Upper Division

50. Sociology of Law

(course syllabus)

16W: 11

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)

15S: 12

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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55. Poverty and Public Policy in the US

(course syllabus)

Not offered 13X through 15S

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. Hollister.

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56. Sociology of Gender

(course syllabus) (Identical to WGST 34.4)

14W, 15W, 16W: 2A

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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57. Identity and Social Interaction of Multiracial Americans

(course syllabus)

Not currently offered

The 2000 Census revealed that nearly 4% of youth and 2% of adult Americans belong to more than one racial category. What are the social, historical, and biological meanings of the term multi-racial? What are the challenges and benefits associated with belonging to more than one race group? How do multi-racial youth negotiate the path to developing a healthy identity differently than mono-racial youth? How has the social context of race changed the way multiracial people identify? We will consider how schools, families, peer groups, and neighborhoods influence the development of biracial Americans.

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58. Education and Inequality

15S: 2A

This course acquaints students with selected concepts, theories, and policy applications relating to the sociology of education. We will focus on a few controversial topics in the field, providing the opportunity to analyze some controversial issues and areas of current research activity. Major topic areas include theories of achievement and educational attainment, tracking, inequality, race, school organization, and school choice. Dist: SOC; WCult: W. McCabe.

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60. Dangerous Intersections: Race, Class and Gender

(course syllabus)

14S: 2A

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 inersectional analysis in such contexts as play and leisure, economic roles, sexuality, and law. Dist: SOC. King.

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61. Women, Work and Family

(course syllabus) (Identical to WGST 33.5)

14S: 10A

This course will explore the nature, extent, and consequences of gender inequality in society.  Changing gender roles will be examined in relation to class and race, the socialization process, the experience of women in the family, and the experience of women as paid and unpaid workers under both capitalism and socialism.  Finally, we shall analyze work and family conflict, looking at gender inequality, consequences for families and employers, policy, and implications for social structural change.  Prerequisite:  Sociology 1 or 2, as this is an Upper Level course.  Dist: SOC; WCult: W. Smith.

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62. Love, Romance, Intimacy and Dating

(course syllabus) (Identical to WGST 33.7)

14F: 2A  16S: 3B

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 invistigate 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)

15W: 12

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 group cooperations, the basis of democracy, the foundation of the market economy, the source of national economic power, the key, even, to morality itself. 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. Is trust declining? What exactly is trust anyway, and why does it matter? In this course we explore the concept of trust by reading and discussing theoretical and empirical research 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)

Not offered 13X through 15S

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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66. Markets and Management

(course syllabus)

15W: 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 82.2)

14F, 15F: 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)

14F: 2  16S: 11

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

(course syllabus)

14W: 11  16W: 9L

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)

13F: 2A

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

79.4 Drugs and Pharmaceuticals in Society

(course syllabus)

13F: 10

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.  Goodman.

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79.5 Black Middle Class

(course syllabus)

Not offered in 13F to 15S

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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79.6 Sociology of the Body

(course syllabus)

14S: 11

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.  Coutinho-Sledge.

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

14W, 15S: 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.

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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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