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 Sociology through Literature.
Sociology through literature is a course intended to give students an introduction to basic sociological concepts and modes of thinking through a reading of selected modern literature supplemented with introductory sociology text material. The presumption is that literature often captures the human experience better than the dry impersonal language of the sociologist. You will be exposed to short essays, plays and novels. Some of the selections include: The Stranger, Albert Camus; The Trial, Franz Kafka; Player Piano, Kurt Vonnegut Jr.; No Exit, Jean Paul Sartre; Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller; and Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner, Alan Sillitoe. There is a lot of reading in this course. Lecture materials will include a treatment of the readings to show their sociological significance and will also utilize research findings of contemporary sociologists that bear upon the ideas presented in the readings. This is not a literary analysis course. There will be two lectures a week plus one section meeting with your teaching assistant. Grades will be based on a midterm, a final exam, and some writing exercises. (R. Cole)

Sections 009, 020. Sociology 100 is designed to introduce students to the sociological study of society. It is also designed to help you better 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 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 Contemporary Social Issues.
American society is characterized by racism, sexism, and student inequality. The purpose of this course is to explore these forms of inequality and to study social movements intent on changing inequality. The 1960's was a rich period in which social movements flourished. We will seek an understanding of both society and social movements by studying the Civil Rights, student and women's movements of the 1960's. (Morris)

Section 009 Comparative Social 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 capitalist, 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)

Section 018: An Introduction to Sociology. The course will provide an introduction to sociology through an in-depth analysis of one or more contemporary social issues. The issues will vary from term to term. Students should consult the time schedule, Checkpoint and similar sources for the topic.

202. Contemporary Social Issues I. (2-4). (SS). Credit is granted for a combined total of 8 credits elected through Soc. 202, 203, and 401.
Section 001 Leisure, Sports and Society.
American society has become more concerned about how to utilize leisure time. The number of bike riders, joggers and physical fitness participants has increased tremendously over the last decade, as has the proliferation of health spas and physical fitness facilities. Larger proportions of our population than ever before are now participating in physical activities. Spectator participation in the traditional sports events such as baseball, football and basketball has also increased as have the hours of exposure to these sports on television where twenty four hours of sports broadcasting is available on cable sports channels. Not only is there increased exposure to the traditional sports events, but now tennis, golf and gymnastics also enjoy natural prominence. It is apparent that American society's attitude towards sports participation directly and indirectly has expanded to more fully include women. Age no longer is seen as a constraint to physical fitness participation. There are now programs available from the cradle to the grave. (Deskins)

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 term and the final exam. (Goldberg)

303. Racial and Cultural Contacts. No credit granted to those who have completed 503. (3). (SS).

There are major social and economic divisions between racial, ethnic, language and religious groups in the United States. This course will focus upon racial issues, although some attention will be devoted to ethnic, linguistic and religious divisions. The lectures and readings will describe the origins and persistence of racial prejudice and discrimination. They will also treat legal, social and economic differences between Blacks and whites; how these differences have changed since the settling of America and why. Attention will be given to the social movements and forces which seem likely to lead to future racial change. This class will meet on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Lectures will be presented on Mondays and Wednesdays. Some of the Friday session will be used for discussion, for tests or for films. Grades will be based upon three in-class tests and a final examination. These will include both multiple choice questions and brief essay questions. A paper will not be required. The readings include economic, sociological and psychological descriptions of racial issues and prejudice, decisions of the Supreme Court and various accounts of racial strife written by novelists and journalists. (Farley)

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. 210. 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. (Knodel)

335. The Urban Community. Credit is granted for only one course from among Soc. 335, 435, or 535. (3). (SS).

In this course, we will study the form and development of the urban community based on sociology's human ecology perspective with respect to demographic structure, functional and spatial organization, class and racial segregation, and the widening disparities between the central city and its suburbs. We will also focus on contemporary issues that this body of research can address. For example: Can our older industrial cities become rehabilitated enough to survive in a post-industrial era? Are the high levels of racial segregation in U.S. neighborhoods and communities likely to diminish over the next decade? Should government policies be directed to preserving declining central cities or should they, instead, be directed to relocating city residents to more prosperous places? While the point of departure for this course will be sociology's human ecological perspective, other theoretical perspectives will also be introduced when appropriate. Course grades will be based on a midterm exam, a final exam, and on in-class participation. (Frey)

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 the period of 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 for description.

For Undergraduates and Graduates

401. Contemporary Social Issues III. (2-4). (SS). Credit is granted for a combined total of 8 credits elected through Soc. 202, 203, and 401.
Section 001 Womens Employment.
We will examine women's experience in the workplace, viewing it in the context of historical patterns and cultural attitudes regarding women's "nature" and roles. We will begin by considering patterns of labor force participation, and then will examine the kinds of occupations women pursue. We will also consider several explanations for occupational sex segregation and the male-female wage gap. Next, we will examine women's on-the-job experiences: on-the-job training, mobility, mentorship, and sexual harassment. Finally, we will consider how being employed affects women's family lives. The course will be run as a seminar, with short introductory lectures by the instructor followed by class discussion. Grades will be based on class participation, about three short (3-4 page) papers, on weekly readings, and a take-home final examination. (Reskin)

405. Theory in Sociology. No credit granted to those who have completed 305. (3). (SS).

Sociological theory is treated in its research implications with special attention to concepts, hypotheses, research goals, the systematization of findings, and the relation between theory and practice.

415/American Institutions 415. Organizations, Industries and the State. (3). (SS).

This course will use organization theory and political theory to examine the interplay of organization, industrial structure, and political process. It will analyze the historical transformation of organizational interests within a changing state apparatus. Students will be expected to become deeply acquainted with at least one industry. One examination and a paper will be required. Students will present their research to the class. (Zald)

420. Complex Organizations. (3). (SS).

An extensive survey of the empirical and theoretical analyses of a variety of complex formal organizations will be undertaken. Studies of industrial and other economic organizations, military organizations, voluntary associations, prisons, hospitals, government bureaus, educational organizations (especially colleges and universities) in contemporary societies will be given special consideration.

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

This is an upper level undergraduate course dealing with social classes, stratification, and inequality. We will study the degrees and effects of inequality, and the ways social organization and policy affect these. Compared to other offerings of this course, we will give more stress to comparative differences in inequality across different kinds of societies. The format of the course will combine lectures, discussions, and presentations, and some of the classes will take the form of a seminar. Requirements will be individualized so that there will be no problems for those with no previous background in this subject; however, the course would be a good advanced class to follow one of the Soc. 102 offerings related to inequality. Course requirements: Two exams, a paper, and a class presentation. (Simkus)

434/CAAS 434. Social Organization of Black Communities. (3). (SS).

We will examine the organization of contemporary Black communities in this course. Among the questions addressed are: How do major social institutions in these communities function? What are the major organizing principles underlying Black community structure? The specific topics to be covered include assessments of Black community cultural value systems, key institutions (e.g., Black churches, Black families) and relations with the larger society (e.g., political economy, oppression). Course format will be lecture-guided discussion. Course requirements: Two short papers (3-5 pages), book review (2-3 pages) and term paper (approximately 15 pages). (Allen)

437. Human Ecology. (3). (SS).

The concept of community and neighborhood is essentially ecological and has its roots in the seminar research conducted at the University of Chicago in the early part of this century. The major assumptions emerging from this body of literature is that the processes reorganized by plant and animal ecologists as operating in the urban environment could be applied with modifications, to the social sphere. Thus human ecology developed as a scientific approach fundamentally interested in the effects of position, in both time and space; upon human institutions and human behavior. Human ecology, as an approach to the understanding of society has undergone periodic criticisms but nonetheless has survived. In this course the development and evolutions of human ecology will be traced and evaluated from the classical position of the 1920's to the present day. Alternative constructs will be discussed as will the relationship between human ecology and social geography. Not only will human ecology and its principles be examined, but the various methods used in the conduct of ecological studies will also be commented on to determine the extent to which this approach betters our understanding of urban society. (Deskins)

442. Occupations and Professions. (3). (SS).

An introduction to occupational sociology. Social implications of the division of labor. Characteristics and organization of major occupations; nature and organization of modern professions.

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)

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. Readings include: 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)

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)

467. Juvenile Delinquency. (3). (SS).

This course will be a general survey of recent work related to the area of juvenile delinquency. Topics will include the history of childhood, crime (delinquency) causation, the juvenile justice system, the police, and policy issues concerning the handling of juveniles. Lectures will be one and one half hours long, two days a week. (Rauma)

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. There will be two lectures and one discussion section per week. (Rauma)

476. Sociology of Social Welfare. Soc. 100, 101, or 102. (3). (SS).

The emergence and evolution of social welfare in capitalist societies will be examined with the purpose of isolating the crucial variables affecting systems of welfare. Different types of welfare will be compared in terms of ideology, political economy, and quality of life. Within this comparative context special attention will be paid to the American experience. This will be a lecture type of class with discussion and student presentations. Students are required to write two papers and be involved in a group project. There are no prerequisites for the course. (McDonough)

495. Special Course. (2-3). (SS). May be repeated for credit.
Section 001 Situated Activity: Self in Social Encounters.
This is an advanced, undergraduate, social psychology course that examines how the self both adapts to, and affects conduct in, social encounters. In order to explore the linkage between relatively stable self-identities and the more transitory self-images that enter into social encounters, we will explore a variety of perspectives on the self ranging from those that view the self as a relatively enduring, inclusive, biographic entity to those that view it as a more changeable, circumscribed situated entity. We shall be concerned also with the breakdown and reconstruction of both selves and social encounters as typified by such phenomena as embarrassment, individual face-saving, co-operative face-saving, and the deliberate breaching of social expectations. Framework that have sought to explicate the link between self and social encounter (notably the work of Goffman and Alexander) will be applied to certain well-known situated phenomena (e.g., bystander apathy, obedience, conformity, the Zimbardo prison study) to see if they can add to our understanding of them. Students are invited to suggest other relevant topics. The course will be conducted in seminar style with students contributing to class presentation and to leading discussion. Evaluation will be based on a term paper and a final. The course is open to anyone who has taken a previous course in social psychology. (Modigliani)

496. Special Course. (2-3). (SS). May be repeated for credit.

This course will compare sociological forces affecting the development process in postwar Japan, Taiwan, Korea, China, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia. Our focus will be on the role of the state as a mediator between or agent of contending interests and classes. In some cases, depending on the availability of data, we will deal with only a subset of these countries. We will cover the following topics:(1) Policy-formation processes within the state. (a) Development goals and priorities. (b) Policy-making process. (c) Social policies. (2)State/society relations. (a) Relation of the state and social classes to outside forces: (i) Dependency theory, world financing systems. (ii) Cultural diffusion. (iii) World ethnic and racial cleavages. (b) Relation of the state to internal social classes. (i) How much does the state control? (ii) Relation to industrial, merchant and financial capitalists, military bureaucracies, small and medium business strata, professional strata, industrial working class, peasantry, subsistence peoples. (iii) Degree of class cohesion and activism. (iv) Resistance movements. (v) Ethnic and racial cleavages. (3) State/Socionatural system relations. (a) Population. (b) Food. (c) Resources. (J. Broadbent)

497. Special Course. (2-3). (SS). May be repeated for credit.

The course title, "Media Institutions", is intended to have a double meaning, reflecting the twin areas of concern in this course. In the first meaning, a media institution can be a formal organization. For part of the course, we will be examining the organizational structures and pressures which surround the production of news and entertainment. In the second meaning, a media "institutions" can refer to those conventions or practices which are followed by media organizations. To say that something has become an institution is to indicate that the presence of that thing is well-established and taken for granted. In the rest of the course, we will be examining these taken-for-granted conventions which shape news and entertainment from the American media. In this double sense, then, we will be studying media institutions. (Scheppele)

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 for description. (Ezekiel, Nisbett, 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 readings, which will be drawn from the volume, Sociological Perspectives on Social Psychology and a core reading list available in the Sociology Graduate Office, plus a small number of additional selections yet to be determined. Evaluation will be based on several short-papers or prelim-type essay exams. (J. House)

591. Special Areas of Social Psychology. Soc. 590 or permission of instructor. (3). (SS).
Section 001 Intergroup Attitudes and Group Consciousness.
This seminar has two goals: to give students a basic grounding in the literature on intergroup attitudes and group consciousness, and to provide an opportunity for students to develop their research skills. In pursuit of the first goal, we will read and discuss literature on a variety of pertinent issues, such as: (1) What is an attitude, how is it structured, and how should it be measured? (2) What is the meaning of such key concepts as stereotypes, prejudice, tolerance, and group consciousness? How useful are those concepts and how should they be measured? What relevance do these concepts have for personal and political behavior? (3) What factors determine the shape of intergroup attitudes and group consciousness, at both the aggregate and the individual level? Is intergroup differentiation an intrinsic cognitive process, a symptom of narrow parochialism that can be erased by education, or an expression of different objective interests? How does that pattern of intergroup contact affect the shape and content of intergroup attitudes and group consciousness? Readings will range from Karl Marx to Gordon Allport, among the classics, and will also include more recent conceptual and empirical work by sociologists, psychologists, and political scientists. Work assignments in the seminar will emphasize the development of empirical research skills. Students will be encouraged to read the extant literature from a critical perspective and to identify problems in conception, measurement, and method. Each student will work on a paper and present that paper to the seminar. The paper must deal with some aspects of the empirical research process, with the specifics to be worked with each student on an individual basis, depending on individual taste, experience, and need. Where appropriate, students will be encouraged to work on an empirical research paper using extant survey data, but papers might alternatively present a critical review of the literature on a specialized topic, a critique of a piece of research, or an empirical research proposal. (M. Jackman)


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.