SOC 102
SOC 102 - Soc Perspective: Intro to Soc

Thinking sociologically enables us to understand the intersection of our individual lives with larger social issues and to grasp how the social world works. Students in this course will become familiar with the background of sociology and the core analytical concepts employed by sociologists. Students will also gain familiarity with the major substantive topics explored by sociology, with focused attention given to the study of social structures, material, cultural, and institutional explanations of social action, and using concepts for real world problem solving.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Cushman

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

SOC 103
SOC 103 - Criminal Justice Systems

This course focuses on case studies of criminal justice systems in action, particularly during periods of stress and transition.  By exploring these cases, we will achieve two goals. The first is to introduce the main actors, institutions, roles and relationships that characterize the criminal justice system, including the police, prosecutors, judges, prisons, probation and parole officers, and the individuals involved in the juvenile justice system. The second goal is to examine the key challenges and reforms facing the criminal justice system including corruption, legitimacy and trust, effectiveness, discrimination, mass incarceration and its alternatives. We will begin with a case study of Ferguson Missouri, before turning to Boston, New York City, rural communities, and elsewhere including at least international case.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 30

Prerequisites: Not open to students who have taken SOC 211.

Instructor: Kaliner

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes:

SOC 104Y
SOC 104Y/ WGST 104Y - FYS: The Body

This course explores the ways in which the body, as a reflection and construction of the self, is tied to social, cultural and political relations. Through this examination of the role that our bodies play in daily life we will delve into the study of gender, race, sexuality and power. We focus on several major areas: (1) after Roe and the medicalization of bodies (contraception, abortion, new reproductive technologies), (2) sex education and the Internet as sites of bodily learning (3) body work (nail salons, surrogacy) (4) the use of the body as a vehicle for performance, self-expression and identity (drag queens, fashion). Throughout the course we will discuss how ideas about bodies are transported across national borders and social, sexual and class hierarchies.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 12

Crosslisted Courses: SOC 10 4Y

Prerequisites: None.

Instructor: Hertz

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes:

SOC 105
SOC 105 - Doing Sociology Real World

What do your friend's social media postings tell you about the way they want to be seen in the world? What can you learn about poverty in the United States by observing a city like Boston? What do TV shows tell you about our societal beliefs about the haves and the have-nots? This course introduces students to sociology by studying U.S. economic stratification through an intersectional lens. We will learn to uncover patterns of inclusion and exclusion and illuminate the invisible ways that power seems to operate. Additionally, we will explore the simultaneous impact of race, gender, sexuality (and other identities) on economic insecurity. Topics in this course include historical understandings of poverty; intergenerational class mobility; depictions of poverty in pop culture; and bringing attention to populations that often get left out of mainstream conversations about poverty. 

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites:

Instructor:

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

SOC 108
SOC 108 - Thinking Global: Intro Sociology

How are your personal problems related to larger issues in society and the world? In what ways do global economic and political shifts affect your personal trajectory as a college student in the United States? In this course, you will come to understand sociology as a unique set of tools with which to interpret your relationship to a broader sociopolitical landscape. By integrating classic readings in the discipline of sociology with the principles of global political economy, we will analyze and contextualize a range of social, economic, and political phenomena at the scales of the global, the national, the local, and the individual.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 30

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: S. Radhakrishnan

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

SOC 137
SOC 137 - Reading Sociology

What do we learn about class, race, and gender by reading novels? What difference does it make when we read about these ideas rather than watching programs about them on TV? This course treats novels, short stories, poems, films, and radio and television programs as sociological texts. We will read and analyze them together to learn new concepts, methods, and analytical approaches. Class projects include debates, "author" interviews, and a creative writing project.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites:

Instructor: Levitt

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

SOC 138
SOC 138 - Intro Soc: Deviance & Conformity

Why are some behaviors, differences, and people considered deviant or stigmatized while others are not? This introductory sociology course examines several theories of social deviance that offer different answers to this question. We will focus on the creation of deviant categories and persons as interactive processes involving how behaviors are labeled as deviant, how people enter deviant roles, how others respond to deviance, and how those labeled as deviant cope with these responses. We will also explore efforts to reform or abolish systems in the US criminal justice network.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: TBA

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

SOC 150
SOC 150 - The Individual and Society

Examination of the idea of the individual, the concept of individuality, and the ideology of individualism in comparative-historical perspective. Focus on social conceptions of the individual; free-will versus determinism; the social nature of mind and self; the role of the individual in social change; the state and the individual; tensions between individualism and collectivism; the quest for individuality and authenticity in the modern world. Draws on classic and contemporary works in sociology in an interdisciplinary framework.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: Open to First-Years and Sophomores.

Instructor: Cushman

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis; EC - Epistemology and Cognition

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes:

SOC 190
ECON 103/ SOC 190 - Intro Prob & Stat Methods

An introduction to the collection, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of quantitative data as used to understand problems in economics and sociology. Using examples drawn from these fields, this course focuses on basic concepts in probability and statistics, such as measures of central tendency and dispersion, hypothesis testing, and parameter estimation. Data analysis exercises are drawn from both academic and everyday applications.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 30

Crosslisted Courses: SOC 190

Prerequisites: ECON 101 or one course in sociology. Fulfillment of the Quantitative Reasoning (QR) component of the Quantitative Reasoning & Data Literacy requirement. Not open to students who have taken or are taking STAT 160, STAT 218, PSYC 105 or PSYC 205.

Instructor: Levine, McKnight, Swingle (Sociology)

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Degree Requirements: DL - Data Literacy (Formerly QRF); DL - Data Literacy (Formerly QRDL)

Typical Periods Offered: Summer; Spring; Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring; Fall

Notes:

SOC 200
SOC 200 - Sociological Theory: A Critical History

What is sociological theory and what work does theory do in sociology? What makes a theory useful? Which theories shape research agendas and why? The modern discipline of sociology primarily traces its origins to the 19th and early 20th centuries, when social scientists were grappling with the social upheavals of colonialism, industrial capitalism, urbanization, changing forms of governance, and the scientization of society. Placing key authors from this era in their historical context, this course takes a critical perspective to examine the origins of some of the foundational concepts that have shaped the history of sociology as a discipline: solidarity, authority, domination, class, nationalism, exploitation, justice, revolution, and more. As we work to understand the ideas of early sociologists, we will consider how their institutional locations shaped their understandings of the role of sociology as a theoretical and/or applied science, with special attention given to the roles race and gender have played in shaping the history of sociological theory. This will lead us to engage in critical examination of later processes of canonization that designated some works as “classics” and shaped our definitions of sociology and sociological theory. 

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 20

Prerequisites: One 100- or 200-level unit in sociology.

Instructor: Rutherford

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

SOC 201
SOC 201 - Critical Theory

Critical theories question power, domination, and the status quo. They aim to critique and change society by uncovering the assumptions that keep humans from a full and true understanding of how the world works. In this course, we will examine several different bodies of critical theories, evaluating how these theories explain and offer practical solutions to social problems. Beginning with Marx’s historical materialism and critique of capitalism, we will trace Marx’s influence through the Frankfurt School’s critique of culture and Bourdieu’s critiques of symbolic power. From there we will turn to the social critiques of feminist theory, Critical Race Theory, and post-colonial theory. Through all of these theories, we will seek to understand: What are the possibilities for true human freedom?

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 20

Prerequisites: At least one 100- or 200-level unit in sociology, with SOC 200 strongly recommended

Instructor: Rutherford

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes: This course can fulfill the requirement of a second course in social theory for the sociology major but is open to all interested students.

SOC 202
SOC 202 - Human Rights in Global Context

The human rights mechanism is one of the most powerful frameworks for promoting freedom and protection in the contemporary world. This course examines key theories and concepts in human rights and the ways in which these theories have been put into practice in a variety of social and cultural contexts. Drawing on an interdisciplinary framework from the social sciences and legal and historical analysis we seek to explore questions and tensions in the field of human rights. Where do human rights come from? How do different human rights ideas reflect different ideas of freedom? What do rights claims demand of others by way of duties? Are there such things as universal rights, or are rights culturally specific? Are human rights a form of cultural imperialism? Are individual rights compatible with group rights? Do minority groups have special rights over an against majority groups and, if so, why? What are the origins of human rights organizations and what are their strategies for mobilization on behalf of endangered human beings? The course aims to provide strong consideration of international human rights law as a major mechanism for the advancement of human rights.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Cushman

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

SOC 204
SOC 204 - Social Problems

This course investigates why certain problems become matters of significant public and policymaking concern while others do not. We do not focus on a predefined list of social problems but rather on the process by which some issues capture more attention than others. Our discussions analyze the actions of those institutions involved either in calling public attention to or distracting public attention away from particular problems in our society. This focus enables students to acquire a perspective toward social problems that they are unlikely to gain from the many other forums where people discuss social problems, such as journalism or politics.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Silver

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Typical Periods Offered: Summer

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

SOC 205
SOC 205/ WGST 211 - Mod Families & Social Inequalities

Feminist scholarship demonstrates that American family life needs to be viewed through two lenses: one that highlights the embeddedness of family in class, race, heteronormativity, gender inequalities and another that draws our attention to historical developments – such as the aftermath of World War 2, technologies and government social policies. In 2015 same-sex marriage became U.S. federal law; but at the same time fewer people are marrying and parenthood is delayed. Moreover, new reproductive technologies coupled with the Internet and the wish for intimacy is creating unprecedented families. Topics covered vary yearly but include: inequalities around employment, the home front and childcare; intensive motherhood, social class and cultural capital; welfare to work programs; immigrant families and the American Dream. Finally, we will explore new developments from adoption to gamete donors by same-sex or single-parent families and how science and technologies are facilitating the creation of new kinds of kin. A special feature of this class is looking at the relationship of families and social policy.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Crosslisted Courses: SOC 20 5

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Hertz

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes:

SOC 206
SOC 206 - Muslims in the West

This course examines the sociology, experiences, adaptations, and challenges of Muslim communities in the contemporary world, especially in the United States and Western Europe. It will study current debates that frame the relationships between Islam and the Western world in academic, policy, and socio-religious circles, addressing such critical questions as: “What are the primary debates between Muslims and the West?” “Between Islam and modernity?" “What is the role of women in Muslim communities?” “The range of Muslim views of democracy, religious freedom, pluralism, and human rights?” “What are the roots of Islamophobia and its various forms?” It will also consider everyday aspects of Muslim life in the West: identity construction, wearing hijab, cultural integration, education, family life, etc. Evidence will be drawn from a broad spectrum of Muslim discourses and experiences from those of fundamentalists to liberal Muslims.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 30

Prerequisites:

Instructor:

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

SOC 207
EDUC 207/ PEAC 207/ SOC 207 - Schools and Society

Does education in the United States encourage social mobility or help to reproduce the socioeconomic hierarchy? What is the hidden curriculum—the ideas, values, and skills that students learn at school that are not in the textbook? Who determines what gets taught in school? How do schools in the US compare to school systems in other countries?  What makes school reform so hard to do?

Questions like these drive this course. It offers students an introduction to the sociology of education by broadly exploring the role of education in American society. The course covers key sociological perspectives on education, including conflict theory, functionalism, and human and cultural capital. Other topics include schools and communities; the role of teachers, students, parents, mentors, and peers in educational inequalities (including tracking and measures of achievement), school violence, school reform, and knowledge production. We also look comparatively at education systems across the world.
 

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 30

Crosslisted Courses: PEAC 20 7,EDUC 20 7

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Levitt

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

SOC 208
SOC 208 - Technology: Progress/Pwr/Probs

This course examines technology as a dynamic yet fundamental force in our society – shaping progress, power relations, and social problems and inequalities. Students will be introduced to sociological perspectives on technology, exploring the changing nature of technology and its impact on society both historically and in the contemporary world. By examining specific kinds of technologies, including digital media and the Internet, military technologies, technologies of production, and reproductive technologies, we will address the question of how technologies are shaped by the social context in which they developed. Key to this course will be understanding the relationship between technology and forms of social inequalities – including race, gender, disability, and class. The course examines the relationships between technology, the environment, the body, media, war, and economy. .

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 30

Prerequisites: None

Instructor:

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

SOC 209
PEAC 219/ SOC 209 - Social Inequality

This course examines the distribution of social resources to groups and individuals, as well as theoretical explanations of how unequal patterns of distribution are produced, maintained, and challenged. Special consideration will be given to how race, ethnicity, and gender intersect with social class to produce different life experiences for people in various groups in the United States, with particular emphasis on disparities in education, health care, and criminal justice. Consideration will also be given to policy initiatives designed to reduce social inequalities and alleviate poverty.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Crosslisted Courses: PEAC 219

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Rutherford

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

SOC 210
SOC 210 - Social Movements Global

Why do people protest and organize to change the world around them? How do social movements operate, and why do some succeed while others fail? How do the powerful respond to protest movements? This class examines the origins, dynamics, and consequences of social movements on three levels. First, the course is grounded in the sociological perspective, looking at movements’ emergence, recruitment mechanisms, leadership, interactions, tactical repertoires, and framing processes, and so on. Second, we see these concepts in action through a global tour of activist hotspots, from the Arab Spring to Central American revolutionaries to Black Lives Matters. Finally, students learn directly by conducting original research and writing their own case study on a social movement of their choosing.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 30

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Kaliner

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

SOC 211
SOC 211 - Intro to Criminology

This course offers an introduction to criminology, or the study of law making, law breaking, and societal reactions to violations of law. This expansive view of criminology sets up a series of fundamental questions: What motivates an individual to commit a criminal act? How is that act classified as criminal in the first place? What can government and society do to effectively prevent or control crime? And why do crime rates vary so widely across societies and across time? To address these, we turn to classic and contemporary criminological research and theory, engaging critically with the discipline’s major statements, paradigms, and key investigations. We will start with the challenge of defining crime, then explore patterns and trends in crime, before focusing on the competing conceptual explanations of criminal activity, criminal classification, and broader societal issues related to crime.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 30

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Kaliner

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

SOC 212
SOC 212 - Marriage and the Family

This course explores how marriage and the family have evolved over the past century, the changes both are undergoing now, and what the future may have in store for these two social institutions. The course will focus on the U.S. but students will be encouraged to make international comparisons. Using a variety of both scholarly and popular sources, we will explore cultural understandings of marriage and family life and topics like romantic love, Cinderella weddings, the nuclear family ideal, the Supermom syndrome, and the legal fight for gay marriage. Family diversity and variation are recurring themes throughout the course and particular attention will be paid to social class differences in family life and marriage, alternatives to the nuclear family like cohabitation and non-marriage, and the consequences of different living arrangements to individuals as well as to society as a whole. A primary goal of the course is to distinguish between the facts and many fictions surrounding family and marriage in contemporary society. In the process, the course will introduce the richness of the sociological approach and its use of surveys, in-depth interviews, analyses of film and literature, and other methodologies for understanding the family. ?

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 30

Prerequisites:

Instructor: Swingle

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

SOC 213
SOC 213 - Organizations and Society

This course surveys the development of the modern organization and organizational analysis, with a focus on corporate strategy and managing employees. We live in a world of organizations: organizations drive the economy, innovation, and our careers, but are also the arenas in which policy issues like discrimination, harassment, and equity are raised, fought over, and ultimately implemented. We will read business case studies, management theory, and social scientific analysis to chart how organizations respond to internal and external challenges, how they succeed and when they fail. The focus in on for-profit corporations, but we will explore other complex organizations, from churches to governments to NGOs, and study the transformation of firms from conglomerates to networks. Students will write a case study of their own based on original research.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 30

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Kaliner

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

SOC 214
SOC 214 - Medicine as a Profession & Vocation

Two abiding tensions exist in the making of a physician. The first is between the humanistic and scientific sides of medicine, and the second is between defining the sociological foundation of medical practice and understanding the promise and limits of that foundation. A basic introduction to the sociology of the medical profession (applicable to the MCAT) will be offered in conjunction with a focus on physicians' self-reporting on the nature of their vocation.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Imber

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes:

SOC 220
AMST 220/ SOC 220 - Liberty and Morality

Among the various challenges that face democratic societies committed to the ideal of pluralism and its representations in both individuals and institutions, is what is meant by the term "liberty". Among those who identify as conservative, the concept of liberty has over time been addressed in ways that seek to impose order on both individual and institutional behavior or what some conservatives refer to as "ordered liberty". Classical liberal views of liberty stress the removal of external constraints on human behavior as the key to maximizing individual agency, autonomy and selfhood. This course examines the historical and sociological debates and tensions surrounding different visions of liberty. Focus on case studies of contentious social issues that are at the center of public debates, including freedom of expression; race and ethnicity; criminality; sexuality; gender; social class, religion, and the war on drugs.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 30

Crosslisted Courses: AMST 220

Prerequisites: None.

Instructor: Cushman, Imber

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

SOC 223
SOC 223 - Feminist Geopolitics

How do our bodies and everyday experiences reflect and (re)produce geopolitical relations? How do militarized discourse and technologies shape our sense of (in)security in the world and at home? How is war gendered and how does gender become militarized? This course considers how war and militarism are intimately intertwined with our everyday lives. Drawing on scholarship from political sociology and geography, with a particular focus on feminist geopolitics, we will examine how war and militarism inform contemporary political governance across a variety of sites and scales, including our state institutions, economies, bodies, homes, and emotions.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Prerequisites: None.

Instructor: Hopkins

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

SOC 225
AMST 225/ SOC 225 - Urban Studies and Policy

This course will introduce students to core readings in the field of urban studies. While the course will focus on cities in the United States, we will also look comparatively at the urban experience in Asia, Africa, and Latin America and cover debates on “global cities.” Topics will include the changing nature of community, social inequality, political power, socio-spatial change, technological change, and the relationship between the built environment and human behavior. We will examine the key theoretical paradigms driving this field since its inception, assess how and why they have changed over time, and discuss the implications of these shifts for urban scholarship and social policy. The course will include fieldwork in Boston and presentations by city government practitioners.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 30

Crosslisted Courses: AMST 225

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Kaliner

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

SOC 226
SOC 226 - Building Community

What makes community possible? Where does our sense of belonging come from? How do communities attract and change us? How do communities socialize us to be good members or shape our beliefs? Sociological theorists have wrestled with these questions of community from the beginnings of the discipline. This applied theory course examines group formation via theoretical frameworks and thematic case studies of several types of natural and intentional communities, starting with the most intimate and face-to-face communities, friendship and marriage, before exploring important larger communities, including new religious movements, communes, and social movements. We will use these cases to compare various perspectives on the promises and pitfalls of social life in community. Students will apply theoretical frameworks to analyze each group, and conclude by analyzing the potential for community in the post-pandemic world. Note: This course can fulfill the requirement of a second course in social theory for the sociology major but is open to all interested students.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Kaliner

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes:

SOC 229
SOC 229 - Indebted Lives

This course considers how debt and indebtedness shape contemporary social life and governance.  We will examine how scholars have understood debt as—in addition to a financial obligation—a historically situated relation of power that influences societies in myriad ways.  We will consider the creation of debt and experiences of indebtedness across a range of interlinked scales, including those of the transnational, nation-state, family, and individual, and in respect to class, race, gender, and age.  Case studies might include medical, educational, housing, and carceral debts in the US; sovereign debt, structural adjustment loans, and international financial institutions; legacies of colonial debts in the present; and practices of debt resistance. We will work to interlink and contextualize case studies within an understanding of both how states and transnational institutions mobilize debt to govern labor and how the experience of indebtedness is intimately embodied in our everyday lives.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Prerequisites: None.

Instructor: Hopkins

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes:

SOC 232
SAS 232/ SOC 232 - South Asian Diasporas

If any mention of South Asian culture conjures for you Bollywood films, Bharatanatyam dancers, and Google engineers, then this course will prompt you to reconsider. Adopting a sociological perspective that examines culture from the specific context of migration, we will study the histories of Punjabi-Mexican families in California, Gujarati motel owners across the United States, South African Indians at the end of apartheid, and Bangladeshi garment workers in London’s East End, among others. Through our study, we develop a nuanced understanding of race, culture, migration, and upward mobility in the United States and beyond, while also considering the power of mobile South Asian cultures, including movies, music, dance, and religion.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Crosslisted Courses: SAS 232

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: S. Radhakrishnan

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes:

SOC 241
AMST 241/ SOC 241 - A Nation in Therapy

What is therapy? Although historically tied to the values and goals of medicine, the roles that therapy and therapeutic culture play in defining life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are now ubiquitous. The impact of therapeutic culture on every major social institution, including the family, education, and the law, has created a steady stream of controversy about the ways in which Americans in particular make judgements about right and wrong, about others, and about themselves. Are Americans obsessed with their well being? Is there a type of humor specific to therapeutic culture? This course provides a broad survey of the triumph of the therapeutic and the insights into the character and culture that triumph reveals.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 30

Crosslisted Courses: AMST 241

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Imber

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes:

SOC 246
AMST 246/ SOC 246 - How Immigration is Changing the US and the World

We live in a world on the move. Nearly one out of every seven people in the world today is an international or internal migrant who moves by force or by choice. In the United States, immigrants and their children make up nearly 25 percent of the population. This course looks at migration to the United States from a transnational perspective and then looks comparatively at other countries of settlement. We use Framingham as a lab for exploring race and ethnicity, immigration incorporation, and transnational practices. Fieldwork projects will examine how immigration affects the economy, politics, and religion and how the town is changing in response. We will also track contemporary debates around immigration policy.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 30

Crosslisted Courses: AMST 246

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Levitt

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

SOC 251
AMST 251/ SOC 251 - Racial Regimes in US & Beyond

How can we understand the mechanisms and effects of racial domination in our society? In this class, we develop a sociological understanding of race through historical study of four racial regimes in the United States: slavery, empire, segregation, and the carceral state. We relate the U.S. experience to racial regimes in other parts of the world, including British colonialism, the Jewish ghetto in Renaissance Venice, and apartheid and post-apartheid states in South Africa, among other contexts. Thus, we develop a comparative, global understanding of race and power. We conclude with a hands-on group media project engaging a relevant contemporary issue.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Crosslisted Courses: AMST 251

Prerequisites: At least one social science course required.

Instructor: S. Radhakrishnan

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

SOC 252
SOC 252 - Emotions and Society

This course examines the most important classical and contemporary sociological work in the sociology of emotions. Topics include: the social and collective nature of emotions; the role of emotions in social interaction; the social control of emotion in organizational settings; emotional energies in institutional settings; the role of emotions in social movements and social change; the tactical use of emotion in social interaction; and the relation between emotion and reason in argumentation, mass media, and social media. Student will engage in research projects on emotions in various social settings.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 20

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Cushman

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

SOC 260
SOC 260 - Dissent & Freedom of Expression

Freedom of expression is considered one of the most fundamental human rights. Why is this the case? Why are people willing to suffer, fight, and die and to protect the right of freedom of expression? Why is freedom of expression so dangerous to those with political and social power? How do powerful elites mobilize against dissent and dissidents? What is the role of charismatic individuals and freedom of expression in social change? This course examines sociological theories of communication and freedom of expression; the idea of “civil courage” and its relation to social change; the origins of dissent and dissidents in comparative-historical perspective. Emphasis is on case studies of dissent and dissidents in authoritarian societies of the 20th and early 21st centuries in order to understand, sociologically, the elementary forms of dissent and “the dissident life.” The course introduces students to the life-history method of social research in examining case studies of dissent.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Cushman

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

SOC 290
SOC 290 - Methods of Social Research

This course introduces some of the more prominent qualitative and quantitative methods used by sociologists to study the social world. The course emphasizes hands-on experience with several small-scale research projects with the goal of teaching students how to 1) integrate social theory with research methods, 2) ask good research questions, 3) define key concepts, 4) choose appropriate samples, 5) collect high-quality data in an ethical manner, 6) analyze data, and 7) write formal research papers. A section of this course will build upon the statistics learned in SOC 190, but statistics will not be the main focus.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Prerequisites: ECON 103/SOC 190 or permission of the instructor. Required of all sociology majors. Not open to students who have taken SOC 301.

Instructor: Swingle

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes:

SOC 302
SOC 302 - Sem: Human Rights / Freedom

This seminar is an interdisciplinary examination of human rights as a central organizing principle for action to protect the vulnerable and  advance the cause of human freedom.  We explore the idea of freedom with a comparative approach focusing on how various conceptions of human rights and ideas of  freedom emerge to meet changing social conditions at various points in history and in different cultures. Particular emphasis is given to central  debates and questions in theories of human rights and the sociology of freedom:  How do competing conceptions of human rights reflect different ideas about human freedom?  Are human rights universal or are they forms of cultural imperialism? Do we even need ideas of human rights to help others?  Can there ever be a global consensus about what the most important human  rights are? How do  different cultures with different  ideas about freedom engage with each other?  What are the strengths and limitations of human rights as a model for social change? How do human rights organizations operate and what are some of the unanticipated consequences of their activism on behalf of others?   The seminar relies on case studies of each of the topics and students will be expected to write a final research paper that offers an in-depth analysis of a human rights issue of their choosing.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: Minimum of any two 200 level classes in sociology, anthropology, history or philosophy.

Instructor: Cushman

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

SOC 304
SOC 304 - Sem: Modernity & Social Change

This seminar focuses on sociological theories of modernity that seek to understand changes in a variety of social and cultural spheres in global perspective. Substantive questions and themes include the rise of individuality in modern societies;  the quest for sincerity and authenticity in personal life; tensions between individualism and collectivism; ideological conformity and the problem of freedom; cultural narcissism and the postponement of adulthood; the sociology of knowledge and  "post-truth" society;  the rise of populism and the politics of resentment; and the sociology of modern love.

This course fulfills one of the theory requirements for the Sociology major but is open to all interested students.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: At least one of the following is recommended - SOC 150, SOC 200, SOC 201.

Instructor: Cushman

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes:

SOC 306
SOC 306/ WGST 306 - Sem: Women Leaders at Work

More women leaders are in work settings and public office than any prior point in history. However, the fraction of women who are CEOs, board members of major corporations, heads of state and elected representatives in global assemblies remains shockingly small by comparison to the sheer numbers of women workers, consumers, and family decision makers. This course will examine the way that gender, race, and class shape women's access to positions of leadership and power at work. Questions to be considered include: (1) Why are there so few women leaders in work settings? (2) What can we learn about leadership from women who have achieved it? Four modules for the course are (1) Strategies developed by women who lead; (2) Efforts to achieve parity through policies, e.g., glass ceilings, affirmative action; (3) Tensions between work, family and carework; and (4) Profiles of Productive Rule Breakers. Students will research women leaders in all sectors and countries.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Crosslisted Courses: SOC 30 6

Prerequisites: Open to Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors. Priority will be given to SOC and WGST majors and minors.

Instructor: Hertz

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

SOC 308
EDUC 308/ SOC 308 - Seminar: Children in Society

This seminar will focus upon children and youth as both objects and subjects within societies. Beginning with consideration of the social construction of childhood, the course will examine the images, ideas, and expectations that constitute childhoods in various historical and cultural contexts. We will also consider the roles of children as social actors who contribute to and construct social worlds of their own. Specific topics to be covered include the historical development of childhood as a distinct phase of life, children's peer cultures, children and work, children's use of public spaces, children's intersectional experiences of inequality, and the effects of consumer culture upon children. Considerable attention will be given to the dynamics of the social institutions most directly affecting childhood today: the family, education, and the state.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Crosslisted Courses: EDUC 30 8

Prerequisites: Open to Juniors and Seniors with one 100- or 200-level sociology course, or permission of instructor.

Instructor: Rutherford

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes: Ann E. Maurer '51 Speaking Intensive Course

SOC 309
SOC 309 - Nations in Global Perspective

In a seemingly borderless world full of hyphenated identities, do nations still matter? How and why are nations built and sustained? This course examines these questions with attention to race, class, and gender as interlocking systems of power, and utilizes the theoretical toolkits of feminism, post-colonial theory, and global sociology. We examine Native American, immigrant, and Black forms of belonging in the United States in relation to indigenous and post-colonial movements in various countries of the world, including India and South Africa, among others.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 16

Prerequisites: At least one social science course, or permission of the instructor.

Instructor: S. Radhakrishnan

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes: Ann E. Maurer '51 Speaking Intensive Course.

SOC 310
AFR 310/ SOC 310 - Sem: Reading DuBois

This seminar examines various works of W.E.B. Du Bois within their historical, social, and cultural contexts. Although this course will pay special attention to Du Bois's literary endeavors, it will also examine his concept of race and color and his approaches to colonialism, civil rights, and politics. This seminar will examine The Souls of Black Folk, Darkwater, John Brown, The Autobiography of W.E.B. Du Bois, and The Suppression of the African Slave-Trade as well as some of his poems and other fiction.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 20

Crosslisted Courses: SOC 310

Prerequisites: One 200-level course of relevance to Africana Studies or permission of the instructor.

Instructor: Cudjoe

Distribution Requirements: LL - Language and Literature

Typical Periods Offered: Every other year

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

SOC 311
SOC 311/ WGST 311 - Sem: Family and Gender Studies

This course examines the politics facing contemporary U.S. families and potential policy directions at the State and Federal Levels. Discussion of the transformation of American families including changing economic and social expectations for parents, inequality between spouses, choices women make about children and employment, daycare and familial care giving, welfare and underemployment, and new American dreams will be explored. Changing policies regarding welfare and teen pregnancy will also be examined as part of government incentives to promote self-sufficient families. Expanding family (i.e. single mothers by choice, lesbian/gay/trans families) through the use of new reproductive technologies is emphasized as examples of legislative reform and the confusion surrounding genetic and social kinship is explored. Comparisons to other contemporary societies will serve as foils for particular analyses. Students will learn several types of research methodologies through course assignments. Student groups will also produce an original social policy case.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Crosslisted Courses: SOC 311

Prerequisites: One 100 level and one 200 level course in either WGST or Sociology. Open to Juniors and Seniors; to Sophomores by permission of the instructor.

Instructor: Hertz

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

SOC 312
EDUC 321/ PEAC 312/ SOC 312 - Sem: Global Social Theory

Cultural and intellectual life is still dominated by the West. Although we recognize the importance of globalizing scholarship, our research and teaching still prioritizes western canons and frameworks. Cultural and intellectual inequality are part and parcel of socioeconomic inequality. If we don’t do better at one, we will not do better at the other. We need to master a broader range of methods, tools, and ways of knowing. In this class, Wellesley College students work with students and faculty from Latin America, Asia, and Africa to explore what it means to produce, disseminate, teach about, and act upon knowledge more equitably in different parts of the world. Our goals are to (1) learn to read power in physical, intellectual, virtual, and cultural spaces by witnessing, evaluating, and then acting, (2) gain exposure to ways of asking and answering questions outside the West, (3) reread classical theories in context to explore how we can reinterpret their usefulness and meaning, (4) understand and develop new engaged and critical pedagogies and forms of education, and (5) promote a Southern attitude, that charts more equitable and inclusive forms of intellectual engagement and collaboration. 

This course may serve as a capstone seminar for Peace and Justice majors and minors.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Crosslisted Courses: PEAC 312,EDUC 321

Prerequisites: At least two 200-level or above courses in the social sciences including Peace and Justice Studies.

Instructor: Levitt

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

SOC 314
SOC 314 - Med Sociol & Soc Epidemiology

Concerns about the health of communities date back to antiquity. Social epidemiology is the study of the incidence and distribution of disease among populations. This course offers historical, sociological, and ethical perspectives on the uses of epidemiology as it emerged from an age defined principally by infectious disease to one of chronic illness. What are the social and collective responses to pandemics, real and imagined? Case studies address in particular global public health issues, including smoking, nutrition, AIDS, mad cow disease, and influenza, among others. Both governmental and nongovernmental approaches to health, including the World Health Organization and Doctors Without Borders, are considered. Special attention is given to disparities in health care, a core sociological focus.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: One 200-level SOC course or permission of the instructor.

Instructor: Imber

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

SOC 315
SOC 315 - Intersectionality at Work

This course uses the feminist optic of intersectionality to delve into the sociology of work. As one of the most fundamental aspects of human society, work shapes and is shaped by forces as big as the global political economy and by circumstances as context-specific as our complex social identities. How do race, class, gender, ability, age, and nationality constitute what kinds of work are possible in a given context, and for whom? How does work both take advantage of social difference and inequality and transform it? We will examine diverse kinds of work, including domestic work, factory work, precarious day labor, surrogacy, IT, and finance in the U.S., India, and China, among other countries. As we study ethnographies of work, we will conduct original qualitative research and share our research with the class through a sophisticated oral presentation.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: Prior completion of any sociology course or permission of the instructor.

Instructor: S. Radhakrishnan

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes: Ann E. Maurer '51 Speaking Intensive Course.

SOC 317
SOC 317 - CSPW: Crime Justice in America

Each day the news is filled with stories about the U.S. criminal justice system. We are told that communities don’t trust the police and that police don’t believe citizens understand their work. Prosecutors yield too much power, and judges can’t serve justice because of overly restrictive sentencing guidelines. Mass incarceration has devastated families and neighborhoods, and its economic impact on state and local budgets has become too great. Research by sociologists, criminologists and socio-legal scholars has supported, challenged or qualified these and other claims about the criminal justice system. Students will engage these debates by writing reviews, opinion pieces and other forms of public writing drawing on social science research on crime and justice in the U.S.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: Two 200-level courses in the social sciences. Open to Juniors and Seniors only. Not open to students who have taken SOC 307/WRIT 307.

Instructor: TBA

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Other Categories: CSPW - Calderwood Seminar in Public Writing

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

SOC 318
SOC 318 - Punishment

The connections between punishment, power and justice are abundant and complex. Through surveillance, confiscation, incarceration, reformation and execution, the state claims the right and obligation to commit acts of violence and transgression that are otherwise forbidden. In this seminar, we will study the social institution of punishment from an historical, theoretical and comparative perspective, focusing on issues of culture, inequality, security, and everyday life.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: One 200-level course in sociology or permission of the instructor.

Instructor: TBA

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

SOC 320
SOC 320 - Technology, Society & the Future

This course explores the powerful roles that technology plays in contemporary social life and suggests that some of the impacts that our ever-greater reliance on, and faith in, technology might have upon our lives. The course begins with a critical overview of the heralded promises that technology often carries; here, we explore some of the undersides of so-called "technological progress." The remainder of the course examines a variety of salient contemporary issues concerning the social implications of technological change.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 20

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Silver

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

SOC 322
SOC 322/ WGST 322 - Sem: Contemporary Reproduction

This course focuses on the politics of human reproduction which is inextricably linked with nation states, as well as cultural norms and expectations. Reproductive issues and debates serve as proxies for more fundamental questions about the intersecting inequalities of citizenship, gender, race, class, disability and sexuality. What does reproductive justice look like? We will discuss how the marketplace, medical technologies and the law are critical to creating social hierarchies that are produced, resisted and transformed. We ask: Why is access critical to control for the use of fertility technologies (both pre-and during pregnancy), gamete purchase, egg freezing? How is each accomplished and by whom? How are new technologies in reproduction coupled with the global marketplace creating a social hierarchy between people (e.g. gamete donors, gestational carriers). Finally, what is the relationship between the commercialization of reproduction and the creation of new intimacies and forms of kinship? The course emphasizes both empirical research situated in the U.S. and research involving transnational flows.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Crosslisted Courses: SOC 322

Prerequisites: Open only to Juniors and Seniors majoring or minoring in WGST or SOC. To other students by permission of the instructor only.

Instructor: Hertz

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

SOC 334
SOC 334 - Consumer Culture

How and why does consumerism exercise so great an influence on global culture today? How are our institutions and relationships shaped and transformed by the forces of commodification and consumerism? Are there any realms of life that ought to be free from the market-driven forces of commodification? Can consumerism offer a positive means of cultural critique to processes we wish to resist? In this seminar, we explore the history of consumer culture in the United States and globally, with special attention to understanding the effects of commodification upon the self, human relationships, and social institutions. We will consider both classical and contemporary critiques of commodification and consumerism, as well as arguments for the liberatory dimensions of consumer society. Course projects will give students opportunities to connect theory with questions of practical interest and to develop skills for communicating ideas in a variety of creative formats.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: One 100- or 200-level SOC course, or permission of the instructor.

Instructor: Rutherford

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

SOC 348
AMST 348/ SOC 348 - Conservatism in America

An examination of conservative movements and ideas in terms of class, gender, and race. Historical survey and social analysis of such major conservative movements and ideas as paleoconservatism, neoconservatism, and compassionate conservatism. The emergence of conservative stances among women, minorities, and media figures. The conservative critique of American life and its shaping of contemporary national discourse on morality, politics, and culture.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 30

Crosslisted Courses: AMST 348

Prerequisites: A 100-level sociology course or permission of the instructor. Open to juniors and seniors only.

Instructor: Imber

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

SOC 350
SOC 350 - Research or Individual Study

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Open to juniors and seniors.

Typical Periods Offered: Spring; Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring; Fall

SOC 350H
SOC 350H - Research or Individual Study

Units: 0.5

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor.

Typical Periods Offered: Spring; Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall; Spring

SOC 360
SOC 360 - Senior Thesis Research

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: Permission of the department.

Instructor:

Typical Periods Offered: Spring; Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring; Fall

Notes: Students enroll in Senior Thesis Research (360) in the first semester and carry out independent work under the supervision of a faculty member. If sufficient progress is made, students may continue with Senior Thesis (370) in the second semester.

SOC 370
SOC 370 - Senior Thesis

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: SOC 360 and permission of the department.

Typical Periods Offered: Spring; Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring; Fall

Notes: Students enroll in Senior Thesis Research (360) in the first semester and carry out independent work under the supervision of a faculty member. If sufficient progress is made, students may continue with Senior Thesis (370) in the second semester.