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.
A comparative and historical method guides this introduction to the study of human societies. We consider hunting and gathering, horticultural, agrarian and industrial societies, although most of our attention is devoted to the two principal varieties of industrial society: capitalist and Soviet-type. Our investigation is inspired by three main substantive concerns: power relations, inequalities, and social change. For each societal type, we address questions like these: Is there a ruling class or group? What are its principal power resources? What resources do the ruled groups or classes have? How does that affect the distribution of valued societal resources? What social features underlie the directions and pace of social change? What alternative futures face contemporary societies? (Kennedy)

Section 009. Sociology 100 will focus on these issues: What key sociological concepts and theories can help us in understanding the world in which we live? What major historical changes in human societies have resulted in society as it is now? How do sociologists do research and what are some of the implications of important sociological findings? We will focus on western societies (especially the U.S), but will look at other types of societies when that will help our understanding. This is an introductory course and no special background is needed. Students will attend three lectures and one discussion section a week. Evaluation will be primarily through written work. (papers) (Friedenfels)

Section 016. To introduce you to the history, the theories, and the findings of this discipline is the main purpose of this course. The first part of this course (The Classical Tradition) explores the life and major theoretical contributions of the four founders of sociology: A. Comte, K. Marx, E. Durkheim, and M. Weber. Each one of them provides us with an interpretation of the world we now know as "modern capitalism." They explain how this social system emerged from earlier social forms and how they envision its future expansion or demise. The second part (Contemporary Problems) examines the legacy of these writers for current sociology and for the understanding of contemporary society. We will address such controversial issues as: Why do people conform? Why do they violate the rules of society? Why some people have so much more wealth than others? What is the nature of prejudice and discrimination? Why and how do people rebel? Hopefully, the substance and the manner in which this course is taught will enhance the development of a creative quality of mind which could provide you with a more insightful perspective to understand the complex relationship between the self and the world around us. One text (L. Coser, Masters of Sociological Thought) and a course pack constitute the readings. A midterm, three two-page essays, class participation, and a final exam will determine your grade. (Sfeir-Younis)

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

The aim of this course is to share some of the major ideas and applications of Social Psychology with you. Social Psychology offers us a fresh, new way of looking at our personal experiences and social encounters. By studying the ways people conceive of themselves, others, and the world around them, we suddenly perceive things which were always there but had escaped our notice and we begin to see in a new light the very world in which we have lived all our lives. Lectures, readings and films are organized around a set of intriguing and fundamental questions about our social life. What is the nature of the self? How do we learn what is right from wrong? What makes men and women different? Why we love others? How do people change each others attitudes and behaviors? Why some violate the rules of society? Why do people rebel? In exploring answers to these and other questions, we will examine conceptual frameworks that have been developed to organize and investigate each one of these issues. The course will meet for three hours of lecture and one hour of discussion each week. A midterm, three two-page essays, class participation and a final exam will determine your grade. A textbook and a course pack cover the readings for this course. (Sfeir-Younis)

102. Contemporary Social Issues: An Introduction to Sociology. (4). (SS). May be repeated for a total of 8 credits.
Section 001 Introduction to Sociology through Gender Relations.
In this section we will examine these questions: In what ways is the situation of men and women different in the U.S. and in the world? What aspects of U.S. culture are especially important in understanding the different lives of women and men? Of the economy? What sociological theories can help us understand gender? How do other societies with different economic/political systems and beliefs organize gender and what is the effect on gender equality? What are likely changes for women and men in the near future? We will focus mostly on the U.S., but will sometimes look at other countries for added insight. No special background is needed to take this course; basic sociological concepts will be covered along with material specific to gender issues. Students will attend three lectures and one discussion section a week. Evaluation will be primarily through written work (papers). (Friedenfels)

Section 008 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 is one mid-course examination and one final examination. Each student is required to be a main participant in a class debate over a controversial social problem. (Kennedy)

Section 015: Introduction to Sociology through Power in America. This course will involve the study of power relations in the United States. After exploring theories of the American political system, we will proceed with an examination of the U.S. social structure and its relationship to political power. We are interested in the extent to which various social groups and classes exert influence in the political process. Specifically, we intend to analyze the interactions of women, racial minorities, industrial workers, and large corporations within the arena of power. Finally, the course will investigate the international repercussions of the American power structure, in regions such as Central America, South Africa, and the Middle East. There will be a midterm and a final examination. (Parsa)

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 had a long love affair with sport. The number of sport participants has increased tremendously over the last decade, as has the proliferation of sports facilities and organizations. Larger proportions of our population than ever before are now directly and indirectly participating in sports activities. Spectator participation in the traditional sport events such as baseball, football and basketball has also increased as has the hours of exposure to these events on television where twenty-four hours of sports broadcasting is now easily available on cable sports channels. Not only is there increased media exposure to the traditional sports events, but now tennis, golf and gymnastics also enjoy national as well as international prominence. It is also apparent that American society's attitude towards sports participation has expanded to more fully include minorities and women. Age no longer is seen as much as a constraint to participation as it once was. There are now programs available from the cradle to the grave. In this course the linkages between sport and society will systematically be examined within the respective functionalist and conflict theoretical frameworks accepting the premise that sports is a microcosm of society. Among the issues covered in this course using these theoretical approaches are: the manner in which sport is linked to social institutions, the role of sport in the process of socializing youth with American values, the degree to which sport is segregated, the role that sport plays in upward mobility, the ways that sport shapes character, the relationships between sport and education, the role of the media in sport, and the political economy of sport. Exercises, two examinations, and a term paper will be required. (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, 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. 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)

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. It focuses on social, economic, and environmental problems associated with population growth and structure; and on problems and policies designed to deal with these problems. The course has an international perspective dealing both with less developed and more developed countries. Specific topics receiving attention include population growth, urbanization, and migration; population and development; resources and population; age structure and aging; adolescent pregnancy; and policies designed to affect birth rate. There are no prerequisites for the course nor is any special background required although an average ability to read tables and interpret quantitative material will be assumed. (Weinstein)

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 pre-registration for Soc. 389. Interested students should contact the Project Community Office (763-3548, 2204 Michigan Union) at the beginning of the term to add Soc. 389. Overrides may be picked up at the Project Community office during the period of January 7 27. (Chesler)

393/Hist. 333/Econ. 396/Pol. Sci. 396/Slavic 396/REES 396. Survey of Eastern Europe. (4). (SS).

See REES 396. (Meyer)

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).

An introduction to sociological theory and research from the perspective of political economy. Marx's theory of social class and class conflict will form the basis of a critical analysis of social norms and deviance, gender and kinship, race and ethnicity, and social change. Texts include Brown, Rockefeller Medicine Man; Domhoff, Who Rules America; Tavris and Offir, The Longest War: Sex Differences in Perspective; and Williams, Capitalism and Slavery. (Paige)

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

Sociological theory is introduced by moving from the classics to contemporary debates regarding power, authority, legitimacy and normative bonding. The first four weeks or so will be devoted to Marx, Durkheim, Weber, Michels and Mead. The remainder of the course then explores contemporaries' efforts to use and advance their ideas. The limits of these efforts are also explored by considering comparative and area studies of ethnic conflict and neocorporatism in both the West and the Third World. Among contemporary works to be read are those by: Neo-Marxists, the Frankfort school and Jurgen Habermas; Talcott Parsons and "Neofunctionalists"; and "conflict theorists." No midterm, no final. Requirements: class participation and three five-page, take-home papers. (Sciulli)

426/Phil. 428/Econ. 428/Asian Studies 428/Pol. Sci. 428. China's Evolution Under Communism. Upperclass standing or permission of instructor. (4). (SS).

See Political Science 428. (Lieberthal)

427. Societies and Institutions of Eastern Europe. (3). (SS).
Section 001 The Contemporary Soviet Society: Origins, Structure, and Social Institutions.
The course will offer a systematic introduction to the USSR as a social formation and a political system. It will begin by tracing the origins of the Soviet Union considering in particular the Russian Tsardom at the turn of the century, its crisis, the Bolshevik Revolution and the making of the social, economic, political and cultural structures we encounter. The course will proceed then to discuss the way Soviet society works, its major institutions, hierarchies and trends as well as its cultural, ethnic and ideological determinants, its "crisis points" and directions of further development. The contemporary USSR will be then considered vis a vis the global society, theories of social transformation and the images of socialism as an alternative society. (Shanin)

429/Scand. 460. Issues in Modern Scandinavia. Introductory sociology or introductory political science or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

See Scandinavian 460. (Bjorn)

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).

In this course an examination of the spatial and social factors affecting location, organization and functioning of cities is made. Although both the internal arrangements and external connections of cities are analyzed, heaviest emphasis is placed on the examination of the internal arrangements of cities within the context of social and spatial processes. Throughout the course contemporary urban problems found in the American city will be utilized as examples. Exercises, a paper and two examinations will be scheduled. (Deskins)

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

An examination of the relationship between society, social classes, and work, focusing in particular on the growing challenge to managerial authority on the job. We begin by exploring the historical antecedents and organizational sources of this challenge, its current manifestations, and recent employer attempts to deflect it. This raises the question of how work might be better organized. We then look at various alternatives, from job enrichment to workers' participation, in an effort to understand their emancipatory potential. With this in mind, we will also critically evaluate some of the more ambitious attempts undertaken by other countries to establish workers' control and genuine forms of industrial democracy. Grades will be based on a midterm, final exam and a collaborative research project. The results of the research will be presented to the class. (Kimeldorf)

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

Analyzes occupations and professions within the wider context of social classes, the economy and society. In particular, we will explore the following questions: How and why has the organization of work changed over time? What are the characteristics of the major occupational groups and where do they fit in the class structure? How is it that certain social groups are routinely "placed" in certain jobs? What has been the impact of unions and professional associations not only on their members but also on society as a whole? Grades will be based on a midterm and final exam. (Kimeldorf)

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 is concerned with 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 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. (Section 001 Whyte; Section 002 staff)

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

This course introduces the sociology of law. The substantive focus is not the criminal justice system alone, however, but the broader literature of sociology of organizations. In particular, recent work (by John W. Meyer, W. Richard Scott and others) on the normative structuring of organizations by their institutionalized environment is used to illustrate the relationship between law and organizational forms. Even more specifically, case studies are taken from corporate crime in the pharmaceutical industries of Western societies in an effort to specify breakdowns in the integrity of organizational forms. Case studies may also be drawn from the pure and applied professions in the Third World and Eastern bloc. A theoretical perspective, societal constitutionalism, is developed from the debate surrounding Lon Fuller's notion of procedural legality, including criticisms and proposals by H.L.A. Hart, Talcott Parsons, Jurgen Habermas and the critical legal studies approach. No midterm, no final. Requirements: class participation and two ten-page, take-home papers. (Sciulli)

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

This course will focus on collective acts and social movements in both developed and developing societies. The course will begin with an examination of theories of social movement and collective action. It will then proceed to analyze the development of modern political and economic systems and their impact on social conflict. The course will investigate several social movements in the United States, including the labor, civil rights, and the New Right. The second part of the course will examine the development experiences of third world countries and the cause of revolutionary movements in the Twentieth Century. The role of multinational corporations and other institutions will be critically investigated. The main region of our analysis will be Central America, South Africa and the Middle East. There will be a midterm and a final exam. (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 a smaller role. 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. Evaluation will be based on a midterm, a final and a 10-12 page paper. (Modigliani)

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

This course is designed for the advanced undergraduate student. It will be essentially a general survey of the topic from different viewpoints. Thus, in the definition of delinquency, the legal perspective will be emphasized while the analysis theories and explanations of delinquency will focus on social aspects. The course will present major theoretical approaches and will examine their theoretical foundations and their empirical support. Then, a survey of prevention and treatment attempts and policies will present their underlying theories and their empirical success. (Rahav)

468. Criminology. (3). (SS).
Section 001.
This course will be a survey of recent work in the field of criminology. Topics will include theories of crime causation, sociology of the 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)

Section 008. This will be a general survey of the field of criminology. At first, it will present the history and the methods of the field. While sociological explanations of crime will be emphasized, other theories and approaches will be presented as well. Each theory will be presented in the context of explicit theoretical assumptions, and the major findings pertaining to it. The course will discuss some of the major problems concerning crime, its development and its control as well as some major policy approaches. (Rahav)

470. Social Influence. A previous course in social psychology elected either through Psychology or Sociology. (3). (SS).

The course deals broadly with the issues of how people's behavior and beliefs are changed by individuals and groups. Topics to be covered include conformity, group pressure, reference groups, cognitive dissonance, balance, face-saving, reciprocity, brainwashing, and obedience to legitimate authority. These topics are organized in terms of four paradigms, or broad frameworks, that have been used by researchers to study the area: cognitive and interpersonal consistency, means-ends or functional analysis, self-image and the social construction of reality, and activitation of prior commitments. Class time will emphasize discussion of the reading material and of films and exercises, along with some lectures. Evaluation will be based on a midterm and final. (Modigliani)

475/MCO 475 (Public Health). Introduction to Medical Sociology. (3). (SS).

This course considers a number of important issues in the sociological study of health and illness: the influence of race, sex and class on health and illness; the role of social stress and environmental factors in health and illness; the ways in which people of different social statuses respond to illness; the operations of organized health care systems, as well as professional-client/consumer interactions in health care; the economics of health care in America.

477. Sociology of Aging. (3). (SS).

This course will provide a basic introduction to social and psychological aspects of the aging process. The content of the course is organized around the multiple meanings of age, i.e., as an indicator of biological and psychological capacities, as an indicator of social statuses and roles, and as an indicator of the experience of a particular historical period. Accordingly, we will first consider changes in health and psychological functioning with age. Next we will consider the sequence of role changes associated with aging (e.g., retirement, widowhood). Finally, we will discuss historical changes and the aging process, and will examine cultural and subcultural variations in the experience of aging. An additional organizing theme of the course is how people adapt to these multiple aspects of aging. Thus, we will discuss how people cope with health declines in old age, how they cope with major role changes such as retirement and widowhood, and how the experience of particular historical times, e.g., the Great Depression, World War II, shapes their adaption to old age. There are no prerequisites for the course, although exposure to introductory sociology or psychology and to statistics or research methods is desirable. (Bolger)

495. Special Course. (2-3). (SS). May be repeated for credit.
Section 001 Social Encounters: Self in Social Situations.
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 and 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. Frameworks 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 three papers; two shorter ones and one longer one (10-12 pp). The course is open to anyone who has taken a previous course in social psychology. (Modigliani)

497. Special Course. (2-3). (SS). May be repeated for credit.
Section 001.
This course is jointly offered with American Culture 410. (Pedraza-Bailey)

583/Psych. 583. Introduction to Survey Research I. Introductory psychology and statistics; or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

See Psychology 583. (Quinn)

587/Psych. 516. Advanced Laboratory in Social Psychology. Stat. 402 or 300; and Psych. 382 or prior or concurrent enrollment in Soc. 486. (3). (Excl).

See Psychology 516. (Section 001 - Hilton; Section 002 Ezekiel)

591. Special Areas of Social Psychology. Soc. 590 or permission of instructor. (3). (SS).
Section 001 Social Structure and Personality.
This course addresses sociological social psychology. The focus is on the examination of linkages between individual psychology and larger social systems. Using the selected topic areas of race, gender and social class this course will seek to illustrate the consequences of social structural factors for individual outcomes. A primary goal of the course is to challenge students to engage in critical, analytical and integrative thinking about the field of social psychology generally, and specifically about the area of social psychology generally, and specifically about the area of social structure and personality. The course format will be a graduate seminar, with extensive reading and discussion being assumed. The course fulfills part of the major or minor requirement in sociology. Among the readings for this course: Kohn, Class and Conformity; Rubin, Worlds of Pain; Bowles and Gintis, Schooling in Capitalist America; Davis, Women, Race and Class; Skinner, Beyond Freedom and Dignity; Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents; and assorted articles from a course pack. Course requirements will include three short papers. (Allen)

595. Special Course. (3). (SS).
Section 001 Migration and Urbanization.
This course will examine the major substantive areas of migration research drawing from the demographic, economic and geographic literature on the relationship between migration and urbanization. The main objectives of the seminar will be to familiarize participants with the existing literature on redistribution patterns and issues, to provide an overview of theories and models which have been proposed to explain migration in various contexts, and to cover the methods of analysis and availability of data that can be used to examine the migration component of population change. Students will take a midterm examination and write an end-of-term paper on a topic related to the course. (Frey)

Section 002 Seminar on Peasant Society. This graduate seminar will focus on peasant societies and aim to enhance analytical skills as well as capacity to construct suitable methodologies of research. Peasantry as a particular social structure, an economic, a cultural and a social class will be approached on comparative and theoretical levels. Those issues will be considered from different points of view i.e., different schools of thought treating peasants as an object of planned intervention, as a subject and/or as a research topic. (Shanin)

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.