Upper Division

50. Sociology of Law

(course syllabus)

18F: 12

This course will consider the relationship between law and society, analyzing law as an expression of cultural values, a reflection of social and political structure, and an instrument of social control and social change. Complimenting this general perspective will be a more detailed examination of selected legal institutions, such as the court system, the police, regulatory agencies, and the legal profession. Readings will include both theoretical works and empirical studies. Prerequisite: Sociology 1 or 2, or permission of the instructor. Dist: SOC; WCult: W. King.

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51. Prisons: The American Way of Punishment

(course syllabus)

18W: 11

Prison as a place of confinement, punishment and rehabilitation is the focus of this survey of the history, philosophies, structure and operation of corrections in the U. S. The course critically examines the concept of prison as a total institution and its panopticism as a model of social control that extends to other social contexts. The course will explore the world of inmates and their strategies of subcultural adaptations to and resistance against incarceration; as well as the role of the prison staff. Particular attention will be paid to how gender, race, economics and politics structure prison policies and dynamics. Specific topics may include cultural representations of prison life, implications of current sentencing practices, privatization and the prison-industrial complex, incarcerated mothers, capital punishment, juvenile justice, and alternatives to incarceration. Open to all classes. DIST: SOC; WCult: W. King.

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53. Power, Politics, and State

(course syllabus not available)

Not currently offered 

In response to economic globalization, distrust of government, inequality, budget deficits, inflation, unemployment and other problems, the United States experienced a conservative shift in domestic policy during the 1980s and 1990s. This course explores the political struggles over these problems that led to the "right turn" in U.S. policy. To that end it explores several theoretical perspectives and research findings. In particular, the course examines how political and economic institutions, business, union, citizens, political elites, think tanks and political parties affected national policy in these problem areas. To highlight the unique features of the American case we will occasionally examine how other advanced capitalist countries tried to cope with similar problems. Dist: SOC; WCult: W. Campbell.

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54. Chasing the (Causal) Dragon: Intermediate Quantitative Data Analysis for Sociologists

(course syllabus)

17F: 10

Sociologists and other social scientists are often interested in understanding causal and dynamic social processes such as:

“How do the places we live, work, and play get under the skin and affect health and well-being across the life course?”

“Does upward social class mobility change one’s political attitudes?”

“What social currents are responsible for changes in support for same-sex marriage across historical time?”

“Are long-standing racial inequalities declining, persisting, or increasing in recent years?”

Many of these questions are methodologically difficult to answer with observational (non-experimental) data, and they require that we get a handle on the study of change, context, and causality. You likely have learned how to answer questions like these with standard OLS (linear) regression techniques and cross-sectional data, which remain useful tools in social scientists’ methodological toolbox. But these techniques are also quite limited, and impose strict assumptions that do not allow us to meet many of our goals, adequately answer our questions, or provide stringent tests of our theories and hypotheses.

In this course, we’ll pick up where introductory statistics courses leave off, and get an introduction to more advanced statistical methods for observational data, including but not limited to: regression for categorical dependent variables, fixed and random effects models, and hierarchical linear modeling. This course will be a mix of seminar and lecture, where we will be focused on understanding how we can use these methods to better meet our goals and answer our research questions. Put differently, this course is less focused on going “under the hood” and more focused on “how to drive”—specifically, we will interrogate the assumptions and use of these statistical methods in the social sciences and learn how to implement these methods using STATA. This will include: discussion of core methodological assumptions and limitations, how to apply these statistical methods in different settings, and learning when specific methods are appropriate tools and when they are not. We will explore these issues through student-led discussions, hands-on data analysis, and dissecting the application of these methods in academic journal articles. As part of this course, you will be exposed to (and critique) a wide range of sociological research published in our major disciplinary journals. The course will culminate in an independent research project where students will analyze data and use the one or more of the modeling techniques discussed during the term to answer a sociological research question of their choosing. Prerequisite: SOCY 10 or equivalent and a basic understanding of STATA is required to enroll in this course.  Dist: QDS. Houle.

 

55. Poverty and Public Policy in the US

(course syllabus)

Not currently offered

More than one in ten Americans lives in poverty according to official statistics.  This course explores the nature and extent of poverty in the United States and the role of the government in addressing poverty issues.  How do we measure poverty?  Why does poverty persist?  Why is there so little political discourse about poverty in America today?  How effective are various poverty alleviation programs?  Dist: SOC; WCult: W.

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56. Sociology of Gender

(course syllabus) (Identical to WGSS 34.04)

19W: 10A

What is gender? This seminar examines multiple sociological perspectives on what it means to be a woman, man, boy, or girl in everyday life - including gender as a social structure, an identity, an ideology, and something people "do." Readings and discussions reflect a belief that diversity (race/ethnicity, class, age, sexuality, etc.) is central to the study of gender. Possible topics include: language, the body, science, the wage gap, education, and masculinity during young adulthood. Dist:  SOC. McCabe.

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58. Education and Inequality

(course syllabus) (Identical to EDUC 24)

19W: 2A

How are schools organized and how do they organize society? What effects do schools have on individuals and what effects do they have on society? Using sociological theories and methods, we will examine the structure of schools and their effects on individuals and society. We will explore both formal and informal education. This course will focus on inequalities, specifically how social class, race, gender, and sexuality both organize and are organized by educational environments. Dist: SOC; WCult: W. McCabe.

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60. Dangerous Intersections: Race, Class and Gender

(course syllabus)

Not offered 16X through 18S

Race, class or gender have, to varying degrees, traditionally been employed within the academic disciplines as separate variables or distinct categories of analysis. Increasingly, however, there are calls for and attempts at understanding the relationships among systems of race/ethnicity, sex/gender and class differentiation. Through engaging both theoretical and empirical works, this course will examine the ways in which the simultaneous and interdependent dynamics between these systems shape identity formation and life changes, relationships of marginality and privilege, social continuity and social conflict. It will critically explore the challenges and advantages of intersectional analysis in such contexts as play and leisure, economic roles, sexuality, and law. Dist: SOC. King.

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61. Gender, Work and Family

(course syllabus) (Identical to WGSS 33.05)

17F, 18F: 2A

The nature of work, family life, and gender relations has changed dramatically over the last half century. This course examines these trends, with a focus on implications for gender inequality in society. We will focus on patterns in paid labor force participation and family life in the United States, and discuss the major debates surrounding the causes and consequences of such trends. We will also pay attention to how these patterns look across different races, ethnic groups, and socioeconomic status, as well as briefly examine how these trends compare to other countries. We will conclude by exploring the implication of gender inequality for families, as well as work-family policy debates.  Dist: SOC; WCult: W. Lin.

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62. Love, Romance, Intimacy and Dating

(course syllabus) (Identical to WGSS 33.07)

Not offered in the period 17F to 19S

Why do you connect with some people and not others? What exactly is love? And how do you make smart, romantic choices for yourself? In this course, we examine the social aspects of love, romance, intimacy and dating. Using sociological theories and methods, we will investigate how cultural beliefs and structural arrangements affect our most intimate feelings and experiences. Specific topics include virginity loss, adolescent sexual behavior, hooking up, dating, intimacy and polyamory. Dist: SOC. Lively.

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63. Trust in Society

(course syllabus)

Not offered in the period 17F to 19S

You trust your friend to repay the $10 you loaned her last week; investors trust the stock market to accurately value corporate resources; you trust members of your class work group to complete their parts of the group project; patients trust doctors to inform them about the best treatments; some people trust Uber but others trust taxi services; waitresses trust patrons to tip them for good service; many but not all citizens trust the government to enforce laws fairly.

The word trust appears as a verb in each of these examples, but do we really mean the same thing by trust in each of these very different situations?  What exactly is trust anyway, and why does it matter?  Social science and popular press literature of the past decade suggests that trust is the cause of many “good” things, such as the source of cooperation, the basis of democracy, the foundation of the market economy, the source of national economic power, the key, even, to morality.  Given its relation to all things good, it is not surprising that some commentators speak with alarm when they claim that “trust is declining” in society.

In this course we will explore the following questions: What is trust and what are its benefits? How is trust created? How is trust destroyed? Is trust declining in modern society? How would we know if it was?  We will read and discuss theoretical and empirical research on trust from sociology and from across the social sciences. Prerequisite: Sociology 1 or 2 and one other Sociology course. Dist: SOC. Anthony.

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64. The Sociology of Emotion

(course syllabus)

18S, 19S: 10A

Most people think of emotions as a purely internal experience, composed solely of physiological elements.  Recently, however, sociologists have begun to emphasize and explore the social side of emotion—for example, how emotions are shaped socially and culturally, how emotions are socially controlled, and the consequences of emotion for social life.  We will examine these and other sociological aspects of emotional experience in this course, including exploring current debates about the social functions of emotions, especially as they pertain to the substantive areas of work and family.  Topics include the social causes of emotion; cultural variations in feeling and expression norms (especially in regard to love and anger); changes in American norms over time; the shaping of children’s emotions through socialization; individual and social techniques of emotion management; the social distribution of emotional experience; the social functions of emotion; emotional deviance; and the individual and social consequences of emotional display. Dist: SOC. Lively.

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65. Social Psychology of Inequality

(course syllabus)

18W, 18F: 2A

Sociological social psychology examines the relationship between individuals and the larger social systems in which they are embedded, including interactions, groups, institutions, and cultures. This course will use key social psychological concepts (e.g., status, power, stigma, justice, identity) to explore how inequality is created, reproduced, and resisted. We will study how inequality operates in different social and institutional contexts (e.g., work, family, schools), and for members of different social groups (e.g., race, class, gender, age). Dist: SOC. Rogers.

Prerequisite: Sociology 1 or Sociology 2.

66. Markets and Management

(course syllabus)

18F: 11

What is money? How do people find jobs? Are markets competitive or cooperative? This course examines these and other questions about how economic behavior is organized, operates and changes historically. It recognizes that economic activity is socially organized and guided by political, cultural and normative as well as economic principles. It explores how economic activity takes many forms, including groups of small competitive firms, large and powerful corporations, and diffuse networks of companies tied together through inter-firm alliances, business associations and other sorts of cooperative and competitive relations with each other, unions, government agencies and universities. It examines the organization and operation of different kinds of markets, different theories of how economic activity is organized, and the social factors that contribute to economic success or failure. It also investigates how managers, unions, policy makers and governments are coping with recent economic challenges, such as those posed by technological change and the globalization of economic activity. Because this is a course in economic sociology-not economics-no background in economics is required. Dist: SOC; WCult: W. Campbell.

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67. The Political Power of Ideas (formerly Ideas, Politics and Crisis)

(course syllabus) (Identical to Public Policy 82.02)

19W: 11

Politicians fight constantly over ideas. This course explores where these ideas come from and how politicians try to convince us that their ideas are best. It examines how people’s values influence which ideas they believe or not. It questions the role of experts in policy making and whether we should trust them. And it analyzes how policy ideas change. Emphasis is largely but not entirely on the political power of ideas in the United States. Dist: SOC; WCult: W. Campbell.

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68. Global Health Systems

(course syllabus)

19W: 12

Health care systems are unique to the culture and history of each nation. However, all face similar challenges. This course examines health systems across developed and developing nations. Comparisons will be made in terms of: (a) population health, (b) health care organization, (c) health care financing, (d) health professionals and their patients, and (e) health system performance and reform strategies. Understanding how health care is delivered around the world will lead to a better understanding of the relative merits and limitations of various systems. The course is structured as a seminar in which students will be expected to discuss course readings in-depth, as well as develop and present their own research on specific countries of interest. Dist: INT; WCult: NW. Anthony.

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69. The Sociology of Globalization

(PDF iconcourse syllabus)

17F: 11

The international scope of political, economic, and cultural activity has increased dramatically during the late twentieth and early twenty first centuries. But how extensive has the trend toward "globalization" been? Is it really a new phenomenon? Has globalization changed societies? If so, how? If not, why not? Are societies becoming more alike because they experience common globalization pressures or do they retain their unique national characteristics? This course examines these questions and more. Specifically, we will look at how globalization has affected business, states, labor movements, social inequality, social welfare, citizenship rights, the environment, culture, national security, and other aspects of society. Dist:  SOC or INT. Campbell.

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70. American Labor Relations

(course syllabus)

19W: 12

This course examines the political, cultural, and economic sources of solidarity and mobilization among workers in the US from the late 19th century to the present.  Readings and discussion will focus on important historical developments among labor unions, from militant beginnings through an accommodationist phase after World War II and a deep decline, to recent attempts at revitalization.  Students will consider the impacts of labor movements on social inequality, politics and on a range of cross-cutting issues around gender, immigration and race.  We will conclude by examining the prospects for labor in light of the rapid and profound changes in the world of work and economic activity in the contemporary period.  Dist:  SOC; WCult: W. Dixon.

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79. Upper Division Special Topics Courses

79.04 Drugs and Pharmaceuticals in Society

(course syllabus)

Not currently offered

Licit and illicit drugs make illuminating case studies for our economic and political systems. We explore the following questions: Are profit motives and humanitarian concerns in irresolvable conflict? Does the international network of illegal drugs show the future of globalization? Does pharmaceutical lobbying demonstrate the anti-democratic influence of money? Is the "war on drugs" political demagoguery or a rational response to human weakness? We will use readings, research papers and discussions to explore these questions. 

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79.05 Black Middle Class

(course syllabus)

Not offered in 17X through 18S

This course critically explores the idea as well as the experiences of "the Black middle class." We will consider the theoretical insights of DuBois' "talented tenth," Cooper 's gendered "race consciousness," Frazier's "black bourgeoisie," and dominant approaches to stratification (Weber, Bourdieu).Contemporary sociological studies, plus memoirs and biographies, will enrich our analyses of their economic participation and homeownership, family and social life, politics and activism, ethnic and class conflicts, and the persistent impacts of racism. King.

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79.06 Sociology of the Body

(course syllabus)

Not currently offered

Can social life exist without bodies? How can attention to the body influence our understanding of social processes of subjectivity, interaction, and practice? This seminar provides an overview of sociological approaches to the body across the study of gender, race, class, (dis)ability, sport, medicine, technology, and more. Students will complete a course-long research project in which they analyze the impact and meanings of bodies in a particular social or media context. Dist: SOC. 

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79.08 Lest We Forget:  History, Collective Memory and Slavery at Dartmouth

18F: 3A

Beyond noting that Wheelock owned slaves, little is known of Dartmouth's other historical connections, if any, to the institution of slavery.   This research seminar investigates the college's economic entanglement in the trade and slaveholding; as a site for the intellectual legitimation and contestation of slavery; and the contributions of enslaved persons to its development. We will also review the origins, findings and responses to similar collective memory projects at other institutions including Brown, Emory and Yale. Prerequisite: Any sociology course or permission of the instructor. King.

79.09 Global Inequality Protests

(course syllabus)

Not offered in 17F through 19S

Three years after the 2008 financial crisis a protest movement sparked in Tunisia, and expanded by contagion to Egypt, Morocco and India, and from there to Spain, Chile, Israel, and finally arrived to Wall Street, giving the name to the global movement as the Occupy social movement. These cases largely differ from one another, but have in common their opposition to inequality and readiness to struggle against it. The course will focus on the comparison of protest movements and the political processes each case provoked, using theories of social movements and political sociology, and analyzing the economic, social and political context before the protests sparked and the after movements' peaks. We will analyze and discuss in class the Occupy Wall Street movement and the political process it provoked in the US. Each student will chose an international case for comparison, presenting it in class and writing a research paper of their own as a final essay. Students will work in teams of two for their presentations and final research paper. Dist: INT; WCult: NW. Grinberg.

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80. Independent Study

All terms: Arrange

By permission of a Sociology Faculty member PRIOR to registration.

This course offers the qualified student an opportunity to pursue a subject of special inter­est, under the direction of a faculty adviser assigned to the student for periodic (usually weekly) conferences. Ordinarily at least one formal paper embodying the results of the reading or research is required. In special situations students may work as a team on a single project. Occasionally credit may be given in Sociology 80 for a research project done in an off-campus term, provided arrangements are made well in advance and adequate off-cam­pus supervision can be assured. Although every effort will be made to accommodate qualified students desiring to carry an independent study, there is no guarantee that independent study can be arranged for any given student in any given term, and preference is given to senior and junior Sociology majors. Normally no student may take Sociology 80 more than twice during the undergraduate career.

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