Winter '00 Course Guide

Courses in RC Social Science (Division 877)

Winter Term, 2000 (January 5 April 26, 2000)

Take me to the Winter Term '00 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.

RC sections of LS&A Courses

These sections will be letter graded for all students Math 115 Section 110 Analytical Geometry & Calculus. See Math 115.


RC Soc. Sci. 202. The Twentieth Century: A Global View.

Section 001.

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

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

Credits: (4; 3 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

The aim of this course, designed for sophomores, is to help students locate themselves in the world they inhabit. We will attempt to "map" the world of the late 20th century, developing an analytically precise and historically grounded description of the contemporary world so that it can be seen as the product both of continuous historical processes and of specific, historically unique conjunctures. This will involve an investigation on three tiers: we will study the process of global integration over the last century and a half, the circuits of finance and exchange, of information-flow and migration, that selectively bind the world together; we will examine how the global flow of material goods and ideas percolate into and get appropriated to local contexts and needs, producing contests over meaning, identity, and everyday practice; and we will explore how the interactions of global and local worlds produce crisis and realignment in the "middle ground" of states, national policies, and national identities. The central problem is to understand how processes of global integration create disjunctures and fields of contestation that, in turn, make the proliferation of difference a key characteristic of an integrating world. There are no prerequisites for the class; students will be asked to read five books and a number of articles and to write two papers.

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

RC Soc. Sci. 271. Technology, Politics, and Culture.

Section 001 Meets with History 281.001

Instructor(s): Gabrielle Hecht (hechtg@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: (3). (SS).

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

Technological development has been a major feature of the social, cultural, and political landscape of the 20th century. The process of rapid change has become an integral part not only of our material world, but also our imaginations and our political struggles. How can we understand technological development and its relation to our lives?

This course offers students a political and cultural perspective on technological change. Why do groups choose one technology over another? How do technologies get used to implement political purposes? Why do different nations or cultures choose different kinds of technologies to accomplish similar purposes? What is a technological system, and how are different systems connected? How do ideologies of nationalism, progress, race, gender, etc. get inscribed into technological systems?

The first part of the course will address these general questions by looking at a variety of historical examples and developing an analytic toolkit applicable to other cases. Class sessions will be devoted to discussing assigned readings, viewing films, and examining historical documents. The second part of the course will apply the concepts and questions developed in the first part of the course to three case studies. These case studies will be chosen by the class and the instructor together. We will devote two weeks to each case study. Students will work in groups, choose class readings, films, and other activities (with guidance from the instructor), and write term papers on the case study of their choice.

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

RC Soc. Sci. 290. Social Science Basic Seminar.

Section 001.

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

No Description Provided

Check Times, Location, and Availability


RC Soc. Sci. 295. Quantitative Approaches to Social Science Questions.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Fredricks

Prerequisites & Distribution: High school algebra. (4). (MSA). (QR/2).

Half QR

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

Students in this course learn to formulate questions from a social science perspective and then seek answers to those questions using a variety of quantitative methods. This is very much a hands-on course: students don't just learn statistical formulas they use them with real-world data to explore the relationships among many relevant and interesting concepts. Each student, working closely with the instructor, designs and completes an empirical research project exploring a topic of their own selection. Learning the language of statistics and empirical social science, and becoming adept at the logic of quantitative reasoning are major objectives of this course.

This course has two simultaneous components. On the one hand, students become competent in the use of several basic statistical methods through traditional means: lectures, textbook, computer manual, homework problems, and extensive in-class exercises. At the same time, as their skills and understanding develop, they select a general topic area, formulate a question, translate it into a data collection instrument (survey or use of previously published data) and prepare these data for computer analysis.

The final two weeks of the course take on a workshop format, with students analyzing their data and preparing it for presentation as an academic poster. Students often find that this opportunity to use statistical techniques in their own work draws together all the material in the course, giving them a new level of understanding and mastery. The major emphasis on the practice of social science research is the feature which distinguishes this course from other statistics courses on campus.

Students have weekly homework assignments requiring the use of a calculator and the use of SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences). The instructor provides extensive feedback and individualized teaching with the homework problems. Students' evaluations are based on participation in the classroom exercises, homework, a mastery exam, and a final project.

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

RC Soc. Sci. 302. Contemporary Social and Cultural Theory.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Caulfield

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

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

In this course we shall examine major developments in social and cultural theory from the 1900s to the present. We shall give primary emphasis to current debates concerning post-structuralism, cultural Marxism, feminism and post-modernism, but we shall also contextualize these debates by looking at earlier developments such as existentialism, structural-functionalism, and structuralism. The class will combine a certain amount of lecturing with discussion, both of which will be organized around the careful reading of required texts. Students will be asked to keep reading notes and to write a final paper. (The course forms part of a two-term sequence that began in Fall Term with Social Science 301 on social and cultural theory in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It is perfectly acceptable for students to take the present course without having taken the other.).

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

RC Soc. Sci. 344. The History of Detroit in the 20th Century.

Section 001 Detroit: 20th Century Boomtown

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

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

R&E

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This seminar will explore the history of Detroit during the 20th Century. It will treat the city as an industrial boom town, carried along by the rise and fall of the automobile industry. We will be concerned with the development of Fordist production and its impact upon the geography of neighborhoods, social structures, cultural practices, and political power. The focus will be on the interplay of industry and city, of city and suburban communities, and of ethnic, racial, and class conflict in shaping the urban landscape. During the first part of the term we will follow familiar terrains in the evolution and concentration of the auto industry and in the development of organized labor, but we will also explore the geography of ethnic neighborhoods and enclaves in the 1920s and 1930s as well as the impact of labor struggles upon city politics during the 1930s and 1940s.

The middle and latter part of the term will focus on the postwar period: the boom of the 1950s/60s and the sources of the economic crisis of the 1970s; the postwar consolidation of organized labor and the crisis of labor control during the 1970s; the patterns of racial conflict from the world war to the riots of 1967 and the ways these shaped white flight and the consolidation of Black political power in the city; the urban investment in suburban development before 1967 and the strategies of urban renewal and downtown revitalization devised by the Young administration during the 1970s/80s; and contemporary political struggles over urban planning, regional development, and community defense. The aim in exploring these themes is to understand the nature of the city's decline and the new regional political economy and urban culture that has been taking shape in recent years.

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

RC Soc. Sci. 345. Community Strategies Against Poverty in the United States.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Thomas Weisskopf

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 Community Service and Learning, 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 inter-relationships 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 will meet twice a week. The first weekly session (Tuesday 4-6 PM) will usually be devoted to a lecture presentation often by guest lecturers with special expertise in the subject to be addressed. Guest lecturers will 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 (Thursday 4-6 PM) the class will usually meet in discussion groups of 15-20 students each; but at times a relevant film or video will be shown to the full class in the first hour.

Students are expected to submit a series of short papers reacting to course readings and to play an active role in classroom discussion. Students will also take a few short in-class quizzes, and they will write one research paper. There are no prerequisites for this course, but a previous course in the social sciences is highly desirable.

N.B.: There will be opportunities for some students in the course to work several hours a week during the academic term in a local community-based organization or civic agency. Students selected for such placement will be expected to compile a journal or write a paper based on their service experience for satisfactory completion of which they will receive one extra hour of course credit.

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

RC Soc. Sci. 360. Social Science Junior Seminar.

Section 001 Nature and Sources of the Creative Process

Instructor(s): Evans

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

Upper-Level Writing

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

The creative process, like other complex human activities, poses a great challenge to current trends toward neurobiological and genetic explanations of human behavior. Indeed, explanatory models or mechanisms can appear incompatible with creativity and its connotations of personal and intellectual freedom. Though it may seem farfetched that neuroscience will one day discover "the creativity gene," considering that possibility can teach us much about the promises and limits of neurobiological explanation, as well as of other master theoretic systems of the 20th Century: psychoanalysis, cognitivism, and its ally, neuropsychology. Are these (sometimes rival) systems mutually exclusive? How might they work together to provide a more comprehensive view of the creative process? As we address these questions we will examine models of imagination, fantasy, and mental imagery. Where do ideas come from? What might be occurring in a flash of insight, inspiration, or intuition? What is the meaning of "process," "mechanism," and "depth" in mental life?

As we examine components of the creative process, we will also ask if it is in fact one process. Do different ways of knowing and thinking visual, auditory, verbal, tactile, social, emotional imply different creative processes? We will examine the role of conscious effort in creating, from learning a technical skill, to the meaning of self-confrontation, to consciousness of the audience. What impedes and facilitates the creative process?

This course is meant for students who (a) are primarily interested in psychology and want to broaden their studies to include the creative process, or (b) are primarily interested in the arts or creative thinking and want to deepen their understanding of their own creative processes. We will consider first-person accounts as well as theoretical material. Readings will be supplemented by guest speakers and by students' reflections on their own experience.

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

RC Soc. Sci. 360. Social Science Junior Seminar.

Section 002 Labor in the Global Economy

Instructor(s): Ian Robinson (eian@umich.edu)

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

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~eian/RC360syllabus.pdf

This course explores how workers, unions, and labor movements in the North and South have been affected by the economic globalization, and how these actors have responded to the challenges and opportunities posed by the economic and political restructuring to which it has given rise. The course is divided into three parts. In Part One, we examine the most important ways in which the neoliberal model of domestic and international economic organization differs from its post-war predecessors. Part Two examines arguments for and against the neoliberal order, focusing on its effects on worker compensation, economic inequality, worker rights, and the quality of democracy.

Here we also examine how organized labor in the North and South has responded to neoliberal globalization, paying particular attention to the areas Northern and Southern unions agree and disagree as regards their critique of neoliberalism and their preferred alternatives to it. In the last part of the course, we will examine two or three elements of such alternatives which ones will be determined by the class in more detail. Possible topics for such a focus include (a) whether the University of Michigan should require that suppliers of all UM sports apparel pay their workers a "living wage"; and (b) whether the United States should insist that all trade agreements it signs include provisions requiring the protection of core worker rights, backed by trade sanctions. Short papers (5-7 pp.) on stipulated topics will be due at the end of Parts One and Two. Students will also produce a research paper (15-20 pp.), on a topic of their choosing, due at the end of term. Group work on this research will be encouraged, and an effort will be made to find topics that plug into the ongoing research agendas of individuals or organizations involved in debates concerning the future direction of globalization.

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

RC Soc. Sci. 381. Unteaching Racism.

Section 001.

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

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

Upper-Level Writing 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

RC Soc. Sci. 460. Social Science Senior Seminar.

Section 001 Emerging Voices: Coming of Age in Detroit

Instructor(s): Charles Bright (cbright@umich.edu), Kate Mendeloff (mendelof@umich.edu)

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

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

See RC Humanities 485.001.

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

RC Soc. Sci. 460. Social Science Senior Seminar.

Section 002 Organizational Theory and Change. Meets with SNRE 449.001

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

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

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: http://www.lib.umich.edu/libhome/Reserves/W00/NR449/index.html

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. There are no prerequisites for registration.

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

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