American society and will assess how well the current media are serving the information needs of citizens. Topics may include: the meaning of "objectivity," the relationship between journalists and sources, news and public opinion, ownership of news media, the relationship between news and advertising, propaganda and news management, and the role of alternative media. Mr. Hoynes.

Not offered in 2000/01.

268b. Sociology of Black Religion (1)

(Same as Africana Studies 268 and Religion 268)

270b. Drugs, Culture, and Society (1)

An examination of drug use and its symbolic importance in American society viewed in light of pertinent historical and cross-cultural material. Includes discussion of problems linked with licit and illicit, recreational, social control, and medicinal use of drugs, as well as with political and legal dimension of drug controversies. Mr. McAulay.

[271a. Forms of Social Conflict] (1)

An analysis of mass social behavior under conditions of stress or unpredictability, with special attention to urban social conflicts. Theorists may include Le Bon, Freud, Smelser, Coser, Feagin. Case materials may include the 1919 Chicago race riots, the Kerner Commission Report, Bensonhurst, Howard Beach, Crown Heights, Korean grocer boycott, L.A. riots. Ms. Miringoff.

Not offered in 2000/01.

[272b. Genocide and Social Theory] (1)

Ralph Lemkin defined a new word, genocide, as a response to the atrocities of World War II. As a crime against humanity, this concept has become integral to the conceptualization of the killing of millions, and massive total destruction. It has also become synonymous with the rise of totalitarianism and the dissolution of the Enlightenment project. As Theodor Adorno asked, "How is poetry possible after Auschwitz?" This course is an examination of the complex discourse on genocide, focusing on debates about understanding the past and preventing genocide in the present and future. Ms. Batur-VanderLippe.

Not offered in 2000/01.

[273a. High-Technology and Society] (1)

(Same as Science, Technology and Society 273a) Technology is not distinct from society; indeed, technology embeds, mediates, and gives meaning to human culture and organization. Although computers and the internet make this ever more apparent, humans have always had this relationship with technology high and low. This course is divided into three sections. First, we engage classic sociological understandings of technologies with case studies of assembly lines, nuclear power, space exploration, and biotechnology. Next, we address the role of technology in various processes of globalization. Finally, we focus on how high-technology has transformed human identity and community. Mr. Nevarez.

Not offered in 2000/01.

[274a. Urban Sociology: Building the City] (1)

(Same as Urban Studies 274a) The city is home for many, but it is also a source of profit, a market for goods and services, a site of leisure, and an arena of power. As these environments combine to constitute the city, political, economic, and cultural forces collide, often in conflicting ways. How this happens, and who wins or loses, sit he subject of this course. With a comparative and international focus, we examine the changing roles of urban growth and development, architecture, and planning, urban social movements, the natural environment, crime and security, globalization, and entertainment in the city. Mr. Nevarez.

Not offered in 2000/01.

281a. Political Sociology (1)

This course investigates the role of politics in society by focusing on the core sociological debates about the relationship between the state, capital, and social movements. Can grassroots movements change state policy or are state policies determined by ruling elites? We compare classic debates among class, elite, and pluralist perspectives with emerging theories rooted in post-modernism that redefine politics in terms of culture and everyday behavior. Case studies from the United States and abroad explore such developments as the rise of conservative radicalism and the effect of neo-liberal globalization.

282a. Cities and Urbanization in Latin America (1)

(Same as Geography, Latin American Studies and Urban Studies 282) This course investigates the role and structure of the city in the context of Latin America. Beginning with a brief review of urban theory, we trace the development of the city from the pre-colonial period through the present day. Particular attention is placed on the challenges of rapid urbanization in the late 20th century emerging from the dependent development patterns of the region, and the competing role of urban planners and the urban informal sector.

283b. The Urban Informal Economy in Latin America (1)

(Same as Latin American/Urban Studies 283) The vast majority of the poor in Latin American cities survive outside the formal economic system through casual labor and self-employment in the informal sector. This course investigates the role and significance of this sector in the economic, social and political development of this world region in the context of globalization. Is it a sign of stagnation, or an avenue of progress? Is it a product of exploitation and weakness, or a form of entrepreneurship and resistance? Theoretical approaches deriving from liberal modernization theory, neo-Marxist dependency theory, and world systems theory are applied to the study of specific case studies. Mr. Cross

284b. Domestic Violence (1)

This course provides a general overview of the prevalence and dynamics of domestic violence in the United States and its effects on battered women. We examine the role of the Battered Women's Movement in both the development of societal awareness about domestic violence and in the initiation of legal sanctions against it. We also explore and discuss, both from a historical and present day perspective, ways in which our culture covertly and overtly condones the abuse of women by their intimate partners. Ms. Callan.

285b. Immigration to the United States The Post-1965 Experience (1)

This course examines the post-1965 wave of immigration to the United States in light of scholarly perspectives on the immigration phenomenon. We explore the experiences of recent immigrant groups, highlighting the causes of immigration, the diverse characteristics of immigrant groups in comparison with each other and their historical counterparts at the turn of the century, the impact of immigration on native workers and local communities, and the diversity of modes of incorporation into American society. Ms. Kaufman.

290a or b. Field Work (1/2 or 1)

Individual project of reading or research. The department.

May be elected during the college year or during the summer.

Special permission. Unscheduled.

298a or b. Independent Work (1/2 or 1)

Individual project of reading or research. The department.

May be elected during the college year or during the summer.

Special permission. Unscheduled.


III. Advanced

Sociology 151 and 1 unit of 200-level work are prerequisites for all 300-level courses.

300a-301b. Senior Thesis (1/2)

The department.

310b. Comparative Cultural Institutions (1)

This course examines a variety of cultural institutions including the family, religion, education, politics, and art within selected societies. Methods of comparative analysis are examined and applied. Ms. Leonard.

350b. New York City as a Social Laboratory (1)

(Same as Sociology 350b) Topic for 2000/01b: Urban Poverty and Inequality:

[353a. Sociobiology] (1)

(Same as Science, Technology, and Society 353a) This course examines ways in which sociobiology and evolutionary psychology endeavor to explain patterns of human social behavior in the areas of sex, race, and crime. Key topics include controversial arguments regarding the biological basis of gender roles and homosexuality, patterns of criminal behavior (infanticide, homicide, rape), as well as racial and ethnic conflict. Discussions also address whether or not sociobiology is inherently sexist and/or racist, if evolutionary approaches are conservative or can be politically progressive, and to what extent a feminist sociobiology is possible. Recent work on racial differences (e.g., The Bell Curve, and J. Phillipe Rushton's Race, Evolution and Behavior) is critically analyzed. Mr. McAulay.

Not offered in 2000/01.

[356a. Culture, Commerce, and the Public Sphere] (1)

This course examines the culture and politics of the public sphere, with an emphasis on the changing status of public spaces in contemporary societies. Drawing upon historical and current analyses, we explore such issues as the relationship between public and commercial space and the role of public discourse in democratic theory. Case studies investigate such sites as mass media, schools, shopping malls, cyberspace, libraries, and public parks in relation to questions of economic inequality, political participation, privatization, and consumer culture. Mr. Hoynes.

Not offered in 2000/01.

[357b. Labor, Work, and Social Change] (1)

A sociological analysis of how the global economy has affected the nature of work in modern society. Key issues include downsizing, the increase in service sector employment, the contingent economy, the working poor, sweatshop labor, historical and contemporary issues in labor union organizing, alienation in the workplace, and the current debate over workfare. Ms. Miringoff.

Not offered in 2000/01.

[364b. Social Welfare and Social Policy] (1)

The course examines the social philosophies and social movements underlying the development of social welfare policy. Issues include the English Poor Laws, the ideology of American philanthropy, the Progressive Era, the Settlement House Movement, the New Deal, the Great Society, and "The Safety Net.'' International comparisons are also used throughout. Contemporary problem areas to be examined include homelessness, hunger, and the "feminization of poverty.'' Ms. Miringoff.

Not offered in 2000/01.

365a. Class, Culture, and Power (1)

This course examines central debates in the sociology of culture, with a particular focus on the complex intersection between the domain of culture and questions of class and power. Topics include: the meaning and significance of "cultural capital," the power of ideology, the role of the professional class, working class culture, class reproduction, gender and class relations, and the future of both cultural politics and cultural studies. Readings may include Gramsci, Bourdieu, Gitlin, Aronowitz, Fiske, Willis, and Stuart Hall. Mr. Hoynes.

366b. Racism and Intellectuals (1)

Racism is now a global mode of thought, and racial inequality has become a permanent part of global existence through the racial ideologies and discriminatory practices of institutionalized racism. The primary aim of this class is to explore intellectuals' approaches to race and racism, to examine the connection between ideological racism and scientific racism, and the "discourse of confrontation." Ms. Batur-VanderLippe.

367a. Mind, Culture, and Biology (1)

(Same as Science, Technology and Society 367a) Increasingly in recent years sociobiology and evolutionary psychology have emerged at the center of modern sciencebased opposition to social constructionist and post-modernist thinking. Nowhere is this challenge more pointed than in the use of evolutionary approaches to account for patterns of human culture including standards of beauty, ethical systems, and religious belief. This course examines and analyzes basic arguments regarding the biological basis of deception, self interest, cooperation, and morality. Advanced topics include the feasibility of Darwinian history and literary analysis, the study of Judaism as an evolutionary strategy, challenges posed by evolutionary thinking to the social construction of gender, as well as intriguing efforts to synthesize postmodernist and evolutionary perspectives. Mr. McAulay.

[368b. Toxic Futures: From Social Theory to Environmental Theory] (1)

The central aim of this class is to examine the foundations of the discourse on society and nature in social theory and environmental theory to explore two questions. The first question is how does social theory approach the construction of the future, and the second question is how has this construction informed the present debates on the impact of industrialization, urbanization, statebuilding and collective movements on the environment? In this context, the class focuses on how social theory informs different articulations of Environmental Thought and its political and epistemological fragmentation and the limits of praxis, as well as its contemporary construction of alternative futures. Ms. BaturVanderLippe.

Not offered in 2000/01.

369b. Social Construction of Race in the U.S. (1)

This course examines the social construction of race in the United States from the beginning of the nineteenth century to the present. The course focuses on changing racial meanings and identities of specific sociohistorical groups and the ways in which social institutions interpret and reinterpret race over time. Contemporary issues addressed include: the construction of "whiteness," the making of model minorities, and the emergence of the "mixed race" category. Readings may include Cooper, DuBois, bell hooks, Omni and Winant, Gilroy and Roediger. Ms. Harriford.

382a. Reenvisioning Women in the Third World (1)

This course examines the forces that have shaped the lives of women, their willful responses in the Third World, defined in terms of historical and social conditions rather than geographical locations. Topics include colonialism, nationalism, politics of representation and the production of knowledge in international development, environmental movement, global factory work, reproductive rights, and the sex industry in international tourism. Ms. Moon.

[383a. Militarism and Society: A Comparative Perspective] (1)

This course examines theories of militarism and the centrality of war and war preparation to the organization of contemporary societies. Issues include militarism and economic development, militarism and environment, militarism and nationalism, the role of the military in organizing gender and sexuality, feminism and the peace movement, and militarism in "post-military" society in the West. Readings include N. Elias, R. Luxemburg, M. Mann, B. Reardon, S. Rudnick, M. Shaw and M. Weber. Ms. Moon.

Not offered in 2000/01.

388a. Corporate Power (1)

This seminar investigates how business exerts political power over society. We review the competing theories and methodologies with which social researchers have explained the power of business. With minor departures, the course is divided in two parts. In the first half, we examine corporate power in the national arena: federal government, social policy, the workplace, mass media, and so on. In the second half, we focus on the role of business in community settings, particularly regarding local government, economic development, and civic organizations. Mr. Nevarez.

399a or b. Senior Independent Work (1/2 or 1)

Individual project of reading or research. May be elected during the college year or during the summer. The department.

Special permission. Unscheduled.

Anthropology-Sociology concentration, see page 88.