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Winter Academic Term 2002 Course Guide

Note: You must establish a session for Winter Academic Term 2002 on wolverineaccess.umich.edu in order to use the link "Check Times, Location, and Availability". Once your session is established, the links will function.

Courses in RC Social Science


This page was created at 5:37 PM on Fri, Mar 22, 2002.

Winter Academic Term, 2002 (January 7 - April 26)

Open courses in RC Social Science
(*Not real-time Information. Review the "Data current as of: " statement at the bottom of hyperlinked page)

Wolverine Access Subject listing for RCSSCI

Winter Academic Term '02 Time Schedule for RC Social Science.


Most RC courses are open to LS&A students and may be used to meet distribution requirements. In most instances, RC students receive priority for RC course waitlists.


RCSSCI 275(RC NS 275). Social Dynamics of Science, Technology, and Medicine.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Inigo Granzow-de La Cerda (inyigo@umich.edu) , Susan Presswood Wright (spwright@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Sophomore standing. (4). (SS).

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

Many of the world's most pressing problems require its citizens to resolve scientific and technical problems simultaneously with questions of political choice and social justice. Values, epistemological assumptions, and social forms are routinely embedded in artifacts and infrastructures. In turn, technological systems, engineered environments, advanced medical care, and scientific knowledge profoundly shape modern societies. This course introduces students to the social dynamics of science, technology, and medicine: the interplay among social, political, and ethical concerns, on the one hand, and new knowledge, new devices, and new medical techniques, on the other. The course is based on a few case studies, each of which we cover in depth. As we explore each one, we will discuss their scientific and technological bases, including the history and controversies surrounding what we may take for granted today. We will introduce theories of scientific knowledge and technological change. We will seek understanding of how science, technology, and medicine create unintended effects, and how societies cope with these consequences. In all cases, we will look at science, technology, and medicine, not only from the point of view of their practitioners, but from the perspective of users, observers, and victims as well.

Occasional guest lectures will supplement the instructors' own expertise. Films and novels are incorporated into the syllabus as examples of cultural reception and interpretation of technical issues. This class will serve as the core course for the proposed Minor in Science, Technology, & Society. Preference will be given to sophomores, juniors, and seniors, in that order.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

RCSSCI 280. Moral Choice in Context: Social-Psychological and Historical Perspectives.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Ian Robinson (eian@umich.edu) , Henry Greenspan (hgreensp@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Sophomore standing. (4). (SS).

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: http://coursetools.ummu.umich.edu/2002/winter/rcssci/280/001.nsf

This course examines the contexts in which, and the processes by which profound moral choices are made. It does so through a series of case studies that include both psychological experiments especially Milgram's famous experiments on "obedience" and selected historical situations. Examples also come from weekly films and, on occasion, from literature and drama.

Major topics include:

  • The process of moral choice within extreme situations; in particular, the ways some people became killers and others became resisters during the Holocaust and at the My Lai massacre in Vietnam. We will look at the ways our analaysis of moral choice in such extreme circumstances may both inform and distort the ways moral decisions take place in everyday life.
  • The evolution of discrete acts of moral resistance into large-scale social movements; more specifically, the process of organizing sustained commitment within the civil rights movement in Mississippi during the 1960s. Here, we consider the role that social networks, shared participation, and a shared history play in the process and impact of moral choice. More generally, we explore "activism" as a context of moral choice.
  • Finally, in the light of what has preceded, we will consider issues of moral choice in contemporary contexts the contexts of our own lives. This will include questions about the fate of character and moral commitment in times of war and widespread fear and uncertainty; the relationship between personal moral commitments and those that are national or even international; the complex relationships between ethics and patriotism; and the equally complex relationships between being a moral "bystander" to ongoing events and being, in one way or another, an "activist."

Primary texts include Milgram's Obedience to Authority and later commentary on Milgram's work; Browning's and Goldhagen's studies of Holocaust perpetrators; Bilton and Sim's Four Hours in My Lai; Payne's and McAdam's studies of the civil rights movement in Mississippi; and a range of commentaries on contemporary moral issues along with relevant social-psychological theory.

There will be films both features and documentaries every Monday evening from 7-9 p.m., so no student should enroll for this course who will not be free during those hours.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 1

RCSSCI 290. Social Science Basic Seminar.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Frank W Thompson (fthom@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: (1). (Excl).

Credits: (1).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This seminar is designed for students at the sophomore level or above who are seriously considering a Social Science concentration in the Residential College. The seminar is a requirement in the Social Science program; its purpose is to prepare students to pursue a concentration in Social Science in the RC.

Seminar sessions will introduce students to the RC Social Science faculty and upper-level Social Science concentrators, and discussion will center on how to turn general interests into problems that can be investigated systematically. Early on, students will begin working on their own with guidance from faculty and upper-level students whose interests complement theirs in order to complete the principal goal of the seminar: designing a coherent, individualized program of study for the Social Science concentration.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 1 and Permission of Instructor

RCSSCI 302. Contemporary Social and Cultural Theory.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Frank W Thompson (fthom@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Social Science 301 or equivalent (as determined by the instructor). (4). (Excl).

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This seminar-format course will pursue some principle issues in contemporary social theory through an intensive examination of central primary texts selected from writings of some of the most influential recent theorists, including John Rawls, Robert Nozick, Jørgen Habermas, Michel Foucault, G. A. Cohen, Amartya Sen, and Ronald Dworkin. Alternative accounts of variations in social institutions and dynamics will be analyzed and compared, and related normative positions will be considered and evaluated. Regular (very) short papers on aspects of the readings will be required during the term to ground class discussions. A substantial paper on an agreed topic will be due at the end of the term.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 1

RCSSCI 345. Community Strategies Against Poverty in the United States.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Kenneth R Brown

Prerequisites & Distribution: Sophomore standing. (4). (SS).

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

Developed as a collaboration of the Residential College and the Center for Learning through Community Service, this course analyzes the changing context of poverty and anti-poverty strategy in the U.S., with an emphasis on community-level initiatives to improve standards of living. The first half of the course focuses on the nature and sources of urban poverty in the contemporary U.S. and on the evolution of efforts to combat poverty since World War II. The second half of the course addresses a variety of community-based initiatives in recent decades to overcome urban poverty. Throughout the course attention will be devoted to the complex interrelationships between race, class, and gender in urban America, as they affect poverty and efforts to overcome it with examples drawn frequently from the experience of the Detroit metropolitan area.

The course meets twice a week in 2-hour sessions. The first weekly session is generally devoted to a lecture presentation often by guest lecturers with special expertise in the subject to be addressed. Guest lecturers include faculty from various UM units, such as the College of LS&A, the School of Social Work, and the School of Public Health, as well as outside experts on community-based approaches to social and economic change. For the second weekly session the class usually meets in discussion groups of 15-25 students each; but at times a film is shown to the full class in the first hour.

Students are expected to send weekly e-mail messages on the assigned readings to their discussion group leader and to play an active role in classroom discussion. Students will also write one short paper and take an in-class exam (at the end of the first half of the course), and they will write one term paper (during the second half of the course). There are no prerequisites for this course, but a previous course in the social sciences is highly desirable.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 1 and Permission of Instructor

RCSSCI 356. Mind, Brain, and Violence.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Jeffrey E Evans (jeevans@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Sophomore standing. (4). (Excl).

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This course is an exploration of human violence and violent crime with an emphasis on psychological and neuropsychological correlates. The course begins by investigating the causes of recent school shootings: Columbine High School in Colorado and Thurston High School in Oregon. It continues with other cases from the news, from literature and from drama, and it makes distinctions between violence that is defensive, predatory, impulsive, planned, and serial. It seeks the sense in violence that is "senseless."

Throughout, causes of violence are conceptualized as interactions between biological factors (i.e. genes, hormones, neurotransmitters, brain structures, and their various pathologies induced by injury, illness, or substances), and social factors, from poverty and racism to problematic interpersonal relationships. The details of those interactions are the substance of the course the ways in which various levels of cause and effect within nature and nurture work together to produce complex human behaviors, in this case violence in its various forms.

Texts for the course include: Truman Capote, In Cold Blood; James Gilligan, Violence: a National Epidemic; Debra Niehoff, The Biology of Violence; and Richard Wright, Native Son.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

RCSSCI 357 / HISTORY 345. History and Theory of Punishment.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Charles C Bright (cbright@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: (4). (Excl).

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

In this course, we will explore the history and theory of punishment in the 19th and 20th centuries. The main focus will be on the history of punishment in the United States, but we will draw on broader theoretical traditions and use comparative cases from other places. Central to the study will be patterns of change in punishment practices and how these reflected and/or foster new perspectives on who criminals are and what makes them misbehave. We will seek to understand how punishment systems create and defend coherent, if changing narratives about deviance, crime, and correction, and how these narratives work to organize the internal practices and the public discourse about punishment. Topics will include the invention of the penitentiary in the early/mid-19th century, the development of industrial penology and the "big house" in the early 20th century, contract labor systems and chain gangs that comprised penal practice in the American south after the Civil War, and the emergence of rehabilitative models of corrections and their crisis after the second World War. These historical explorations will frame a critical examination of contemporary penology and discourses on punishment. Class sessions will mix lectures with discussions and small group work. There will be several assigned books and a coursepack; two essays and a final paper will supplant midterm and final exams. This is one of two required core courses for the Crime and Justice undergraduate minor.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

RCSSCI 360. Social Science Junior Seminar.

Section 001 Developmental Perspectives on Health & Illness.

Instructor(s): Jennifer T Myers (jeniferm@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Upperclass standing. (4). (Excl). May be repeated for credit.

Upper-Level Writing

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This course will allow students to explore the topics of health and illness from a developmental perspective. The course will be a combination of discussion of relevant literature (empirical and theoretical) and "hands-on" training in various aspects of the research process. We will explore the literature that focuses on children's understanding of health and illness and how that understanding develops or changes over time and how the research itself has evolved. We will also take a look at chronic illness in general and the potential impact on development. We will read and discuss profiles of specific illnesses and examine research that has been conducted on the impact on psychosocial and cognitive development. On Tuesdays we will focus primarily on discussion of the assigned readings. There will also be opportunities to participate in research and experiences related to the course; on Thursdays we will work on developing these projects.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

RCSSCI 360. Social Science Junior Seminar.

Section 002 Gender, Environment, and Poverty. Meets with Anthropology 298.001.

Instructor(s): Sharad Chari (schari@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Upperclass standing. (4). (Excl). May be repeated for credit.

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: http://coursetools.ummu.umich.edu/2002/winter/anthrcul/298/001.nsf

Why do gender inequality, environmental degradation, and structural poverty persist in the modern world? This course uses the tools of political economy to ask how these classic questions of social change and development are intertwined. We will ask how questions of development have been framed, contested, and responded to in the context of polarization between people, environments, and nations in the era of modern capitalism and imperialism, or globalization. A central concern will be the role of the "Third World," otherwise called the South or developing nations, as defined through anti-colonial movements and nations aspiring for economic self-sufficiency while steering a non-aligned course through Cold War geopolitics. While some have proclaimed the end of the Third World, a conservative estimate from the World Bank is that there are over two billion poor people in the world; this poverty is strongly gendered and linked in complex ways to degraded and polluted environments. Moreover, the late 20th century saw growing polarization in income differentials between the wealthiest and poorest 20% of the world's nations, from 30 times in 1960 to 60 times by 1980. These stark figures suggest a seemingly intractable structural poverty in the global economy, particularly in areas that comprise the Third World, but also in the pockets of the global South in the heart of First World. Beginning with how colonial and agrarian environments and their inhabitants have been integrated into wider political economic processes, we will ask how the making of the Third World has held varied consequences for women and men around the world. We then investigate various development strategies as configurations of state, market and civil society, which come together to address questions of fertility, food security, environmental use and degradation, industrialization, and participation in the global economy. By seeing development and structural inequality through the lives and daily struggles of Third World men and women, this course argues that the political economy of Third World development is central to concerns of environment, gender and poverty everywhere. Through readings, lectures, discussions, films, and occasional field trips we will attempt to bring insights from Third World development studies in relation to problems of gender inequality, environmental change, and structural poverty in our own backyards.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 1

RCSSCI 360. Social Science Junior Seminar.

Section 003 Steam Engines and Computers: From Industrial Proletarians to Information Workers. Meets with Sociology 495.001 and History 498.004.

Instructor(s): Thomas W O'Donnell

Prerequisites & Distribution: Upperclass standing. (4). (Excl). May be repeated for credit.

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This is a course in the technological history of two bourgeois revolutions in production: the industrial revolution and the emergent electronics/information revolution but not in isolation. Our aim in studying technology is to inform an understanding of the evolving social organization of work and the origins and future of the working classes in the global/information age.

The earlier, industrial phase has been well documented and much theoretical work exists. Its study should provide a perspective/framework from which to examine the unexpected 20th century collapse of the Fordist, industrial model, and the precipitous decline in numbers and political strength of industrial proletarians, unions, and 'labor' parties as such.

We will study detailed descriptions of the birth and workings of the industrial era's communications (telegraph), transportation, timekeeping, motive power (from steam engines to internal combustion), and industrial manufacturing (from English cotton mills through to the first Ford/Taylor assembly line in Highland Park, Michigan) In parallel, we will read accounts of the formation of the industrial working class (proletariat), using narratives written by workers themselves, classic accounts by Marx and Engels, and by academic business researchers, sociologists, and anthropologists.

As part of our study of the decline of 'Taylor/Fordism' and of the trajectory of the new information-laden technologies and organizational forms, we will want to visit Detroit-area factories as well as transportation and communication centers. It is important to develop a perspective of industry-wide SYSTEMS of production/technology, and how they have evolved into radically different social enterprises, especially since WWII. Subjects of study will include the present metalworking (steel and auto manufacturing) industry, the electronics/communications and information technology industries, and transportation. The service sector and/or agribusiness are also possibilities.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 1

RCSSCI 360. Social Science Junior Seminar.

Section 004 Immigrant Identities in American Film: the Irish and the Chinese. Meets with RC Humanities 333.005.

Instructor(s): Claire A Conceison , Benjamin Zvi Novick

Prerequisites & Distribution: Upperclass standing. (4). (Excl). May be repeated for credit.

R&E

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

How were images and expectations of Irish and Chinese immigrants to America disseminated in Hollywood cinema of the mid-twentieth century? (How) were they reshaped in popular film by the end of the twentieth century? By examining representative works in genres ranging from musicals to gangster films and action films, this course will examine how the Irish and Chinese were portrayed as both immigrant Others and assimilated Americans during the twentieth century. In addition to required film screenings, students will read selected works introducing the history of Irish and Chinese immigration to the United States, models of ethnicity in cultural studies, discussions of diaspora and exile, and critical approaches to film analysis. Films will include works directed by John Ford and John Woo as well as those featuring actors Gene Kelly, Bing Crosby, Spencer Tracy, Ed Burns, Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Jet Li, and Lucy Liu. Weekly Monday evening film screenings are required.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

RCSSCI 381. Unteaching Racism.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Helen Fox (hfox@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: (4). (Excl). (R&E).

R&E

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

How do children learn to accept a certain level of racism as "normal," even in the most progressive communities? How can we convince skeptics that racism continues to flourish on campus, in schools, and in the media? How can we develop new materials, methods, and forms of education that include more cultural styles and perspectives than the dominant Eurocentric model? How can white students and students of color become allies by un-teaching racism in our schools and communities?

This is a community service learning course with a twist. Instead of linking readings and discussion with work in impoverished communities of color, students of all backgrounds and cultures will work in predominantly white, middle class communities to educate themselves and others about "normal," everyday racist practices. Students can intern in community organizations devoted to multiculturalism and anti-racist teaching, they can learn to be intergroup relations facilitators, or conduct research on campus of "normal, ordinary" racist practices in classrooms, dormitories, campus police services, and so on. They might make a video to play on community access television, get involved in Peacekeeper Training for future KKK rallies in Ann Arbor, or create training materials for other community service learning courses or Alternative Spring Break activities.

Readings and discussion will cover such topics as definitions of racism and prejudice, white privilege, institutional racism, teaching and learning styles encouraged by different cultures, John Ogbu's concept of voluntary and involuntary minorities, the psychology of stigma and its effect on children, racial identity development theory, and how race consciousness and its associated taboos are taught, sometimes unwittingly, in U.S. society. Students will be encouraged to develop their own ideas and understandings about this perplexing and sensitive topic rather than adopting a particular political stance toward it. All that is required is a willingness to see from the various points of view of those most affected by the problem, and a desire for greater justice and equality.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 1

RCSSCI 382. History of Time.

Section 001 Meets with History 302.004.

Instructor(s): Paul N Edwards (pne@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: (4). (Excl).

Upper-Level Writing

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: http://coursetools.ummu.umich.edu/2002/winter/rcssci/382/001.nsf

Time plays a central role in human affairs, from the hourly rhythm of a single day to the slow stages of an individual life to the organization of enduring human institutions such as governments and cultures. Temporal coordination is thus a very important socio-technical problem. To use and understand time, societies have produced a plethora of techniques and mechanisms: natural cycles, clocks, communication systems. Experiences, uses, and technologies of time differ widely among cultures. This course will investigate three threads in the history of time. First, we'll examine the social history of timekeeping technologies, including their role in the history of science and technology. Second, we'll compare concepts and uses of time in different cultures and in history. Finally, we'll explore the individual experience of time, as shaped by social institutions and technological life-worlds. Together, these intertwined threads will lead students to discover very broad, deep, but usually taken-for-granted connections between technology, science, social life, history, and individual experience. In addition to factual historical studies, readings include a novel, short stories, and meditations on the experience of time. Several films will be screened, including sci-fi films about time travel. Writing assignments will include a journal, a research paper, and short essays.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

RCSSCI 460. Social Science Senior Seminar.

Section 002 History and Politics of Chemical and Biological Warfare Disarmament. Meets with Political Science 498.001

Instructor(s): Susan Presswood Wright (spwright@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Senior standing. (4). (Excl). May be repeated for credit.

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

The political problems of chemical and biological warfare and disarmament have achieved salience as the result of several developments since the end of the Cold War. The most spectacular have been the discoveries that both Iraq and the former Soviet Union developed large BW capabilities, both countries stockpiling daunting quantities of biological and toxic agents, and both largely eluding discovery, if not strong suspicion, until the revelations of the weapons programs were provided by well-informed defectors.

Also in the 1990s, the Aum Shinrikio attack in the Tokyo subway underscored the dangers of terrorists acquiring and using, or threatening to use, chemical or biological weapons in cities. On the disarmament side, the completion of the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1992 signified the willingness of major states to provide relatively high levels of transparency and to submit their military and industrial establishments to intrusive inspections under a regime designed to deter development, production, stockpiling, and use of chemical weapons. But efforts to develop a parallel regime for biological weaponry confront thorny problems, especially how to provide sufficient transparency for credible assurance concerning disarmament in the face of strong military and industrial interests in maintaining secrecy.

This seminar provides historical and political perspectives on these and other developments in this area. It begins with analysis of the efforts in the UN General Assembly and the Eighteen-Nation Conference on Disarmament to rein in the expanding chemical and biological programs of the two super-powers and to establish a norm of commitment to chemical and biological disarmament in the 1960s. It ends with a focus on the problems and challenges today, with emphasis on the Gulf War and international responses to Iraq's chemical and biological weapons programs, on linkages between biological and chemical weaponry and nuclear weapons, and on the global politics of the present CB disarmament regime. Specific themes throughout the seminar will be the roles of science and of scientists in the biological and chemical fields; secrecy and reliable reassurance about national intentions; linkages between biological and chemical weaponry and nuclear weapons and the problem of controlling weapons of mass destruction in general; and the importance of understanding non-Western perspectives. This seminar also aims to develop theoretical and methodological awareness in approaching and dealing with these questions.

The introductory sessions will discuss some of the principal types of framework used in political science (e.g.. realism, political economy, regime theory, feminism), the importance of choices concerning perspective and of understanding political issues in relation to a specific regional setting, and the problems posed by a positivist orientation to the questions under discussion. The seminar also provides training in research techniques and strategies, with emphasis on strategies to find and use primary source materials. Primary sources will be used as course readings where possible and approaches to interpreting these materials will be emphasized.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

RCSSCI 460. Social Science Senior Seminar.

Section 003 Organization Theory and Change. Meets with NRE 449.001.

Instructor(s): Stephen Brechin (sbrechin@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Senior standing. (4). (Excl). May be repeated for credit.

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: https://coursetools.ummu.umich.edu/2002/winter/nre/449/001.nsf

Have you ever wondered how organizations as varied as state natural resource management agencies, NGOs, multi-lateral development banks, international development agencies, and community groups impact environmental policy and management both in the U.S. and internationally?

Why do organizations behave in certain ways and not in others? RC 460/NRE449 addresses these questions by exploring how different types of organizations and organizational arrangements can influence organizational decision-making, behavior, and outcomes in complex political arenas such as endangered species recovery, protected area management, risk assessment, community forestry and community-based resource management and development. The course begins with an in-depth look at the literature on organizational theory and change. It focuses on organizational behavior but also examines organizations as carriers of environmental programs and as implementers of environmental policy. The course includes a series of case examples that apply organizational theory to specific policy and management problems. The course is intended for graduate and advanced undergraduate students, but there are no specific prerequisites for registration.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

Graduate Course Listings for RCSSCI.


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