Academics Banner



ANTH 1050: Cultural Anthropology
Anthropology is a holistic approach to the study of humankind.  By examining different cultural systems around the globe, anthropologists endeavor to understand how people make sense of the world in which they live, their beliefs and practices.  This class will introduce students to the basic concepts, theories and methodologies of anthropology.  Topics to be studied include: the concept of culture, marriage and kinship, linguistics, exchange patterns, ethnography, and rituals

ANTH 1XXX: Physical Anthropology

ANTH 2037: Anthropology of Death and Dying
A cross cultural exploration of the phenomenon of death.  We will examine how people make sense of death in a social and historical context.  Topics include the concept of death, grief and bereavement, rituals, ethical and legal issues and the Hospice movement.

ANTH 2065: Language and Culture
This course will examine the relationship between language and culture and the culture of conversation.  We will look at language as a natural resource and speaking as a cultural practice.  Utilizing an anthropological perspective, we will concentrate on socio-linguistics or how language works in everyday life.  We will also look at people who speak the same language but have problems in communication due to differences in class, age, gender and/or ethnicity.  Topics to be covered include: language acquisition, discourse analysis, language and power, linguistic relativity and American Sign Language.

ANTH 2069: Medical Anthropology
This course studies health and illness beliefs and practices in different societies around the world.  Students not only examine what individuals do, whom they consult and where they go when they get sick, but how people make sense of illness and misfortune in their world.  Class readings and discussions focus on: concepts of health and illness, healer-patient interactions, ritual healing, pain, cross cultural psychiatry, medical pluralism and global health issues such as AIDS.

ANTH 2XXX: Cultures of Centra Asia

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the study of Central Asia from anthropological and historical perspectives. Located between China, Russia, the Middle East, and India, Central Asia has a rich past and is heir to multiple and overlapping cultural layers. After surveying the impact of nomadic empires, the Silk Road, Islam, Russian/Soviet rule, and post-Soviet globalization on the history of the region, we will move on to examine post-independence attempts at nation-building, urban landscapes, reemerging patronage, commercial and labor networks, relations between minority and majority groups, the impact of the post-Soviet return of religion, ongoing reconstructions of gender relations, family life, public and private celebrations, and popular culture (film, television, and music). The course’s focus is on the five post-Soviet “stans”, though links with neighboring areas in Chinese Xinjiang, Russia, Mongolia and Afghanistan will also receive some attention.

ANTH 3024: Gender, Health and Culture
How individuals know they are sick and what they do to return to health is governed by their cultural beliefs, values and traditions.  This course examines at the relationship between culture, health and gender in different societies around the world.  We examine the economic, political and environmental factors influencing women's health.  Topics include: medicalization of the life cycle, childbirth, healers, mental health, gendered violence and international health and development.


SOC 1001: Introduction to Sociology
This course provides an overview of the broad scope of the discipline of sociology.  Basic concepts and theories will be discussed as students are introduced to the major fields of study within sociology.  The sociological perspective, as a useful view of the human condition, will serve as the central theme of the course.

SOC 1004: Introduction to Social Work
An introduction to the profession and practice of social work.  The course is taught by a professional social worker.

SOC 2000: Environmental Sociology
This course will address the relationship between society and the environment looking at how sociology can contribute to an understanding of environmental issues and how environmental issues shape sociological phenomena. We will investigate how environmental problems have roots in social processes such as culture, community, inequality, and how social forces shape how individuals and groups understand and solve environmental problems.  

SOC 2001: Gender in Global Perspective
Gender is a central aspect of our lives and it is often accepted as natural and unchanging. In this course we will adopt a sociological perspective to examine gender as a social construct. We will also explore how gender functions at the level of a social system, one that structures life chances and experiences often creating extreme inequality. Our focus will be global and will include an investigation of women’s experiences, power and status across cultures.

SOC 2006: Human Nature and Marxism
Marxist psychological theory, its philosophical foundations and scientific principles.  Recent French, Soviet, and American advances in Marxist psychology will serve as a base for discussion. 

SOC 2011: Wealth and Power in America
This course will examine institutionalized social inequality in America.  Topics include: theories of social inequality; the contemporary class structure and the distribution of opportunity; the role of elites; the rise of the middle class; the alienation of white-collar and blue-collar workers; social science and the analysis of power; class consciousness and political organization; strategies for change. 

SOC 2015: Women and Work
This course will examine the assumptions which historically have explained women's work roles, both in the unpaid domestic sphere and in the paid work force.  We will draw from classical literature and film to identify and discuss contemporary issues. 

SOC 2017: Sport and Society
This course examines the historical and social roots of American sports as well as contemporary issues of violence, big business, and racism and sexism in both amateur and professional athletics.  Special consideration is given to the development of sport and its relationship to larger society. 

SOC 2021: Race and Ethnicity
Racial and ethnic conflict and change in an historical context.  Emphasis on the United States, but a comparative, global perspective will be developed.  Specific topics include: racial and ethnic ideologies and public policy; race and class relations; ethnic mobility and the assimilation process; social scientific controversies in racial and ethnic studies; and strategies for change. 

SOC 2023: The New York Experience: Life Of A Great City
The purpose of the course is to experience the geography, sites, structures, and people of New York City's history.  It  relates the social, political, economic, and religious history of New York to the actual physical environment of streets, buildings, and neighborhoods.

SOC 2025: Urban Sociology
This course examines the historical development of cities, the socio-economic significance of the metropolis, and patterns of urban growth and decay.  In addition, problems such as gentrification, homelessness, racial and ethnic conflict, fiscal crises and trends in urban social policy will be explored.

SOC 2028: Sociology of New York City
Examines current trends in New York City as part of a worldwide social process: the wave of third world immigration; the city as the location of choice for businesses that promote globalization; local and global dynamics underlying the attack on the world trade center.  Traditional themes of urban sociology,ethnic competition, inequality, policing, public space, racial segregation, homelessness, and education, will be examined in the new context.  (Also offered as a seminar: SOC 3028)

SOC 2031: Sociology of the Family and Sex Roles
The family has become a central concern of recent politics as people debate whether it is disintegrating or simply changing, whether it oppresses women or provides them with their "natural" role.  This course will examine what forms the family has taken and the interactions between the family and the larger society.  It also will explore various political and policy issues regarding the family, such as child-care, labor force discrimination, and the problem of domestic violence.

SOC 2034: Sexuality and Society
This class will explore major issues surrounding sexuality in society.  We will situate modern American concepts of sexuality historically, politically, socially, and economically.  Areas to be covered include: 1) historical construction of sexuality, 2) sexual orientation, 3) Transgenderism, 4) eroticism, 5) pornography, 6) sex and violence, 7) politics of the body.

SOC 2038 Sociology of Youth Subcultures
This course will investigate youth subcultures using classic American and British subcultural theoretical perspectives, as well as newer cultural theories. We will study a range of historical and contemporary youth subcultures in terms of identity, resistance, style, societal relations, and various other analytic topics. 

SOC 2046: Criminal Justice in New York: Fact and Fiction   
This course offers an insider's look at criminal justice in New York City, including the influences of politics and the media; the role of forensic evidence; racial and economic perspectives on crime and punishment; the roles of prosecutors and defense lawyers. The course will involve visits to courtrooms, guest speakers and consideration of fictional treatments of criminal justice in New York.

SOC 2049: Crime, Law and Society
What behavior should be considered criminal, who really commits criminal acts and for what reasons, how does society control criminality, and what ways are available to make crime-control more just and efficient? The course will examine the political origins of criminal law, the causes of crime, the operation of the police, courts, and prisons, and the effect of race, class and gender on the judicial process.

SOC 2054: Law, Literature And Society: Women And The Law 
This course considers the legal treatment of women from a political and sociological perspective.  Topics include women's struggle for rights and their exclusion from critical public roles like owning property, voting and jury duty, workplace discrimination including sexual harassment, the role of women in the military, family issues, abuse and violence.

SOC 2064: Culture and Personality
An introduction to the study of the relationship between personality characteristics and socio-cultural and political processes.  The effects of the media, in their capacity as dominant cultural institutions, will be emphasized. 

SOC 2067: Native North American Peoples
A broad introduction to the aboriginal peoples of North America across their dynamic histories and richly varied tribal groupings, outlining the prehistory and arrival of humans in the New World and the various "culture areas" of North America.  Topics include Native American economies, kinship and family systems, leadership and political systems, ideologies, languages, and arts.

SOC 2070: Marxist Political Economy
This course looks at the basic categories and controversies in the field of political economy.  The structure and contradiction of capitalist development will be emphasized. 

SOC 2075: Models of Social and Economic Justice
This course examines the range of questions about what justice requires and permits, to which alternative and incompatible answers are often offered by contending philosophical, theological, and sociological theories of justice.  Among the questions addressed are: Does justice permit gross inequality of income and ownership? Does justice require compensatory action to remedy inequalities which are a result of past injustice, even if those who pay the costs of such compensation had no part in that injustice? Does justice permit or require programs such as affirmative action and acts of civil disobedience to correct past and present injustice? Lectures, readings, research and case studies are used to help students differentiate between and decide among the claims of rival accounts of justice which compete for our moral, social, and political allegiance.

SOC 2076: History of Social Action
This course examines the history and legacy of social movements in the United States, starting with the revolutionary movement for independence.  The abolitionist, suffrage, anti-imperialist, labor, anti racist, civil liberties, antiwar, feminist, environmental, gay/lesbian, human rights/global justice, anti death penalty struggles are among the movements to be studied.  Howard Zinn's justice, anti death penalty struggles are among the movements to be studied.  Howard Zinn's People's History of the United States will be used to provide the historical contexts for these movements.  There is also a weekly lecture series in the evening organized to run parallel with the course, with leading activists talking about their experiences in many of the movements studied in class.

SOC 2078: Social Problems
An examination of major social issues from a sociological perspective.  Topics will include: corporate power, inequalities of race, gender and class; the changing structure of work; crime and punishment; homelessness; poverty and social welfare; the media, ideology and public policy; and the role of government in addressing social problems.

SOC 2091: Social Science Research
This course offers an overview of research methods used in social science investigation which helps students prepare a proposal for research.  The proposal will serve as a basis for the Senior Advanced Research Seminar.  The following will be included in the proposal: overall description of the project, including:
· a thesis statement
· a review of the literature
· a preliminary statement of the general research question and the methods which will be used
· a tentative bibliography  (Spring)

SOC 2092: Quantitative Social Measurement
An introduction to the production, use and interpretation of quantitative data in sociology and in popular media.  The course is composed of three parts.  First, techniques: statistical techniques; chart and graph construction; visual modes of presentation.  Second the central role of marketing firms and government agencies in the production of data.  Third, issues in the philosophy of social science: quantitative/qualitative distinction and the influence of the physical sciences in the making of sociology.

SOC 3000: Latin American Social Movements
In this course we will learn about Latin American social movements by engaging with theoretical concepts and approaches used by scholars of social movements. We will adopt a political-economic lens to first understand the context in which people mobilize. We will question the role of globalization along with race, ethnicity, class, gender, and nation as important variables in modern Latin American social movements. As we learn about different kinds of social movements we will continually consider what social movements are, what they do, and what we can reasonably expect them to achieve.

SOC 3003: Classical Social Theory
This course will study Karl Marx, Max Weber and Emile Durkheim, early sociological masters who profoundly influenced contemporary social theorists and researchers.  Each developed a perspective (class, bureaucracy and division of labor) for analyzing the new industrial order that was forming around them in Europe.  Major writings of each will be examined. 

SOC 3005: Contemporary Social Theory
This course will explore the relationship between social groups and contemporary social institutions, processes, and products. We will cover early modern and contemporary theories, emphasizing their applicability to our lives and our social world.  

SOC 3006: Sociology of Knowledge
This course investigates ideas, meanings, values, and conscious-ness within the context of the social structures and conditions in which they originate.  Its emphasis is on how ideas, once created, are maintained or changed. 

SOC  3007: Globalization and Social Change
The aim is to develop a sociological perspective that will help make sense of social changes that are worldwide in nature.  Themes include: different meanings of globalization; Americanization and global cultures; wealth and poverty in world-historical perspective; globalization of violence; and efforts to change the world from below that reach across national boundaries.  Emphasis will be placed on the historical context in which social change unfolds. 

SOC 3008: World Cities
Current and historical survey of world cities in the making of global culture.  The course is centered on a series of urban places: Venice, Amsterdam, London, New York, Calcutta, Sao Paulo, Mexico City, Istanbul, Lagos, and Jakarta.  Special attention will be given to the social.  Political, and economic life of cities in the context of North/South inequality.  New direct-ions in urban thought and social theory will be explored.

SOC 3020: Sociology of Food
This seminar will explore the connections between food and the global environment, politics, identity, and culture. We will study individual food choices and larger social forces, including the cultural meanings of food production, distribution, preparation and consumption.  

SOC 3023: Racial Oppression
This course examines the following aspects of U.S. racism:
1) the role of racism in advancing reactionary domestic and foreign policies; 2) the impact of social and economic policies on the Black, Hispanic, and Native American communities; 3) the racist features of U.S. policies for Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and the Far East; and 4) the forms of domestic and international opposition to racism.

SOC 3026: Ethnography
This class examines ethnography used in sociology and anthropology as a way to study communities and culture. We will explore critically the issues, ethics, and techniques of ethnographic fieldwork, with primary emphasis on participant observation. The course will combine readings of ethnographies, fieldwork methods, hands-on work in "doing ethnography" and writing an ethnography from primary data collection. Students will learn about research design, gathering data and analyzing data. Prerequisite: SOC 1001, Introduction to Sociology or ANTH 1050 Cultural Anthropology.

SOC 3050: Mass Media and Society
An examination of the social, political, and economic contexts in which American mass media have developed and operate today.  Topics include: concentration of media ownership and control; the effects of political economy, ideology, and organizational structure on news management; the media's role in movements for social change in the U.S. and Third World; personal and political con-sequences of media practice; alternatives to the current structure of the media. 

SOC 3073: Women and the Law
The legal treatment of women from a sociological perspective.  Topics include: the exclusion of women from critical public roles like owning property, voting and jury duty; workplace discrimination including sexual harassment; the role of women in the military; abuse and violence; and family issues.

SOC 3081: Education and Society
Many view education as the major vehicle for upward mobility.  Others understand that education is a means of creating and perpetuating social inequality.  This course will address the debate in light of the history of education in the U.S. and in light of the relationship of education to other social institutions in our country, with special consideration given to the correlation between the educational system and adult achievement, taking into consideration class, race, and gender. 

SOC 3083: Animals and Society
This seminar explores the social relationships between humans and animals. We will investigate animals in social institutions such as the family, science, agriculture, entertainment, health, and education as well as the intersection of animals, culture and identity in terms of race and gender. We will also examine the efforts of social movements for animal protections and rights.  

SOC 3085: Science, Technology and Society
The social construction of science and technology.  Topics include: entrepreneurial science; the demise of the independent inventor and the rise of corporate sponsorship; the role of the new information technologies in the transformation of communications; the impact of technology on work and career; technology and culture; and science, technology, and social control. 

SOC 3088: Images of Women in American Popular Culture
An exploration of how images of women in popular culture both perpetuate stereotypes and, at the same time, create new images which maintain deceptive distinctions.  This course will look at women in the workplace, in the media and in the arts, using both traditional and non-traditional approaches. 

SOC 3091: Advanced Research Seminar
Students will execute, in consultation and supervision with department faculty, a completed research project in an area of student interest.  The student's research proposal must be approved before the student enrolls in this course.  During the course, students may work in conjunction with ongoing faculty research or in off-campus projects, depending on available opportunities. 

SOC 3186 Indigenous Peoples
This course will introduce students to the study of indigenous peoples in a global context. We will address how colonialism, globalization, and development impact the contemporary struggles for indigenous nations and peoples. These struggles include the fight for collective rights, autonomy, and territory. Among the themes explored are: definitions of indigenous identity, indigenous ways of knowing, indigenous sovereignty and self-determination, indigenous rights, and indigenous movements.

SOC 4020 Topics in Social Action
This course is a one-credit seminar offered in conjunction with the Connie Hogarth Center for Social Action’s lecture series. This series invites activists engaged in various issues to campus to broaden perspectives and deepen understandings of the problems we face and the ways people and communities are working to bring about positive social change. Students are expected to attend the lecture series and write reflections on the information shared during the series. This class is offered only on a pass/fail basis.

WST 1040: Women and Society: An Introduction to Women's Studies
This course is required for Women's Studies minors. It is an inter-disciplinary course that examines the competing explanations for women's subordination and the institutionalization of gender expectations.