SOC 260 - Tipping Points, Bandwagons and Cascades: From Individual Behavior to Social Dynamics
Section: 002
Term: FA 2018
Subject: Sociology (SOC)
Department: LSA Sociology
Credits:
3
Repeatability:
May not be repeated for credit.

In this course, we examine how interdependent behaviors of individuals can lead to some surprising and unexpected social outcomes. We will explore both theoretical models and empirical applications of social dynamics, including sexual networks and marriage markets, the formation and transformation of neighborhoods, the success or failure of social movements, and the diffusion of innovation.

There are many situations in which how we behave depends on the behavior of others. We can be influenced by our friends and also by complete strangers. Social influence may be trivial and fleeting, or enduring and highly consequential. For example, whom a person dates or marries depends on both her attraction to potential suitors as well as the characteristics and preferences of the competition. Similarly, racially integrated neighborhoods often end up completely segregated due to the domino effect produced by the out-migration of a few less tolerant whites.

In this class, we examine how interdependent behaviors of individuals can lead to some surprising and unexpected social outcomes. We will explore both theoretical models and empirical applications of social dynamics, including sexual networks and marriage markets, the formation and transformation of neighborhoods, the success or failure of social movements, and the diffusion of innovation.

Course Requirements:

During the academic term, students will be required to write three short papers and complete a set of laboratory exercises. Student participation counts for a significant portion of the total grade.

The students will write three 5-10 page papers for the class. They will also complete a series of lab exercises that are designed to illustrate the various applications of interdependent behavior that we discuss in class (e.g., networks, prisoner's dilemma, tipping points, etc.). Students will learn basic programming skills in the lab. They will also build simple, virtual worlds, and then using those worlds to perform different experiments about the relationship between individual behavior and social dynamics.

Intended Audience:

Freshmen and sophomores.

Class Format:

The course includes both a seminar and lab component: 3 hour seminar for first five weeks, then 1.5 hour seminar and 1.5 hour lab per week for the remaining ten weeks.

SOC 260 - Tipping Points, Bandwagons and Cascades: From Individual Behavior to Social Dynamics
Schedule Listing
001 (LAB)
P
21210
Open
1
6Fr or So
10Enrollment Management
2
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
002 (SEM)
 
21211
Open
1
 
2
TBA
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