Skip to Content

Sociology - Spring 2017

SOCI 101S 01&02
Introduction to Sociology

4 Credits
Nibert, David
Prerequisite: None
Sociology critically examines what passes for “common knowledge” or “common sense” about how humans structure their social arrangements. Sociology is a perspective that promotes re-examination of society and reassessment of our most basic assumptions about everything from what constitutes deviance to the construction and meaning of concepts of gender and race, from matters of social and economic stratification to movements for social change, to humans’ relationships with the environment and with other animals. Sociology promotes both understanding of individual interactions and awareness of powerful social structural processes. During the semester, the course will lead to student understanding of how social and historical forces affect our lives and their connection to the most pressing problems of the day.

SOCI 101S 03
Introduction to Sociology

4 Credits
Shope, Dan
Prerequisite: None
Introduction to Sociology SOCI 101 S introduces and studies various sociological principles on the nature of social interaction and the problem of social order.  The course reviews the major theoretical paradigms in sociology (symbolic interaction, functionalism, and social conflict); it introduces the interplay of qualitative and quantitative methodologies in the conduct of social inquiry; it explores the key areas in the field: self, gender, media, race, ethnicity, deviance, institutions, and family; and, finally, it encourages you to enjoy, recognize, and actively engage in the actual practice of social inquiry.  Assignments are designed to apply your knowledge with clarity and depth.  Small group work is an important component of this course; the purpose is to help you to acquire skills in listening, speaking, learning, and sharing with others.

SOCI 101S 04
Introduction to Sociology
4 Credits

Staff
Prerequisite: None
This course examines the cultural and structural patterns of human behavior. The content of this course focuses upon norms, social interaction, social organization, and social change. This course pays special attention to the characteristics of social institutions and how they shape human conduct.

SOCI 110C/S 01
Cultural Anthropology
4 Credits

Malarkey, Jim
Prerequisite: None
This course introduces students to the origin, aims, scope, methods, and achievements of Cultural Anthropology. Through primary source materials of text and film we explore a range of cultures from diverse regions and scales of organization, utilizing the central concepts and theories that have shaped the field. Students will take away a deeper awareness of the extraordinary diversity and vitality of human communities and of the dynamics of intercultural conflict and conciliation.

Requirements for the course include brief weekly commentaries, three short (5-7p) papers on select questions/issues, and one oral report on a modest fieldwork assignment.

SOCI 110C/S 02
Cultural Anthropology

4 Credits
Staff
Prerequisite: None
What is culture? Where is it located? How does it make meaning in our lives? In this course, we explore the diversity of human society by examining culture and the innumerable ways it permeates all facets of life. In our readings we travel around the world looking at cross-cultural diversity in order to understand what culture is and to engage in the questions that cultural anthropologists ask. From glimpsing into the world of ritual to understanding local, socially constructed meanings of gender and race, we will consider how meaning is constructed in particular, social contexts. Other topics we will examine include kinship, language, emotion, and medicine and healing. Understanding the cultural diversity in our world sheds light on our own practices and systems of meaning. With this in mind, we look abroad in order to understand our own practices here in the United States.

SOCI 201C/S 1W
Topics:  War, Identity and Justice

4 Credits
Doubt, Keith
Prerequisite: None
What is the contemporary character of war and its destructive impact on societies? How does social violence confront and ultimately transform social identities at both the individual and the collective level? What is justice and its necessity to social order? Drawing upon sociology, documentaries, and political theory, this course studies war crimes, the construction of identity in multi-ethnic societies, the political character of nationalism, the social context of terrorism, and the idea of justice in our modern era. First, from the study of Bosnia, the course develops a sociology of war, a psychology of identity, and a philosophy of justice. Then, the course applies this set of concepts to the modern wars in Algeria, Chechnya, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Ukraine. The objective  is develop a perspective on social violence at the collective level that is comparative and historical, one that is objective as well as moral, humanistic as well as empirical.

SOCI 201 02
Topics:  Environmental Sociology

4 Credits
Shope, Dan
The course will focus on factors related to population and economic growth, as well as public measures designed to mitigate the negative impact of this growth on the natural environment. Issues related to economics, urbanization, racial and gender relations, socio-economic status, use of technology, social movements, and popular culture will be discussed to broaden our understanding of environmental concerns. Specifically, this course will examine the philosophies, political ideologies, and social movements that have historically arisen to meet the challenges posed by increased pollution coupled with the difficulties of maintaining sustainable economic systems.

SOCI 201 1W
Sport in Culture

4 Credits
Dawson, Steve
Pre-requisites: Upperclassmen only
At a time of major political and economic change in the world, this course will examine the nature and role of international sport in the emerging global village. Students will seek to uncover the unique elements of sport in the United States and to explain its appearance in terms of the nation’s dominate system of cultural values. Sport will be placed against the broader, sometimes contradictory, backdrop of American culture. As well as the United States, sport will be analyzed in the following cultures: Japan, China, the “New Europe” and former Eastern Bloc, South Africa, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. A background in sociology and cultural studies would be beneficial, although not a requirement.

SOCI 201 2W
Contemporary Issues in Sport Sociology and Sport Psychology
4 Credits
Dawson, Steve
Prerequisites: Upperclassmen only
For Sport Sociology the following areas are covered: The nature of sport, sport and social values, sport and social theory, cultural variations in sport, socialization into sport, sport within educational institutions, social stratification and sport, the female athlete, race and sport, deviance in sport, sport and the mass media, and the political economy of sport. For Sport Psychology, the following areas are covered: motivation and achievement in sport, aggression in sport, social facilitation, anxiety in sport, children in sport, sport personology arousal and activation levels, and attention in sport. Writing intensive.

SOCI 277C/R 01
Islam and Society

4 Credits
Rahim, Naseem
Prerequisite: None
What is Islam and how is it related to Judaism and Christianity? After its birth in 610 AD in Arabia, Islam spread rapidly through the ancient Byzantine and Sassanian empires, Spain, the Indian peninsula and as far away as China and Mongolia. How did Islam interact with these very different cultures and societies? Today Islam is a global religion and one of the fastest growing faiths. Together we will explore how Islam is lived around the world, and how do Muslims express their unity, while retaining diverse cultural identities. Finally, what does it mean to be an American Muslim? Drawing from current academic and empirical resources in the fields of Islamic studies, comparative sociology, history, philosophy, literature, and other arts and sciences, we will construct a modern day understanding about lived Islam.

SOCI 280S 01
Animals and Society

4 Credits
Nibert, David
Prerequisite: None
Increasingly, social scientists are focusing on the ethical, environmental and social consequences of human treatment of other animals. This course will examine how human societies have viewed and treated other animals and how the interactions and the structure of the relationship between humans and other animals affect both those animals and human social organization. For example, some scholars argue that cultural practices that define and use nonhuman animals as food contribute significantly to various forms of environmental devastation. Human health research indicates that high rates of heart disease and cancer in many cultures can be attributed to the consumption of animals.  Others suggest that human perception and treatment of nonhuman animals are related in significant ways to such enduring problems as racism, sexism and violence against vulnerable groups of people. This course will examine the causes of human exploitation of other animals and the issues that frame the animal rights debate.

SOCI 301 01
Women and Poverty

4 Credits
Rowell, Kathy
Prerequisite: None
This course will use the sociological approach to explore and analyze the feminization and racialization of poverty in the United States and the world. Specific attention will be given to understanding both the structural forces that continue to cause and exacerbate poverty and to the individual lived experiences of women in children living in poverty. The importance of public sociology as well as social activism will be explored as tools to reducing and solving poverty.

SOCI 307 1Z
Research Methods

5 Credits
Wagner, Brooke
Prerequisite: SOCI 101S or SOCI 110C/S and minimum math placement 23.  Note:  If not already completed, students are encouraged to take one of the Q courses that are required for the Sociology major concurrently with SOCI 307.
This course offers an introduction to research design, data gathering techniques, and sociological analysis of data. We will discuss and practice both quantitative and qualitative methodology. We will also explore research ethics and postmodernism. During the lab, we will conduct practical applications of the techniques discussed in class.

SOCI 312 01
Purity, Porn and Perverts: Construction and Control of Sexuality

4 Credits
Wagner, Brooke
Prerequisites: None
Within the last several decades, the sociology of sexualities has experienced tremendous growth as well as attention. In this class we will sample from the rich and diverse research and literature that has come to characterize this sub-discipline, and will introduce students to some of the more important and interesting contributions that have shaped the sociology of sexuality to date. We begin with an understanding of sexuality as an aspect of social life that is worthy of sociological inquiry, and one that it is impossible to understand in isolation from other aspects of social experience including gender, social class, race/ethnicity including other social relationships of power.

In this course we will explore how sexuality has been conceptualized in the West over time. We will examine some of the foundational contributions to the social and scientific study of sexuality, focusing on a range of theoretical and empirical approaches. Some of the topics we will address in this course include: early sexology and the construction of sexual deviance, hetero, homo and bisexual experience and identity, transsexuality and transgenderism, homosexuality and the religious right in the US, pornography and contemporary sexual practices.

To reflect and engage with feminist/sociological methods, students are expected to participate actively in class discussions, write short reflections over the readings, and complete a research project where they are required to analyze data. 

SOCI 330S 01
Wealth, Power and Poverty

4 credits
Nibert, David
Prerequisites: None
This course examines the causes and consequences of the unequal distribution of wealth and power in human societies. Historical and cross-cultural examples will be explored and global stratification will be examined. Distribution of resources will be studied with reference to such variables as class, gender, race, age, and ability. Current economic and political conditions will be examined for their bearing on contemporary unequal distributions of political, economic and social resources. Attention will be given to the institutionalized and ideological legitimation of social stratification as well as the relationship between animal oppression and human hunger and poverty.

SOCI 380 1W
Identity, Self and Society
4 Credits
Doubt, Keith

Prerequisite: One course (min 3 hrs) in SOCI or Permission of Instructor
This course will survey leading theories of self and identity in the tradition of symbolic interaction and apply them creatively and critically to the everyday world. After studying the conceptual positions of George Herbert Mead, Charles Cooley, and Erving Goffman on self, the course will test the explanatory character of these positions against demanding subjects like madness, prejudice, friendship, and leadership. The course will also address how self and identity are important issues in areas of postmodernism, feminism, and colonization.

The question that will center our inquiries is, how is the individual dependent upon as well as autonomous from the social community?

Lectures, group discussions, films, writing assignments, and tests will be oriented toward addressing this question. While taught from a sociological perspective, the course will encompass an interdisciplinary approach; it will draw upon readings in psychology, education, philosophy, theology, and political science.

This course is also an opportunity for students to integrate service to the community with their actual course work. Students engage in service learning activities at the NAMI drop-in center, a meeting place for people suffering from serious and chronic mental illness near Wittenberg University. Readings on schizophrenia and madness will be interwoven into the topic of identity and self-understanding and reinforced through students’ service activity.

 

Back to top