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. (4). (SS).No credit granted to those who have completed 400.
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 Guide, R. K. Narayan; To The Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf; 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 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)

Section 009. This course is designed to introduce students to the sociological perspective and then apply this perspective in analyzing the basic processes and institutions of American society. To this end, students will be exposed to the important theories, concepts and substantive concerns in the sociological study of modern society. While the course will focus on the contemporary United States, comparative and historical perspectives will also be utilized. Grades will be based on four exams. (Kimeldorf)

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 Social Issues: An Introduction to Sociology Through Social Movements.
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 1960s were 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 1960s. (A. Morris)

Section 009 Social Issues: An Introduction to Sociology through an Examination of the World Community. This course will begin with an introduction to the basic perspectives of sociology including social structure, socialization, and theories of society. It will then apply this perspective to the world, or international scene; including the western expansion since the 15th Century and the impact of western institutions and social organization on other societies in Africa, Asia and the Americas. It will cover experiences from the 15th Century through the formation and operation of the United Nations, multinational corporations and other international organizations today. (Ness)

Section 018: Introduction to Sociology through Social Issues: American Power Relations, Social Problems and Public Policy. How does the distribution of power resources in American society help to preserve social problems? What opportunities does that distribution provide for overcoming those problems? These questions guide our examination of some of America's social problems, including poverty, racism, sexism and militarism. In view of the significance of the "Reagan Revolution" in contemporary American society, Ronald Reagan's politics and policies are analyzed as both a solution to and source of social problems. There are two mid-course examinations and one final examination. Each student is required to be a main participant in a class debate over a controversial social problem. (Kennedy)

195. Honors in Principles of Sociology. Open to freshmen and sophomores admitted to the Honors Program, and to others with a grade point average of at least 3.2. Credit is not granted for Sociology 195 and Sociology 100 or 400. (4). (SS).

This course is not a survey of all of sociology. It is a highly selective introduction designed to provide each student with the TOOLS of sociological analysis. After the first weeks of introductory lectures and discussions, students will form research teams to carry out their own projects to be presented orally at the end of the term. Throughout the term, we will follow the progress of each project, exchanging experiences and criticism. In class we will cover: (1) Concepts used in analyzing social groups of various sizes and types as well as the processes that go on within these groups; (2) Introduction to methods of inquiry and study design sufficient to allow you to develop your own project and critique others. (Kinghorn)

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.

American society has become more concerned about sports. The number of 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 sports and related activities. Spectator participation in the traditional sports events such as baseball, football and basketball has also increased. Exposure to sports events is available virtually twenty-four hours each day on sports broadcasting networks. Not only has exposure to the traditional sports increased, now tennis, golf and gymnastics enjoy national prominence and commercial success. Participation of minorities and women in sports is expanding. Age no longer is a constraint to participation. Now there are programs available from the cradle to the grave. The trends identified and examined in this course provide a basis to determine: (1) reasons for this heightened interest and participation, (2) the degree to which various segments of society participate, and (3) to assess the degree to which sports is a microcosm of American social, political and economic norms. Course requirements include a project or paper, a set of exercises, midterm, and final examinations. (Deskins)

For Undergraduates Only

210. Elementary Statistics. (4). (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, consensuses, 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. Problem sets are routinely assigned to illustrate the concepts of the course. Additionally, the course will provide students with an introduction to "statistical packages" easily used on microcomputers. NO PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE WITH THIS TECHNOLOGY IS NECESSARY. This will provide an opportunity to analyze and discuss some real data sets. Course grades are determined by performance on three major exams (including the final) and some quizzes given in the discussion sections. The new format generates four credit hours from two lectures and two hours of discussion per week. (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 American colonies 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 two 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 provides an overview of the major research methods used by social scientists. The topics covered are: formation of research questions; selection from design alternatives; instrument development, sampling and data collection; the logic and conduct of statistical analyses; and report writing. Students obtain practical experience in study design, analysis, and reporting through executing a study using data that have already been collected. By preparing a series of brief papers based on this study, students become familiar with the requirements of technical writing for both professional and lay audiences. Instruction is provided in the use of software for data analysis and word processing. (Quinn)

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

This course is intended for a wide range of students who might be interested in learning about the current population situation and the range of problems associated with it. There are no prerequisites for the course, nor is any special background required although average ability to read tables and interpret quantitative material will be assumed. The course focuses specifically on social and economic problems associated with population matters. Family planning and other related population programs and policies are discussed. The course is a complement rather than an alternative to Soc. 430 (Introduction to Population Studies) which deals with the determinants of behavior. Soc. 330 presents 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; adolescent pregnancy; population and food; age structure, aging and associated problems; and population policy and programs, especially those related to the reduction of birth rates. The course is run as a lecture with in-class discussions encouraged. Films and other audio-visual aids are used. Grades are based largely on in-class exams. Written assignments and class participation are given some additional weight. (Knodel)

336. The Study of Cities and Urbanization. (4). (SS).

This course examines the process of urbanization, urbanism and the evolution of cities. Discussions will go beyond the contemporary American city. Cross cultural comparisons will require students to assemble data on a city outside of North America for analysis. The course organization consists of two parts. The lecture is the format for the first part and discussion format with student participation for the second part. These discussions will focus on various topics dealing with the process of urbanization in specific cross cultural settings. Course requirements include a project or paper, a set of exercises, midterm, and final examinations. (Deskins)

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

See REES 395.

For Undergraduates and Graduates

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

This course is an introduction to sociological theory. We Will concentrate on the "classical" theorists of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (Marx, Durkheim and Weber), but we will also discuss earlier theorists (Adam Smith, Hegel, August Compte) and the recent work of Michel Foucault. The class will proceed primarily through close readings and intensive discussions of major theoretical texts. Students will be expected to participate actively in discussions. Class participation will account for a quarter of the grade. The rest of the grade will be based on eight to ten page midterm and final papers. Readings will include all or portions of Hegel, Reason in History; Marx, The German Ideology, The Communist Manifesto, and Capital, vol. I; Durkheim, The Division of Labor in Society and The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life; Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism and Economy and Society; Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish; and Anthony Giddens, Capitalism and Modern Social Theory. (Sewell)

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. (Hasenfeld)

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

Class and stratification are examined in a comparative and historical perspective. The basis and extent of inequality are considered in pre-industrial societies. The majority of the course focuses on industrial societies, giving equal time to Western capitalist and Soviet-type societies. In these sections, the conceptual and empirical relationships between class and stratification are emphasized. There is one mid-course examination and one final examination. A paper comparing patterns of inequality in at least two societies is required. (Kennedy)

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, 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)

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

The course is broadly concerned with the large scale social changes that are associated with modern economic development or the sustained increase in human productivity and welfare. Much of the emphasis is placed upon the long historical processes of imperialism, colonialism and nationalism that arise from western economic development and expansion, and the nature of the world economic system that this expansion has produced. We examine the major theoretical positions that currently attempt to interpret the system and the dynamics of its nation-state members. Specific 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 worldwide economic development. Much of the substantive national experience is drawn from Southern Asia, but comparisons are also made with Latin America and Africa. There is a midterm and a final examination, and a paper. (Ness)

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

This course will involve the study of the American family through both a sociological and historical perspective. Readings and lectures on the historical evolution of American family life are designed to help students understand current family patterns and anticipate future changes. A number of topics will receive special emphasis; for example, the impact of slavery on Black families, immigrants and family change, evolving patterns of marriage and divorce, changes in sexual attitudes and behavior, continuity and change in the roles of women, and communes and other alternative forms of family life. The course is primarily a lecture course, but with periodic discussion sessions and films. Assessment of student performance is in terms of examinations or alternative term papers. (Whyte)

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. (Paige)

454. Law and Social Organization. (3). (SS).

This course is intended as an introduction to the sociology of law. It is not intended to be an exhaustive overview, but instead will focus on a series of current and classic topics in the field. The topics covered vary from year to year. They may include such things as: dispute processing, legal reasoning, procedural justice, the effectiveness of law, law and social change, law and justice, the jury system, the courts, the practice of law, and the police. Evaluation will include one to two midterm examinations and a final examination. In addition, students may be asked to engage in certain exercises, like a simulated negotiation, and to write brief reflections on the experience. (Lempert)

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

What do Bishop Tutu, Jerry Falwell, Mahatma Gandhi and Muktenanda share in common? And how can we understand the remarkable differences that mark their approach to religion and the sacred? 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)

460. Social Change. (3). (SS).
Section 001.
The broad agenda of this course is to review theories and programs of change, especially as they apply to the contemporary American scene. Thus, our view will be primarily national and contemporary in character, and we will not plan to spend much time on international systems and events. Moreover, our primary focus is on change that is intended in one fashion or another. Of course, any intended effort does make assumptions about other social forces, and we will review their impact on society and social change efforts as well, and several theoretical or ideological perspectives on change, and the assumptions and implications associated with them. We will try to discriminate between individual change and social change, and to understand the relation between these two targets. Other targets or arenas, and issues faced by people actively involved in creating change will also be a focus of our inquiry. One specific issue in social change that has great import for the intellectual community is that of research...in this case tactical research relevant to change efforts...and students will do an original group research project in this arena. As a summary, we will consider typical reactions to social change efforts on the part of persons/groups/institutions that oppose or resist particular changes in the social order. (Chesler)

Section 002. This course will focus on large-scale social change, collective action, and social revolutions in both developed and developing societies. The course will begin with an examination of theories of social change and collective action. We will then proceed to analyze the development of capitalism and parliamentary democracy in the West and their impact on class conflict in the modern world. The course will investigate several important conflicts in the United States during the twentieth century, including the labor movement, civil rights, and Reaganomics and the changes the current administration seeks to introduce. The second part of the course will examine theories of social revolution in the context of developing countries, specifically the role of multinational corporations and other institutions that promote and impede social change. The main region of our analysis will be Latin America, although other countries will be included as well. (Parsa)

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.

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

See Psychology 482. (Douvan/Veroff)

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

See Psychology 486. (Ezekiel and Nisbett)

496. Special Course. (2-3). (SS). May be repeated for credit.
Corporate Crime in America.
This course will focus on crimes of some of America's largest corporations. The course will seek to develop systematic ways of viewing and understanding "organizational crimes." Crimes include the manufacturing of defective and dangerous products, toxic wastes, price-fixing, and political payoffs. Three broad content areas will be examined: the substance and nature of the crimes themselves; various aspects of corporate structure which influence crime; and legal and other external constraints which try to control corporate crime. Specific topics include: the crime; case studies; the corporate executive; the cover-up; and the law. (Kinghorn)

For Sociology Honors Students, Seniors, and Graduates

530. Population Problems. Soc. 100, 195, or 400. Open only to graduate students. Undergraduates admitted by permission of instructor. Credit is not granted for both Soc. 430 and 530. (4). Pattern C Area Distribution: social science.

This course is an analysis of how the population of the world and of major countries arrived at their present positions. The basic demographic processes which determined demographic change fertility, mortality and migration are each treated as to their measurement, history, and present status. There is special consideration of the demographic transition from high to low birth rates and death rates. The processes determining fertility levels are analyzed separately for less and more developed countries. The pattern of migration is studied with special reference to the United States. Finally, there is a consideration of the age-sex structures resulting from various combinations of demographic processes and how they affect projections of the U.S. and the world. (Knodel)

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. (Hilton and Ezekiel)

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)


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.