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 00l. This course will introduce the student to sociological analysis by considering the differing traditions of inquiry that exist within the discipline. Such traditions lead us to ask different kinds of questions and give us different understandings of the world in which we live. Moreover, such traditions shape our view of human possibilities, of what constitute ethical or just social arrangements, as well as what we simply accept as inevitable or "natural." Examples of the kinds of questions we will ask in the course are: why does poverty exist, and what would have to be done to eradicate it? How much inequality is a good thing? What are the causes of racism? How can we understand the kinds of changes occurring in families, between men and women, in contemporary American society? Course requirements, in addition to readings and lectures, include a midterm and final exam, participation in discussion sections and one five page paper. [Cost:1] [WL:1,4] (Blum)

Section 024. A comparative and historical method guides this introduction to the study of human societies. We consider hunting and gathering, horticultural, agrarian and industrial society, 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 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)

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

Section 001 LOVE AND INTIMACY. Most of us are looking for a relationship that will carry us securely across the ocean of loneliness to the beautiful shores of joy, intimacy and love. But, what is Love? Why do we love others? Are liking and loving the same? Is our loving conditioned by the structure and history of our society? The main purpose of this course is to share with you some of the scholarly research, the theories, and the insights of social psychology on this vital topic. From our study of love there will also emerge a critical evaluation of our interpersonal relations and of contemporary society. This course seeks to provide all of us with an opportunity to relate these theoretical findings to personal decisions in our lives. Lectures, readings, films and experiential exercises are organized around a set of fundamental questions concerning the social reality of love. Some of the issues to be discussed include the nature of intimacy, transsexuality, rape, pornography, obsessive love, love and spirituality and other topics that may help enrich the quality of our loving relationships. [Cost:2] [WL:1] (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 SOCIAL INEQUALITY. In this introduction to sociology, we will explore the pervasive influence of social and economic inequality in our lives. We will investigate inequality in the areas of race, class, gender, and sexual orientation. Emphasis will be placed on how these different types intersect each other. We will also explore the various theories which try to account for this inequality. Finally, ramifications of inequality will be studied. We will look at what it means to be privileged or under-privileged in our society. Films, lectures, games and guest speakers will be used to convey ideas and concepts. Written work will include multiple exercises and one or two exams. [Cost:2] [WL:4] (Gerschick)

Section 008 INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY THROUGH A COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE. This course provides a general introduction to the discipline of sociology with particular emphasis on a comparative perspective. We over topics such as sociology as a field of study, the types of questions sociologists ask, methods of observation and verification, major paradigms in the discipline, systems of social stratification (by class, race and gender), major social institutions, and patterns of social change. Each topic will be covered within a comparative perspective where we compare different societies as characterized by different modes of production, culture, and institutional structure. We will also compare competing sociological approaches to specific social structures and processes, thus reviewing major debates in the discipline. No previous background in sociology will be assumed. Students will attend two one-hour lectures and one two-hour discussion section weekly. Student evaluation will be based on two exams, two short papers (two-three typewritten pages), and quality of discussion participation. Required readings will be compiled into a course pack, and no additional textbook will be required. (Isvan)

Section 015: INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY THROUGH POLITICAL ECONOMY. The course will provide an introduction to such basic sociological concepts as class, state, gender, ethnicity, and law through a critical analysis of the U.S. political economy. The analysis of American society will be emphasized. Substantive topics include class divisions and class conflict in American society; corporate power and the political process; capitalism and patriarchy; racial and ethnic inequality; class, crime and the state. (Burke)

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

See RC Social Science 220. (Thompson)


For Undergraduates Only

210. Elementary Statistics. (4). (Excl).

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 data analysis using computers. 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.[Cost:2] (Turner)

231. Investigating Social and Demographic Change in America. (4). (Excl).

The purpose of this course is to introduce quantitatively oriented freshman-and sophomore-level students to basic dimensions of social and demographic stratification in American society, and to learn how and why they have changed over the past four decades. The course will engage students in computer exercises on the Apple Macintosh computer. In successive "modules," the students will examine changes in race relations, social inequality, family change, women's roles, and industrial structure. Parallel to classroom lectures and discussions, students, in small teams, will engage in computer investigations of U.S. census data in which they will explore the ways in which these changes have become transmitted across different population groups and geographic areas. These investigations are designed to familiarize students with the measurements of these basic dimensions of social stratification, and to give them some exposure to social science data analysis. Students who will feel comfortable working with computers and simple statistics should benefit most from this course. Those with interests in the physical sciences or mathematics will be just as welcome as those with interests in the social sciences. [Cost:1] [WL:1] (Frey)

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

This introductory course covers a variety of population-related problems, both in developing countries and in the United States. Examples include problems of hunger and disease associated with rapid population growth, urban problems associated with rapid migration to the cities in developing countries, and problems in the United States associated with the "birth dearth." The course consists primarily of lectures, with films, videos, and class discussion interspersed. Grading by examination. No text; readings contained in a course pack. [Cost:1] (K.Mason)

341(441). Sociology of Economic Development. Soc. 100, 195, or 400; or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

This course will address large and medium scale processes of social transformation associated with economic development. The historical organizational and economic transformations which shape the formation of wealth and the improvement of social welfare will be examined in terms of long term processes of imperialism, colonialism, and nationalism. Smaller scale processes include national policy on trade, industrial and agricultural development, population growth, debt/credit (balance of payments) management, and bureaucratic control. The various theoretical approaches will be examined and compared. The measurement and evaluation of economic development will have special attention for analytical and comparative purposes. Issues of technological innovation and diffusion will be addressed in the context of structural patterns of interaction and resource capacity. The course will also try to make some connections between industrial, financial and human capital, and their relations to the productive and distributive mechanisms in different countries. The distinct roles of international organizations and nation states in organizing and controlling economic development provide alternative views of long term forms of coordination and control over the economic and social transformations. The course requirements will consist of a midterm and a final paper. [Cost:2] [WL:2] (Guilarte)

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.

Sociology 389 is Project Community. As a service-learning course, Project Community is committed to both service in the community and to student learning. Students choose from over 30 community field settings in the areas of education, health care and criminal justice. Each section includes field work at a community agency or institution, a weekly seminar, and readings and writings. The seminars are participatory and seek to bridge experiences in the community with the theory in the course pack. Sections vary from two to four credits. Field settings include schools, community centers, child care centers, hospitals, crisis centers, senior centers, adult and juvenile correctional facilities. For more information, come to the Project Community Information Fair on Monday, November 20, from 6: 30 to 7: 30 p.m. in the Michigan Union's Kuenzel Room. Thereafter, come to Project Community, 2205 Michigan Union. (Chesler)

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

See REES 396. (Szporluk)


For Undergraduates and Graduates

426/Phil. 428/Econ 428/Asian Stud. 428/Pol. Sci. 428. China's Evolution Under Communism. Upper class standing or permission of instructor. (4). (Excl).

See Political Science 428. (Oksenberg)

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

This course will provide a sociological and historical overview of American family patterns. The course will focus on changes in family structure and relationships and consider determinants and consequences of those changes. Several main aspects of the family will be investigated: interrelationships between society and the family; kin relations and household structure; division of labor and authority; courtship and marriage; marital dissolution; and childbearing. The course will be conducted using a combination of lectures and discussions. Student evaluations will be conducted through examinations and through a paper. (Thornton)

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

This course focuses on the major forms that families have taken in different historical and cultural settings around the world. We will first review universal features of family systems and ask why they exist. This includes an exploration of the incest taboo, social rules about sexuality and gender relationships, and the obligations between persons related to each other by marriage and "blood." The remainder of the course will review family arrangements in different parts of Asia, Africa, and Europe, again with an emphasis on the question of why differences exist. Readings will include ethnographic monographs and articles contained in a course pack; there will be no textbook used. The course will involve lectures, discussions, films and videos. Grading by examination. (Mason)

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

See Religion 455. (McGinn)

461. Social Movements. (3). (Excl).

Section 001. This course will critically examine major competing theories of social movements with an emphasis on their implications for the causes, activities, and results of social movements. The bulk of the course will explore several historically significant social movements including aspects of the civil rights movement. More recent social movements will also be explored. Special attention will be given to successful social movement strategies and to the means used to counter social movement organizations. Material will be presented using lectures, class discussion, simulations, films, and guest lectures. Evaluations of student progress will be based on two short examinations, a required project, and participation in class discussions and a special class computer conference. [Cost:2] [WL:4] (Boies)

Section 002. Over the past two decades, the literature on social movements their origins, their organizational structures, the circumstances which cause them to occur during certain historical periods, what motivates individuals or groups to join them has been steadily evolving. Recently, two stands of social movement theory have been distinguished: (1) the European "structural" approach, which seeks to explain social movements in terms of factors linked to national political and social systems; and (2) the American "resource mobilization" approach, which concentrates more on how individuals and groups compile the "resources" necessary to create successful social movements. A third category, that of Marxist theories which emphasize the role of socio-economic class interest in collective action, has a longer tradition. In this course we will examine some of the major works from the three branches of analysis and apply these theories to specific examples such as the civil rights and student movements of the 1960s: the women's movement; the neo-conservative movement; the peace/nuclear freeze movement; the environmental or "green" movement; the South African and Chilean resistance movements; various labor, peasant, and farm worker's movements. Recommended: 300-level course in social science or permission of the instructor. Three assignments: a bibliography and two ten page papers, the result of an in-depth study of a particular movement. (Hart)

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

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. [Cost:2] [WL:4] (Modigliani)

467. Juvenile Delinquency. (3). (Excl).

This course will examine juvenile delinquency in the United States. Specific topics will include the nature and extent of delinquency, biological, psychological, and sociological theories of the causes of delinquency, the history of delinquency prevention and juvenile court, the handling of delinquents by the police and juvenile court officials, and various types of prevention and treatment programs. (Burke)

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

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. According, 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 their experience of particular historical times, e.g., the Great Depression, World War II, shapes their adaptation 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. (Gibson)

495. Special Course. (2-3). (Excl). May be repeated for credit.

Section 001 INTERACTION PROCESSES: 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. Frameworks that have sought to explicate the link between self and social encounter (notably the work of Goffman) 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. [Cost:2] [WL:3,4] (Modigliani)

Section 002 SOCIOLOGY OF MASS COMMUNICATIONS. This is a Collegiate Fellows section; see page 3 of this COURSE GUIDE for a complete list of Collegiate Fellows courses. This section is offered jointly with Communication 555.003 for Winter Term, 1990. (Mignolo)

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

Section 002 SOCIOLOGY OF THE AMERICAN JEWISH COMMUNITY. This course will examine current issues and ongoing controversies within the American Jewish community as it reviews broadly the sociological literature on American Jewry. Students will become familiar with contemporary trends at the individual, group and institutional levels, and forces operating to create change. Students will study topics such as ethnic identity, intergroup relations, group survival, and community structure and organization as the class explores the conflicts and struggles of the American Jews to maintain themselves in a pluralistic society. Students will be expected to actively participate in class discussions. Requirements will include midterm and final exams, a research paper, active participation in class discussions and considerable reading. It is recommended that students have completed at least some introductory coursework in sociology. [Cost:3] [WL:1] (Schoem)


For Sociology Honors Students, Seniors, and Graduates

528. Selected Topics in the Analysis of Chinese Society. Soc. 428 or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

This seminar focuses on an intensive analysis of selected aspects of social life in the People's Republic of China. The focus for Winter Term, 1990, will be on continuity and change in the Chinese family. Topics to be considered include: What were the distinctive features of family organization in China before 1949? What have been the policies of the government since 1949, and how have these changed over time? What methods has the government used to try to alter patterns of family life? How much have patterns of family life in different segments of Chinese society actually changed? What are Chinese families organized like nowadays? How similar or different are the patterns of family organization in Mainland China and Taiwan? Special attention will be given to a number of aspects of family organization in China: family structure, the process of mate choice, the role of women, and fertility. Students will prepare a number of short class presentations and then select one special topic as the basis for a seminar paper. [Cost:1] [WL:3,4,] (Whyte)

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

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

595. Special Course. (3). (Excl).

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 and final examination. [Cost:1] [WL:1] (Frey)

596. Special Course. (3). (Excl).

Section 001 THE SOCIOLOGY OF GENDER. This course will examine some of the new "classics" and key debates in the study of gender as a basis for the organization of social life. We will consider gender, the social organization of biological sex differences, as a symbolic and material system embedded within the social division of labor, power, and status. The course will cover five topics: (1) Theories of gender asymmetry; (2) Gender and Capitalist Economy; (3) Gender, Family and Economy Linkages; (4) Gender and the State; (5) Wither American Feminism. Readings include the work of Chodorow, Luker, Milkman, Stacey, Weitzman, and others. Requirements include a research paper and class presentations. The course, run as a seminar, is open to all graduate students in relevant fields. I welcome advanced graduate student auditors willing to share their research. [Cost:4] [WL:4] (Blum)

597. Special Course. (3 each). (Excl).

Section 001 STRUCTURAL SOCIOLOGY. The course will be divided into two parts. The first part will consider diverse and sometimes conflicting structural approaches in the social sciences. These range from structural linguistics and cultural analysis (Saussure, Levi-Strauss, Foucault, Lacan, Chomsky),to objective relational approaches found in network theory and organization theory, community power, status/role analysis (Linton, Nadel, Radcliffe-Brown, Merton), Marxist class theory (Marx, Althusser), and dependency/world systems theory. This part of the course will also address the theoretical status of the various approaches and make some assessment of their analytical potential for future work. The second part of the course will focus on conceptual formalisms primarily derived from network analysis. This will begin with the analysis of concepts such as cliques, role/status, hierarchy, prominence, reachability, cohesion, structural equivalence, autonomy/constraint, centrality, and social density. This will be followed by consideration of some social mechanisms underlying structural theories of action and behavior. These may include transmission of influence, social diffusion, socialization, communications, dependence, interdependence, brokerage, cooptation, coalition formation, competition, group conflict, exchange, mobilization, domination, entrepreneurship, representation and collective action. The course will be mostly conceptual and theoretical and will be conducted as a seminar. The formal and mathematical aspects will be kept to a minimum. The requirements for the course will include class participation and class presentations and a final paper. [Cost:2] [WL:3] (Guilarte)


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