Courses in Sociology (Division 482)

Primarily for Underclass Students

100. Principles of Sociology. Open to freshmen and sophomores. Juniors and seniors must elect Soc. 400. No credit granted to those who have completed 400. (4). (SS).
Section 001.
This course tries to give students a feel for sociology by taking a small number of concrete problems and analyzing them from different perspectives. Historical, sociological and popular readings will be employed to explore the following topics: revolutionary change and its consequences for rural life in the People's Republic of China; the automobile industry and its discontents in the United States and Japan; and the future of American cities (Gypsy Moth and Boll Weevil). In the course of the term, students will have an opportunity to learn what it means to "think sociologically" and will be introduced to the ideas of such theorists as Émile Durkheim, Karl Marx and Max Weber. There will be three bases on which students will be evaluated: a midterm, a set of exercises and a final exam. The midterm will cover approximately the first third of the course. The exercises will center on clarification of sociological concepts. The final exam will cover the final two-thirds of the term. Readings include: Myrdal, Report From a Chinese Village; DeLorean/Wright, On a Clear Day You Can See General Motors; Rius, Marx for Beginners; Rubin, Worlds of Pain; and Kidder, Soul of a New Machine, (R. Thomas)

Section 009. Sociology 100 is designed to introduce students to the sociological study of society. It is also designed to help you better to understand American society. To this end, you will be exposed to important theories, concepts, and methods of sociology and expected to apply them in thinking about American society. Throughout the course, emphasis will be on the vast changes in human societies that have occurred throughout history and the distinctive features of our society.

Section 028. Sociology 100 is designed to introduce students to the sociological study of society. It is also designed to help you better to understand American society. To this end, you will be exposed to important theories, concepts, and methods of sociology and expected to apply them in thinking about American society. Throughout the course emphasis will be on the vast changes in human societies that have occurred through history, and the distinctive features of our society.

101. Person and Society: An Introduction to Sociology Through Social Psychology. (4). (SS).

This course introduces students to sociology by drawing on the concepts and perspectives of Social Psychology. It seeks to develop more systematic ways of viewing and understanding social life. Readings, films, and lectures will be used to present and illustrate a variety of useful conceptual frameworks. Three broad content areas will be examined: How people organize their experience of the social world, how they become socialized, and how they interrelate and influence each other. Specific topics include: Social perception and cognition, the development of personal identity and especially gender identity, processes of inter-personal influence and attitude change, conformity and social control. The course will meet for three hours of lecture each week. Grades will be based on a short paper plus a midterm and final. (Modigliani)

102. Contemporary Social Issues: An Introduction to Sociology. (4). (SS). May be repeated for a total of 8 credits.
Section 001 Ecological Perspectives.
This course will introduce students to sociology emphasizing the perspectives derived from population and human ecology. Particular attention will be given to the relationship between population, organization, and environment at the aggregate level and to the individual behavioral implications of the spatial aspects of ecological organization. The primary orientation of the course will be contrasted with alternative perspectives such as social anthropology and social psychology. Grades are based on several short empirical papers and one classroom exam. (D. Goldberg)

Sections 009 and 018 Introduction to Sociology through Comparative Inequality. Some people have great wealth, health, and opportunities, while others are much less fortunate. To a great extent, inequalities in life chances are not simply a matter of fortune, but are a product of the ways in which societies are organized. How great are the differences between countries in the amount of social inequalities people experience? What explains the existence of such inequality? How much can they be changed? Are there tradeoffs between equality and freedom? How are social classes formed and reinforced? This course provides an introduction to sociology through an in-depth analysis of such questions. The first weeks of the course will provide a brief introduction to sociology and methods of social research, stressing concepts and methods helpful in studying social stratification and inequality. In the second part of the course, we will study cross-national differences in social organization and inequality in capitalists, social democratic, and Marxist-Leninist societies such as the U.S., Sweden, Yugoslavia, Hungary, the USSR, and China. In the final portion of the course, we will concentrate on social classes and inequalities in the United States. This course will concentrate primarily on comparative class-based inequalities within countries, rather than on inequalities based on sex or race. Course requirements: Two hours of lecture and one hour of discussion per week; two exams, an in-class essay, a couple of outside movies, and a couple of brief reports. (Simkus)

For Undergraduates Only

210. Elementary Statistics. (3). (SS).

The purpose of the course is to provide literacy in the evaluation of quantitative evidence as it relates to the world of alternative, testable ideas. Students are familiarized with a variety of descriptive statistics (interpretation of tables, measures of association, regression, etc.), inductive statistics (theory of sampling, significance tests) and the empirical origin of statistical data (surveys, censuses, observational studies). Several forms of decision-making based on quantitative and non-quantitative evidence are compared and contrasted. No special background or preparation is needed. Students capable of handling arithmetic have all the mathematical skills required for the course. There are two lectures and one lab scheduled each week. Problem sets are routinely assigned to illustrate the concepts of the course. Student grades are determined by performance on three examinations, two given during the semester and the final exam. (Goldberg)

220/RC Soc. Sci. 220. Political Economy. (4). (SS).

See RC SS 220. (Weisskopf)

310. Introduction to Research Methods. Soc. 210. (4). (SS).

This course teaches the essentials of reasoning with quantitative data. You learn how to translate arguments about social life into arguments with consequences for counted data. You do exercises on all of the phases of quantitative analysis: How to make an argument, how to translate the argument into a set of assertions about relationships among variables, how to assess the match between data and argument, and how to present the results in coherent fashion. You read examples of research and criticize them, carry out small exercises with real data using the computer, and learn to use some of the statistics you were exposed to in Soc. 2l0. Even if you are not a sociology concentrator you are welcome to take this course; you will not be handicapped by lack of background either in sociology or statistics. (W. Mason)

330. Population Problems. (3). (SS).

This course is intended for a wide range of students who might be interested in learning more about the current population situation and the range of problems associated with it. There are no prerequisites for the course nor is any specific background required although an average ability to read tables and interpret quantitative material will be assumed. The course focuses specifically on social, economic and environmental problems associated with population and on population programs and policy. The course is a complement rather than an alternative to Soc 430 (Introduction to Population Studies) which deals with the determinants of demographic behavior. Soc. 330 and 430 can be taken as a sequence although each is independent and can be taken separately. Soc. 330 is intended to present a variety of views concerning the ways population is perceived as a problem and what should be done about it. The focus of the course is international, dealing both with less developed and more developed countries. Attention is given to population growth, urbanization and migration; population and development; food resources and environmental stress as related to population; age structure, aging and associated problems, and population policy and programs, especially those related to the reduction of birth rates.

389. Practicum in Sociology. Permission of instructor. May not be included in a concentration plan in sociology. (2-4). (Excl). Offered mandatory credit/no credit. (EXPERIENTIAL). May be repeated for a total of 8 credits.

The practicum in sociology provides students with the opportunity for experiential learning through volunteer work in a variety of community organizations. Field placements for students are arranged through the programs of Project Community at the University of Michigan. Project Community includes the Inmate Project, the Innovative Tutorial Experience and the Medical Field Project, as well as several smaller programs which may vary each term. In addition to their work in the community, students keep logs of their work experience and write short papers integrating their field activities with sociological analyses. Speakers, weekly seminars and outside readings also are used to promote learning of general sociological principles and to broaden students' understanding of their field work. There is no preregistration for Soc. 389. Interested students should contact the Project Community Office (763-3548, 2204 Michigan Union) at the beginning of the term to add Sociology 389. overrides may be picked up at the Project Community office during September 6-26. (Chesler)

392/Hist. 332/Econ. 395/Pol. Sci. 395/Slavic 395/REES 395. Survey of the Soviet Union. (4). (SS).

See REES 395. (Rosenberg)

For Undergraduates and Graduates

400. Sociological Principles and Problems. For juniors, seniors, and graduate students with no background in sociology. No credit granted to those who have completed 100. (3). (SS).

This is a survey of sociology intended primarily for students not majoring in the field, usually in their third or fourth year, and for whom this may be the only course taken in sociology. There are no prerequisites; the course may be used as the introductory requirement for the concentration. We cover the basic perspective that distinguished the discipline, some of its cultural theories and its methods of observation and analysis and introduce briefly a sample of the topics commonly treated in the field. Specific topics covered may include socialization, social stratification, urban society, industrial organization, race and ethnicity, revolution and social change, and population (including the population bomb and world-wide attempts to diffuse it, and gender roles.

423. Social Stratification. (3). (SS).

This course is concerned with three tasks: examining theories that attempt to account for the existence of social inequality, examining evidence regarding the extent of various forms of social inequality in the United States, and considering recent trends regarding changing patterns of inequality. Although the focus will be primarily on the contemporary United States, we will look at recent historical data and place the U.S. in the cross-cultural context. We will look in particular at inequality in economic resources, power and prestige. Special attention will be directed at sex and race-ethnic inequality. Course requirements include two-three short written exercises, and two objective and subjective midterm examinations as well as a final examination. (Reskin)

428. Social Institutions of Communist China. (3). (SS).

The course is a general and systematic introduction to the way Chinese society is organized today, and how it has changed since 1949. The main topics covered are the historical background, political and legal institutions and values, economic institutions, village life and people's communes, the family, educational institutions, cities and stratification. No previous background on China is assumed, and the course attempts to present as thorough an understanding of contemporary Chinese social organization as possible, given the amount of time available. Readings cover a variety of points of view, and include some options for students with particular interests. The course includes a midterm and final examination, with a term paper substitutable for the final. The course attempts to understand Chinese society by frequent comparisons with traditional China, with the Soviet Union, and with other developing societies and their problems. (Whyte)

435. The Urban Community. Credit is granted for only one course from Soc. 335, 435, or 535. Does not meet sociology doctoral requirements. (3). (SS).

The course approaches the analysis of the urban community from several aspects: (1) the natural and social parameters of urban growth (central place theory, demographic trends), (2) the quality-of-life in the city (the debate over urban anomie), (3) the social class and power structure of the city: the poor, working, middle and elite classes, (4) urban social movements (rabble or organized?) and social change, (5) the role of the city in the larger social system (from center of transformation to basket-case?), (6) urban planning and policy as affecting and as a function of the above factors. While focusing on the U.S. perspective: the ancient, modern European and Japanese, Socialist, and Third World cities. We will conclude by considering recent critical theory of the city, and the prospects for deurbanization in the "post-industrial" era. (Broadbent)

440. Sociology of Work. (3). (SS).

Analyzes meaning of work in comparative perspective with particular emphasis on institutional constraints. Special attention is paid to determinants of job satisfaction, management ideology, employee participation in decision making, and labor force trends. Will evaluate alternatives to bureaucratic organization of work. Students will be expected to develop skills in evaluating evidence in support of various positions. Final exam for undergraduates with a few short essays required during the term. Classroom time will include both lectures and discussion.

441. Social Aspects of Economic Development. (3). (SS).

The course is broadly concerned with the emergence of industrialization and western capitalism and its impact on world economic development. Much emphasis is placed on both colonial expansion, imperialist domination and nationalism. The course will focus on an analysis of world economic systems with some special attention to problems of industrialization, agricultural development and income inequalities. Special attention is given to the measurement and social meaning of economic development, and the variety of modern forces including foreign trade and aid, national development policies, national administrative systems, and population growth which today appear to hold central positions in determining the course of national and world-wide economic development. This is a midterm and a final examination and an optional paper.

444. The American Family. (3). (SS).

An historical and sociological overview of American family patterns that emphasizes change in American family life and the determinants of this change. Major questions include the impact of industrialization, urbanization, immigration, slavery, and social class on family patterns. Course readings will include several books and a course pack. Class meetings will be devoted primarily to lectures, but with discussion and films interspersed. Grading will be by examination plus a short genealogical paper focusing on the student's family history. (K. Mason)

445. Comparative Family Systems. (3). (SS).

This course is designed to introduce students to materials on how family life varies around the world. The first half of the course uses primarily cross-cultural materials dealing with pre-industrial societies. The second half of the course concerns how modern changes (industrialization, urbanization, revolution, etc.) affect family life, and a consideration of recent changes in family life in America. Along the way students will be presented with a variety of theories and studies designed to explain how and why family life varies; why the position of women is higher in some societies than others, why divorce rates are higher in some societies than others, why some societies allow more freedom of mate choice than others, and so forth. The course takes primarily a lecture format, with interruptions and questions encouraged. The readings include some common theoretical and descriptive studies, and sets of choices of books describing family life in particular cultures that students can work on as case studies. (Whyte)

447/Women's Studies 447. Gender Roles and Status. (3). (SS).

A cross-cultural and historical overview of change and variation in gender inequality. The course begins by examining the roots of gender inequality in a stateless society, attempting to assess the conditions under which men's control of women is enhanced or undermined. The course next considers the impact of social change on the status of women in contemporary Third World nations. The final section of the course focuses on gender inequality in the United States, both historically and today, paying special attention to gender in the economy, family and legal systems. Most readings are contained in a course pack. The class meets biweekly, largely for lectures, but with discussion and films interspersed. Grading by examination (term paper required for graduate students). (K. Mason)

450. Political Sociology. (3). (SS).

An examination of the relationship between economy and the polity with particular emphasis on social classes and class conflict. The course will examine the historical development and political effects of the core economic institution of the contemporary world, the large and often multinational corporation, in two related contexts. (1) The rise of the capitalist world economy and its impact on third world societies through colonialism, imperialism, and dependent development. The growth of revolutionary political movements in Southeast Asia, Southern Africa and Latin America and local elite responses to these movements. (2) The development of the concentrated corporate economy, including the development of multinational corporations, in the United States in the twentieth century. An examination of the political and social consequences of corporate concentration and control including political capitalism in the oil industry, oligopoly, surplus and the rise and fall of the American automobile industry, defense contractors and the military industrial complex. Edwards et al., The Capitalist System; Moore, Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy; Gunder Frank, Latin America: Underdevelopment or Revolution; NACLA, Guatemala; Baran and Sweezy, Monopoly Capital; and Mills, The Power Elite. (J. Paige)

455/Rel. 455. Religion and Society. (3). (SS).

Ultimate reality (the focus of Religion) becomes understood quite differently as people pursue religious quests within different social contexts. The course uses sociological methods of inquiry to explore the emergence of new religious movements, the ways that organizations respond to extraordinary experiences like mysticism and the ecstatic, the kinds of impact social forces have on organized religion, and the ways that religion, in turn, affects other areas of social life. (Heirich)

461. Social Movements. (3). (SS).

This course is designed for students who wish to engage in critical in-depth analysis of the Civil Rights and white student movements. Basic sociological concepts of power, conflict, class, complex organizations, and race will be explored. In order to get a handle on these movements we will explore relevant sociological theories and research pertaining to "social movements". (A.Morris)

465/Psych. 488. Sociological Analysis of Deviant Behavior. (3). (SS).

An advanced undergraduate or graduate level course that addresses the broad question: how do people become social deviants? Films and simulation games will be used to concretize various types of deviance and deviance-producing processes, and readings will provide theoretical frameworks as well as further case material. Discussions will be the primary vehicles for bringing these elements together, with lectures playing only a smaller role. Students must be prepared to raise questions or else to resolve for themselves the inevitable loose-ends associated with such a discussion-oriented course. Substantively, the course has two major parts. The first will examine in detail the social processes by which individuals are "officially" designated deviant: specifically, how social rules are created, enforced, and adjudicated by legislatures, the police, and the courts. The second will examine some major theories about the causes of deviant behavior by focusing on a series of more specific types of criminal activity: e.g., theft, delinquency, violent crimes, corporate crimes. A portion of the course will also be devoted to student projects entailing analyses of the autobiographies of deviants of the student's own choosing. (Modigliani)

468. Criminology. (3). (SS).

This course will be a survey of recent work in the field of Criminology. Topics will include theories of crime causation, sociology of law, the police, the courts, prisons, and the history of the use of punishment. Lectures will be one and one half hours long, two days a week. (Rauma)

482/Psych. 482. Personal Organization and Social Organization. (3). (SS).

See Psychology 482. (Veroff)

486/Psych. 486. Attitudes and Social Behavior. Introductory psychology; or senior standing and permission of instructor. (3). (SS).

See Psychology 486.

For Sociology Honors Students, Seniors, and Graduates

541. Contemporary Japanese Society: Convergence Theory. Upperclass or graduate standing. (3). (SS).

This course is intended to provide undergraduates and graduates with a broad overview of contemporary Japanese society. Particular attention is focused on the social changes occurring in major institutional areas. Wherever possible, comparative data is introduced so that comparative evaluations with other industrialized nations can be made. Convergence theory provides the theoretical framework with which we will be operating. Convergence theory presumes that Japanese institutions and values are coming to approximate those of other advanced western nations by virtue of the imperatives of modern technology and other characteristics of advanced industrial nations. We will also assess a more recent variant of convergence theory which asserts that Japan by virtue of its late development has become the prototype for other advanced nations to emulate. Finally, we shall examine the relevance of dependency theory for Japanese development. Class meets once a week for three hours in the afternoon. After the fourth week, one typed three page (maximum) paper will be required for each week thereafter. This paper will be based on critical evaluation of the assigned readings. There will be no term paper and no exams. There are no prerequisite courses. (Cole)

587/Psych. 516. Advanced Laboratory in Social Psychology. Stat. 402 or 300, and prior or concurrent enrollment in Soc. 486. (3). (SS).

See Psychology 516. (Burnstein)

590. Proseminar in Social Psychology. Graduate standing or permission of instructor. Some background in social psychology is desirable. (3). (SS).

A graduate-level introduction to social psychology from a sociological perspective. Open to advanced undergraduates as well, but they are advised to consult with the instructor before registering. The course considers major theoretical and empirical contributions to sociological social psychology, including early as well as contemporary classics. Topics covered include social interaction, attitude and belief systems, roles and reference groups, socialization, and social structure and personality. The class will be structured mainly around discussion of reading. Evaluation will be based on several short papers or prelim-type essay exams. (Modigliani)

591. Special Areas of Social Psychology. Soc. 590 or permission of instructor. (3). (SS).
Section 001 Small Groups.
This course will deal with the topic of small groups. We will examine the dynamics of small groups, as they occur in a variety of settings families, peer systems, work arrangements, therapy settings, change movements, etc. Moreover, we will examine small groups from a variety of analytic levels: as collections of individuals, as a group level reality in themselves, as sub-units of a larger organization or community, etc. Readings will be suggested and lectures given, but the bulk of the instructional design will be a seminar format, with students as a (small) group sharing responsibility for teaching and learning. The course is intended primarily for graduate students in sociology and psychology, but is open to others with permission of the instructor. (Chesler)

596. Special Course. (3). (SS).

This proseminar is designed to bring together individuals interested in or knowledgeable about particular socialist societies, in an effort to study the broad range of socialist states. We will be interested in the recent histories of such countries as China, the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, Cuba, and the states of Eastern Europe. What attributes do such societies share? In what ways do these societies uniformly differ from other types of societies? What are the origins and consequences of differences between the societies? We intend to explore both non-Marxist and Marxists theoretical approaches and examine the available evidence in several substantive areas: (1) social stratification, class relations, and inequality; (2) the family and sex roles; (3) social protest movements; (4) political organization, social control, and bureaucracy; (5) self-management and workers' control; (6) sociological aspects of economic reforms; and (7) "socialist culture". The course will be organized as a proseminar, involving a combination of lectures, guest lectures, student presentations, and discussions. The course requirements include a paper, an annotated bibliography, and involvement in course presentations and discussion. (Depending on the wishes of the students involved, it may be possible to negotiate a different meeting time for the seminar than the presently scheduled. Those with a potential time conflict should contact the instructors in advance). (Simkus)

lsa logo

University of Michigan | College of LS&A | Student Academic Affairs | LS&A Bulletin Index

This page maintained by LS&A Academic Information and Publications, 1228 Angell Hall

The Regents of the University of Michigan,
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 USA +1 734 764-1817

Trademarks of the University of Michigan may not be electronically or otherwise altered or separated from this document or used for any non-University purpose.