An introduction to the basic concepts, methods, and application of the sociological perspective. These concepts will be viewed in relation to contemporary institutions and trends.
An analysis of contemporary social problems with emphasis upon problems of the urban American scene. A high degree of student participation in the choice of specific social problems to be studied, analyzed, and presented.
An introductory survey of the practice of social work, its purpose and function, values and philosophical premises, body of knowledge, and historical roots. Case illustrations will be used to demonstrate the generic approach to problem solving. Fields of practice will be examined in the context of essential relationships among social welfare policy, agency structure, service delivery systems and social work research.
An analysis of contemporary social problems with emphasis upon problems of the urban American scene. A high degree of student participation in the choice of specific social problems to be studied, analyzed and presented.
Among the topics considered are: the history of the development of the city; urban ecology and social structure; city politics and government; urban problems such as housing, employment, minorities, religion, education, and recreation; and the city of tomorrow.
An analysis of the economic, social, cultural and political situation of African-Americans, Asians, Latinos, and other minority groups in the United States. This course will focus on social conflict and struggle for survival and power in Urban America.
An examination of the generation, distribution, and impact of ideological, economic, technological, and cultural change. Topics include theories of social change, changing values, attitudes, and lifeways in contemporary society.
This course will examine the circumstances under which social change occurs, and investigate how changes in the economy, the environment, in family forms, and in technology have impacted both the United States and the world. Over the course of the semester we will examine how the internet has changed the way we work, talk, learn and date; how fluctuating economic patterns alter the choices individuals make, and how a shifting global environment is alternating the world we will inhabit in the future. We will also explore the role of social movements in creating social change both in the U.S. and abroad, and will conclude the course by discussing the role that individuals play in creating, and changing the social world.
An analysis of the nature and definition of crime as a particular form of deviance, types of criminal behavior, and the institutions of the legal system.
A theoretical analysis of the sociological theories of deviant behavior including social causation and societal labeling. Sociological analysis of the development and social impact of deviant groups and their role within the structure of society.
This course introduces students to various topics in sociology through the use of feature films. Students study such issues as race relations, family dynamics, urbanization, and crime by viewing films, analyzing the films' content, and reading sociology literature.
This course will explore the role of social and cultural factors associated with diseases; doctor-patient relationships; beliefs about health, illness, treatment and recovery; access to health institutions and the organization of health care systems.
This course looks at the role of intimacy in social life. Students are given an overview of the changing nature of intimate relations and how these intimacies have been affected by various cultural, political, economic, and technological trends. Intimacy is seen here as foundational to important human relationships including parent-infant relations, familial relations, friendships, religious affiliation, romantic relationships, patient-practitioner relations, psychotherapeutic relations and sexual relations. How the nature, depth and quality of intimacy have changed over time and how we've come to socially construct its various forms and meanings is sociologically examined here.
An examination of the nature and meaning of ethnic and racial group experience(s) in the United States. Specific topics will include an investigation of the social construction of race in the U.S.; the origins and reproduction of racism; racial and ethnic conflict across the globe, and a comparison of the white ethnic experience with other racial and ethnic groups. Possible solutions to racial and ethnic inequality will also be explored.
An analysis of generational conflict as a form of social conflict, and the social and cultural forces that generate it. The main emphasis will be on the American version of "youth versus age."
This course is a sociological exploration of structural and individual phenomenon leading to crises in the contemporary family, both domestically and internationally. Emphasis is placed upon functional and dysfunctional patterns of coping in both normative and situational crises within families.
An analysis of family structure and organization with particular focus on alternative forms to traditional family structure, male/female role expectations, parenthood, childhood, adolescence, socialization, and sexuality.
Changing social classes and castes in contemporary America viewed sociologically and anthropologically with cross-cultural comparisons of stratification primitive societies as well as advanced ones.
A sociological study of juvenile delinquency in American society. The status of youth, juvenile institutions and theories of juvenile delinquency. Also the legal environment and treatment of juvenile offenders.
An analysis of the socio-cultural interpretation and development of the gender identity; the significance of gender development for social change and cross-cultural and contemporary social data on gender development.
In this course, we will explore how notions of the American family, sexuality, and reproduction have changed over time. We will shatter myths about the ideal American family and provide a more realistic picture that includes not just intact nuclear families, but a wide range of other arrangements including gay and lesbian families, single-parents, couples who remain childfree by choice, 'never-marrieds'. We will explore how various social movements (including the women's and gay liberation movements) have changed the face of the American family and how technology has created new possibilities for different family structures and lifestyles. We will also explore controversies over gay marriage, abortion and fertility technologies.
This course provides students with a community-based service learning experience. The course will give each student actual working experience by serving the needs of those struggling to confront the critical challenges of urban life. Personal work experience will be enhanced through class readings on: the meaning of community, citizenship, and the structural problems of urban living, including issues of hunger, poverty, disability, discrimination, and inequity.
Immigration to the United States and New York City is dramatically reshaping our social structure, culture and notions of race and identity. This course will examine the sociological causes and consequences of post-1965 immigration to the United States, and will investigate the "push" and "pull" factors that spur migration, U.S. immigration policy and laws, and the consequences of migration for sending and receiving societies as well as immigrants themselves.
In an attempt to show the cultural relativity of concepts such as "justice" and "crime," this course looks at the societal processes involved in construction of these notions and the laws associated with them. The standards societies around the world use to establish, measure, and enforce justice are examined. How class, race, and gender enter into this construction is explored.
Most criminology courses attempt to answer the question, “What causes crime?” However, such course defines the term narrowly by focusing almost exclusively on “street” crime (i.e. robbery, burglary, rape, drug offenses). While these crimes are clearly harmful, we do not pay nearly enough attention to crimes committed by powerful groups and institutions. This course will focus exclusively on crimes of the ‘criminal elite’: political crime (war crimes; state terrorism; torture; police brutality); corporate crime (harmful working conditions and the production and sale of dangerous products); white-collar crime (fraud, bribery, corruption); and environmental crime (harms against environment and animals). Alternative theoretical approaches will be used to explore these types of crime including Green Criminology; Marxist Criminology; Left Realism; Postmodern Criminology; Feminist Theory; and Restorative Justice. We will explore the harms associated with these behaviors/crimes and critically analyze laws and public policies mean to confront them. In this course we will employ a critical approach wherein students will consider the impact of public policies on marginalized communities, groups (particularly people of color, women, working-class people and the poor), and environments.
This course examines the emergence of the “self” in western and modern global societies. Using various sociological perspectives and methods, the self is seen as a social product, imbued with appearance, ideology, culture and intersubjective meaning. We will explore how the self is performed and constructed and will examine the collage of selves that constitute the individual. The stages of social development of individual selves along with the impact of social media on identity will be examined. Topics here will include sociological components of identity such as race, class, gender, economy and religion.
The course will examine the concepts of work, education, leisure, and retirement in our technological world. Current trends will be surveyed to provide each student with the insights and framework helpful in planning his or her own career as well as understanding the reciprocal relationships between work and society.
An examination of the impact of consumerism on modern and developing societies. Using social theory and analysis of market capitalism, students will be introduced to new ways of understanding their role in the marketplace and importance of dynamic commodification in shaping human relations.
This course will address the history, theory and practice of urban planning. It will examine the physical planning tools, regulations and current professional practices in use in urban communities. Readings and assignments will concentrate on the physical, geographic and built environment of the city and will explore the relationship between the physical nature of urban communities and the equality of urban community life.
This course examines the growth of social movements that have developed to address an array of social conditions confronting modern and traditional societies. The women’s movement, the civil rights movement, the environmental movement, the movement for gay and lesbian rights, movements for indigenous rights, and the peace movement are among those groups studied in this course. The class will involve lectures, films, readings, and group activities related to important social issues.
This course offers the opportunity to study special topics of current interest in sociology. Students should consult the latest schedule of classes for an announcement of courses to be offered, as topics vary from year to year. This course may be taken more than once for credit.
New Core: Fulfills 3 credits in Area of Knowledge I (Service Learning Component) or 3 credits in Area of Knowledge V.
This course examines torture as an historical social phenomenon. It is seen as a means of domination and control as well as a means of ritual and initiation. Students will study the relations of human torture to culture with particular attention on both the developing world and torture in the "West." The course will deal with such topics as torture as social policy, torture in art and literature, and the religious and political basis of human torture.
This class will explore contemporary critical understandings of men and masculinities as a cultural and personal construct. It will include discussion of manhood in historical context and how its definition and organization has changed over time. This course will examine the construction and representation of masculinity in various social institutions including work, media, sports and family. Consideration will be given to boyhood culture and male body image, friendship, sexuality, fatherhood and aggression and violence. It will consider differential experiences of African American and Latino males. Guest speakers and case materials.
This course examines the nature of sweat shops around the world and how they have generated problems of cultural, political and economic turmoil, and social instability.
New Core: Fulfills 3 credits in Area of Knowledge V.
This course examines work and its meaning to individuals, the community and the culture at large. The course will address the topics of management, worker's rights, what work means and what makes a good job good and a bad one bad, and examine the idea of work in a variety of contexts including that of gender, race, class, sexuality, disability and age. In addition to traditional assignments and course activities, we will leave the classroom to view working as it occurs in a variety of locales.
This course is organized to explore the relationships that exist between social structure and spatial structure. The course looks at historical and contemporary accounts of the formation and structure of urban and suburban space, including geography, public space, and spatial theory. The cultural concept of place is explored as a different but complementary phenomenon. The course concludes with several case studies of space and place in the contemporary city.
This course will focus on the relationship between socioeconomic status and academic achievement with an emphasis on the role of parents and other agents in fostering academic success, particularly among economically disadvantaged youth. The course will also explore importance of the home environment in supporting educational achievement.
This course will provide an overview of utopian theory and practice in the United States, with an emphasis on examining the link between religious and political philosophy and experiments with communal living. We will examine 19th century communes such as the Oneidas, Shakers and New Harmony and will also learn about contemporary communities such as The Farm, MOVE, Ganas, Yogaville and the Emma Goldman Finishing School. These cases illuminate the challenges of creating "another world," and also allow us to investigate the social factors that influence their success or failure. Readings will include personal memoirs, sociological examinations of both existing and defunct intentional communities, and relevant elements of political, religious and sociological theory.
Sociology and Anthropology have long been the source for the development of ethnographic studies that become the basis of better understanding unique cultures and subcultures. This course helps students begin to use documentary video to study such cultures. Students will learn basic elements of social research while understanding and mastering basic ethnographic film techniques.
Course examines the social consequences of the environmental crisis confronting us today. Students will develop an understanding of the relationship between capitalism, environmental degradation, and the ways through which people have attempted to confront these issues.
This course will examine the social context in which art is produced, distributed and received. The class will investigate the process through which individuals become defined as artists, will examine the "art industry" that distributes and commodifies art products, and will explore the tension that characterizes the relationship between art and commerce. We will also investigate and observe the role that social factors-- including class background, level of education and gender--play in influencing one's taste in art. Finally, the class will investigate the role that art has played in promoting social change, and will examine this specifically with respect to performance art, digital art and ephemeral art.
This course will examine the social context in which art is produced, distributed and received. The class will investigate the process through which individuals become defined as artists, will examine the "art industry" that distributes and commodifies art products, and will explore the tension that characterizes the relationship between art and commerce. We will also investigate and observe the role that social factors--including class background, level of education and in gender--play in influencing one's taste in art. Finally, the class will investigate the role that art has played in promoting social change, and will examine this specifically with respect to performance art, digital art and ephemeral art.
This course explores the cultural dynamics of Hispanic/Latino families. Special focus is given to immigration and acculturation theories, racialization, familism and Latino/Latina identity construction. Students are invited to share in the splendors of Latino culture and family, asked to think critically about cultural norms as well as their influence on globalization and encouraged to dissect the role played by Hispanic families in the identity construction of Latinos/Latinas.
This course provides students with a grounded knowledge base of the social as well as economic and political contexts in which North American schools exist. Making the familiar aspects of education strange, the course encourages analytic frameworks and critical perspectives on education in order to engage students in assessing educational beliefs, policies, and practices for democratic values. Drawing on concepts and theories from the social sciences, the functions of education including the role schools play in socialization, and the transmission and reproduction of culture are integrated throughout. The course encourages students to begin answering the following questions: What does it mean to be educated? What ought to be the ends of schooling? What is the role of education in the struggle for social justice? The course is grounded in visual literacy and methods of ethnography to study education and schooling. To that end, class activities include field projects that use cameras to capture the process of schooling in a contemporary society.
This course will address the practice of urban planning. It will build on knowledge learned in Introduction to Urban Planning of physical planning tools, regulations and current professional practices in use in urban communities. The course will concentrate on the relationship between the physical nature of urban communities and the quality of urban community life.
The course will help students develop skills for evaluating forms of visual media as they pertain to cultural and societal identities. Through analyses of print, film, and photography students will be challenged to produce critiques of media and share their perspective regarding social environments and cultural boundaries as reflected in images used throughout the course.
This course is designed to provide students with a thematic introduction to the sociological study of the relationship between "War and Society." It will look at diverse subject areas that include: how culture and war interact to produce meaning, war and the role of media, gender relations and war, the relationship between science and war, as well as how techno-scientific developments with respect to war are related to globalization and modern forms of capitalism. Major theorists from classical and contemporary sociological theory will be examined to see how they might inform a critique of war and its role and impact on society. The course also examines the relationship between warfare and social change in an effort to anticipate the future of warfare as a tool in politics.
This course examines the emergence of the “self” in western and global societies. Using various sociological perspectives and methods, the self is seen as a social product, imbued with appearance, ideology, culture and interpersonal meaning. We will explore how the self is performed and constructed and will examine the collage of selves that constitute the individual.
In the face of issues of shared global concern-climate change, migration, increasing economic inequality and the rise of far-right and authoritarian political movements in both the Global North and South-cities have stepped to the forefront to combat these shared social ills and to form networks of ''fearless cities," "solidarity cities," and "cities of refuge," often in direct opposition to the national governments that oversee them. Symbolized by the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, the Fearless Cities network, the International Cities of Refuge Network (!CORN) and the C40 Cities for Climate Action, this urban network holds the potential. some sociologists and urban theorists believe, to protect freedom of expression, enhance democracy and human rights, to combat climate change and to help build a sustainable future that transcends national borders. This course will examine such initiatives by providing an overview of the global municipalist movement, assessing its goals and successes In the realms of climate action, migration and economic democracy, and assessing its potential for building the "right to the city" long-promised by the larger urban studies and sociological literature.
This course explores how different forms of culture-such as language, clothing, music and religion-are used to circulate ideology and spur social change. We will investigate the evolution of youth subcultures and countercultures, the role of music and clothing in protest and identity formation, the marketing of religious objects as popular culture, and the appropriation of various forms of popular culture by mainstream organizations and corporations. Finally we will discuss whether the possibility of resistance to such cooptation exists, and, if so how such “resistant communities” can be nurtured and preserved.
This course will provide an overview of utopian theory and practice in the United States, with an emphasis on examining the link between religious and political philosophy and experiments with communal and intentional living. We will examine 19th century communes such as the Oneidas, Shakers and New Harmony, and will also learn about contemporary intentional communities such as Twin Oaks, MOVE, Christiania and the Twelve Tribes. These cases illuminate the challenges of creating another world, and also allow us to investigate the social factors that influence their success or failure. Readings will include personal memoirs, sociological examinations of both existing and defunct intentional communities, and relevant elements of political, religious and sociological theory.
A study of how artists, writers, sociologists, and film makers around the world contribute to the construction of modern urban culture. The course explores what the paintings, poems, theories, and films have in common. By examining imported modern and postmodern ideas students gain insights into the makers of modern metropolitan culture. By looking at the processes of modernization and urbanization around the world, they gain a deeper understanding of the social and economic consequences of these processes.
A comparative survey of the history of social theory through an examination of the major thinkers of the 19th and 20th centuries, including Marx, Durkheim, Weber, Parsons, Mead, and others. A major concern of the course is how theorists ask and answer questions concerning the nature of the social order.
An introduction to the basic concepts and techniques of social research. Topics will include sampling, survey, case study, interview, and questionnaire preparation. Student investigations using various research methods and class reports are required. Knowledge of statistics is not essential.
This course provides Sociology/Anthropology majors and other interested students with work placement in agencies dealing with social concerns. Placement is on an individual basis depending on upon need and availability. Such placements give students a first-hand understanding of important social issues facing society and provide practical skills and methods for addressing social needs.
With the approval of the appropriate faculty member, the department chairperson, and the academic dean, students may select a topic for guided research that is not included in the regular course offerings. The student meets regularly with the faculty member to review progress. A research project or paper must also be submitted.