Course Offerings

Fall 2018 Course Offerings 
SOCI #
Title
Instructor
Days/Times
Building/Room
001-01
Introduction to Sociology
Stiles

TR 2:00 - 3:15 PM

WGR 208
001-02
 Introduction to Sociology
Kato

MW 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM

WAL 396
001-04
Introduction to Sociology
Guidroz

MW 12:30 - 1:45 PMc

WAL 498
001-05
Introduction to Sociology
Wickham-Crowley

TR 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM

ICC 116
001-06
Introduction to Sociology
McCabe

TR 9:30 - 10:45 AM

WAL 396

001-08

Introduction to Sociology

Stiles

TR 3:30 - 4:45 PM

WAL 499
109-01

Sociology of Health and Illness

Burke

TR 5:00 - 6:15 PM

WAL 496
111-01
Flourishing: College & Community

Day & Stiles

MW 10:00-10:50 AM; F 1:00-1:50 PM

MW WAL 391 ;F CBN 205
111-02

Flourishing: College & Community

Day & Stiles

MW 10:00-10:50 AM; F 3:00-3:50 PM

MW HEA 103;  F WGR 411

126-01

Sociology & Culture: Beyonce

Dyson

MW 10:00-10:50 AM; F 9:00-9:50 AM

MW ICC 115; F WAL 390
126-02

Sociology & Culture: Beyonce

Dyson

MW 10:00-10:50 AM; F 10:00-10:50 AM

MW ICC 115; F WAL 390

126-03

Sociology & Culture: Beyonce

Dyson

MW 10:00-10:50 AM; F 11:00-11:50 AM

MW ICC 115; F WAL 392

126-04

Sociology & Culture: Beyonce

Dyson

MW 10:00-10:50 AM; F 12:00-12:50 AM

MW ICC 115; F WAL 398

130-01

International Demography

DeRose

TR 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM

TBD

132-01
 
Immigrants and New Societies
Cantor

R 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM

WAL 397
136-01

Religion & Society

Casanova

MW 12:30 - 1:45 PM

WAl 390
144-01

Race & Ethnic Relations

Hinkson

MW 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM

WAL 490
154-01 

Sociology of the One Percent

Cookson

MW 9:30 - 10:45 AM

CBN 309
158-01

Political Sociology

Andac-Jones

MW 5:00 - 6:15 PM

WAL 490
160-01

Sociology of Sexualities

Guidroz

TR 12:30 - 1:45 PM

WAL 496

160-02

Sociology of Sexualities

Guidroz

TR 3:30 - 4:45 PM

WAL 492

163-01

Education and Society

Cookson

MW 8:00 - 9:15 AM

CBN 309

166-01

Modernization & Development

Wickham-Crowley

TR 2:00 - 3:15 PM

WAL 394

190-01

Black Writers on White Identity

Dyson

M 2:00 - 4:30 PM

WGR 409

195-01

Sociology of Terrorism

Daddio

MW 3:30 - 4:45 PM

ICC 115

201-01

Methods of Social Research

Hinkson

MW 9:30 - 10:45 AM

WAL 490

202-01

Sociological Theory

Fields

TR 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM

ICC 116

203-01

Statistics for Social Research

McDonald

TR 9:30 - 10:45 AM

CBN 202

209-01

The City/ Urban Studies

McCabe

TR 12:30 - 1:45 PM

CBN 394

220-01

Global Development & Social Justice

Hsu

MW 3:30 - 4:45 PM

CBN 309

224-01

Family Diversity in America

Reid

W 6:30 - 9:00 PM

WAL 399

227-01

Economy & Society in East Asia

McNamara

MW 9:30 - 10:45 AM

WAL 499

240-01

Poverty/ Inequality in America

Owens

T 6:30 - 9:00 PM

WAL 397

249-01

Family & Gender in Japan

Imamura

W 3:30 - 6:00 PM

WAL 494

274-01

Env/ Food Justice Movements

Kato

M 12:30 - 3:00 PM

WAL 396

284-01

Advanced Sem: Happiness & Society

Hsu

R 2:00 - 4:30 PM

TBD

*indicates A Different Dialogue

SOCI 001-01: Introduction to Sociology

Professor Stiles
TR 2:00 - 3:15 PM

This Introduction to Sociology course focuses on developing students' sociological imaginations by challenging them to see the world around them from different perspectives. This is accomplished by discussing the concepts in small groups and relating them to lived experiences, by applying the theories to interpret current events, and by completing several data workshops where students go out and "do" sociology. Upon completion of the reading, discussion, data workshops, quizzes and essays, the student will be able to understand and explain basic concepts, generalizations, theories, and methods used in the study of sociology; the sociological focus and the influence the study of sociology has on identifying, explaining, and solving (or causing) social policy issues; and how sociology is used in everyday life to explain the social behavior of people, and even predict what they will do.

SOCI 001-02: Introduction to Sociology

Professor Kato 
MW 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM

This course introduces you to the discipline of sociology and a sociological perspective for understanding human behaviors and social structure. We will discuss a great variety of topics, such as social class, gender, race and ethnicity, culture, housing, family, and community. While topics are quite diverse, we will be consistent in applying a sociological perspective and attempt to understand how individual lives and social groups are shaped by social structures, cultural understandings and distributions of power. Rather than textbooks, this course will use three books as focal points of discussion (Outliers, Unequal Childhoods, and Evicted). In order to exercise our sociological imagination, the course assignments challenge the students to dissect the current events from sociological perspectives.

SOCI 001 04: Introduction to Sociology

Professor Guidroz
MW 12:30 - 1:45 PM

In this course you will learn in numerous ways that sociology is the systematic study of human society and social life.  This course is designed to be an introduction to the development of sociology, and an examination of the range of concepts, principles, and methods that comprise modern sociology using a core text and academic journal articles.  We will examine important issues and institutions of contemporary society, including culture, socialization, gender, race and ethnicity, education, family, social organization, inequality, and social change.  By the semester’s end, it is anticipated that students will understand the sociological perspective and be able to discuss sociological issues using the language of the discipline. 

SOCI 001-05: Introduction to Sociology

Professor Wickham-Crowley
TR 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM

This course is meant to provide a rich and fairly deep orientation to the complex field of sociology, and perhaps help students to decide which further topics in the field they might wish to explore in the other courses offered by the sociology faculty. The course begins with a quick overview of the discipline and of the various methods sociologists use to carefully explore social reality. We then briefly discuss the “raw materials” from which all societies are constructed: that is, the sheer numbers of persons who populate the social order; and the possible bio-psychological traits which humans in general bring to the making of social life. The bulk of the course thereafter is organized around three grand themes: Culture, Social Organization, and Social Dynamics: Inequalities and Change. Within the Culture section we explore the concept of culture itself and its components; socialization, deviant behavior, and crime; and the four key

institutions of society, family/kinship, religion, the economy, and politics. Under Social Organization we learn how to think of society from micro-social, face-to- face relationships all the way up to macro-analysis of entire societies. Finally, in the Social Dynamics section we closely consider inequalities of social class, of social status-markers, of race/ethnicity, and of gender; we then end the course with studies relating to social change (in general), to social movements and revolutions, and to modernization and development

SOCI 001-06: Introduction to Sociology

Professor McCabe
TR 9:30 AM - 10:45 PM
 

“It can be said that the first wisdom of sociology is this: things are not as they seem,” wrote Peter Berger in An Invitation to Sociology.  “People who like to avoid shocking discoveries, who prefer to believe that society is just what they were taught in Sunday school, who like the safety of the rules … should stay away from sociology.  People who feel no temptation before closed doors, who have no curiosity about human beings, who are content to admire scenery without wondering about the people who live in those houses on the other side of that river, should probably also stay away from sociology … And people whose interest is mainly in their own conceptual constructions will do just as well to turn to the study of little white mice. Sociology will be satisfying, in the long run, only to those who can think of nothing more entrancing than to watch men and to understand things human.”

This course is an opportunity to develop your sociological imagination, as C. Wright Mills wrote, by exploring the broad set of topics that sociologists study.  It is a chance to delve deeply into the social world, thinking critically about the social structures, rules and norms that shape our participation in society. Together, we will explore issues of race, class and gender in contemporary society – three core categories studied by sociologists.  We will look at the role of social movements in creating societal change and the way power and privilege function in society. Our course will ask about changing institutions, including religious organizations, family structures and the role of marriage in society. Finally, we will investigate the ways that people develop social networks and form communities, including the way technology has reshaped these processes.

 

SOCI 001-08: Introduction to Sociology

Professor Stiles
TR 3:30 PM - 4:45 PM
 

This Introduction to Sociology course focuses on developing students' sociological imaginations by challenging them to see the world around them from different perspectives. This is accomplished by discussing the concepts in small groups and relating them to lived experiences, by applying the theories to interpret current events, and by completing several data workshops where students go out and "do" sociology. Upon completion of the reading, discussion, data workshops, quizzes and essays, the student will be able to understand and explain basic concepts, generalizations, theories, and methods used in the study of sociology; the sociological focus and the influence the study of sociology has on identifying, explaining, and solving (or causing) social policy issues; and how sociology is used in everyday life to explain the social behavior of people, and even predict what they will do.

SOCI 109-01: Sociology of Health/ Illness

Professor Burke
TR 5:00 - 6:15 PM

This is a medical sociology course that will examine how social and institutional forces shape and define experiences of health and illness in the United States (US). We will cover central questions in the study of medical sociology and key theories that will help us understand and answer these questions. Specifically, we will cover topics such as the social demography of health, health behaviors, illness as deviance, and health care and health care institutions, all from a sociological perspective. This course will provide you with a comprehensive introduction to historical and contemporary issues in medical sociology. It will also allow for a deeper understanding of how health and illness are socially constructed and addressed in the US. 

SOCI 111-01: Flourishing in College and Community

Professor Day & Stiles
MW 10:00 - 10:50 AM; F 1:00 - 1:50 PM

A student culture of excellence and ambition can become counterproductive when it escalates to the extent students seriously compromise their health — mental, physical, and spiritual — in the name of grades and resume-building. National survey data show Georgetown students suffer more than their fair share of stress. This course aims to pre-empt the stress and negative sequelae, by providing incoming students with the knowledge, self-care skills, and support systems they can call on to maintain a successful and healthy lifestyle well into their post-graduate life.

This three-credit multidisciplinary course focuses on flourishing in individuals and communities. Flourishing will be considered as a public health outcome within a framework of individual well-being in college and within a campus community. Evidence-based factors that contribute to flourishing and well-being in individuals and society form the basis of this social science and health science course.

Students can expect to read scientific studies about resiliency, self-care, health promotion, health behaviors, risk taking, and positive psychology and positive sociology. Students will learn research-based correlations between stress management, life balance, and leadership. Campus climate norms around coping, stress, alcohol and sexual assault, and the prevalence of mental health issues will be analyzed. The class will consider ways to optimize health and relationships, and how to cultivate a successful lifestyle throughout college and beyond.

Students will observe how the community supports people to be their optimum and authentic selves, and ways that the Jesuit tradition fosters care for self and others. Opportunities for intellectual, spiritual and moral growth are examined through course related enrichment experiences.

SOCI 111-01: FLOURISHING IN COLLEGE AND COMMUNITY

Professor Day & Stiles
MW 10:00 - 10:50 AM; F 3:00 - 3:50 PM

A student culture of excellence and ambition can become counterproductive when it escalates to the extent students seriously compromise their health — mental, physical, and spiritual — in the name of grades and resume-building. National survey data show Georgetown students suffer more than their fair share of stress. This course aims to pre-empt the stress and negative sequelae, by providing incoming students with the knowledge, self-care skills, and support systems they can call on to maintain a successful and healthy lifestyle well into their post-graduate life.

This three-credit multidisciplinary course focuses on flourishing in individuals and communities. Flourishing will be considered as a public health outcome within a framework of individual well-being in college and within a campus community. Evidence-based factors that contribute to flourishing and well-being in individuals and society form the basis of this social science and health science course.

Students can expect to read scientific studies about resiliency, self-care, health promotion, health behaviors, risk taking, and positive psychology and positive sociology. Students will learn research-based correlations between stress management, life balance, and leadership. Campus climate norms around coping, stress, alcohol and sexual assault, and the prevalence of mental health issues will be analyzed. The class will consider ways to optimize health and relationships, and how to cultivate a successful lifestyle throughout college and beyond.

Students will observe how the community supports people to be their optimum and authentic selves, and ways that the Jesuit tradition fosters care for self and others. Opportunities for intellectual, spiritual and moral growth are examined through course related enrichment experiences.

126-01: Sociology & Culture: Beyonce

Professor Dyson
MW 10:00 - 10:50 AM; F 9:00 - 9:50 AM

TBD

126-02: SOCIOLOGY & CULTURE: BEYONCE

Professor Dyson
MW 10:00 - 10:50 AM; F 10:00 - 10:50 AM

TBD

126-03: SOCIOLOGY & CULTURE: BEYONCE

Professor Dyson
MW 10:00 - 10:50 AM; F 11:00 - 11:50 AM

TBD

126-04: SOCIOLOGY & CULTURE: BEYONCE

Professor Dyson
MW 10:00 - 10:50 AM; F 12:00 - 12:50 AM

TBD

SOCI 130-01: INternational Demography

Professor DeRose
TR 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM

Students taking International Demography will learn about similarities and differences across the globe in major life-course events (fertility, union formation/dissolution, migration, mortality). The first part of the course focuses on families and socioeconomic inequality in Europe and the Americas. Most or all of the class meetings will take place in person, but the course nonetheless adopts a “blended learning” approach: there will be electronic annotations on the (free) text Unequal Family Lives that students can use and will respond to. We will also investigate how families shape fertility, human capital, migration, and mortality, and whether these effects vary along cultural lines or with socioeconomic development. Later in the course we will consider whether faith is a force for good or for ill in the family within many national contexts.

This course will be taught somewhat like a research seminar, but with attention to the fact that there are no prerequisites and that students are undergraduates. Students will develop a research paper with much guidance with respect to data access, handling, and interpretation

SOCI 132-01: Immagrants & New society

Professor Cantor
R 6:30 - 9:00 PM

As one of the principal catalysts of social change in contemporary societies, immigration constitutes a uniquely fertile area of sociological inquiry. This course will provide a sociological understanding of the processes by which non-nationals move into and settle in a new country. In particular, we will examine some of the major questions that guide sociological analysis of migration: Why do people migrate? Are they allowed to migrate? How do immigration policies influence flows of migration? To what extent do newcomers become part of the mainstream society? What kind of networks do they create? What impact do they have on the receiving country? How do they relate to the native population? Do they engage in the public sphere as political subjects?  The course will primarily focus on the U.S., although we will also examine examples from other countries.

SOCI 136-1: Religion and society

Professor Casanova
MW 12:30 - 1:45 PM

The course will offer a comprehensive introduction to the sociology of religion.  Thematically, the course will be divided into three parts.  The first section will examine the two main foundations of the sociology of religion in the work of Emile Durkheim and Max Weber. The second section will offer a critical examination of the secularization debates which have raged within the sociology of religion since the 1960’s, paying special attention to the quarrels between the European and the American paradigms and looking into contemporary debates on religion and globalization.  The final section will focus on sociological studies of religion in America. We will look at “private and public religions”, at debates concerning the “wall of separation” and American “civil religion,” at the transformations of Evangelical Protestantism, “the Black Church,” the historical incorporation of Catholicism and Judaism as American religions, and at the ongoing incorporation of immigrant religions from all over the world. There will be a possibility of doing ethnographic field-work and community-based research on immigrant religious congregations in Washington D.C.

SOCI 144-01 Race & ethnic relations

Professor Hinkson
MW 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM

TBD

SOCI 154-01: sociology of the one percent 

Professor Cookson
MW 9:30 - 10:45 AM

Hardly a day passes when the one percent is not in the news arousing political and moral passions. Today less than one percent of Americans own nearly forty percent of the nation's’ wealth. The wealthiest four hundred Americans are worth $1.37 trillion dollars. This amazing concentration of wealth has been accompanied by a shrinking middle class and a growing number of Americans living in poverty. All of us have feelings about social justice and fairness and it is easy to grasp at simple solutions to complex problems.

In this course, we move beyond moral and political posturing by examining the sociology of the one percent in order to understand the long-term significance of this concentration of wealth, its effect on our commonweal and our common destiny as a people.

SOCI 158-01 Political sociology

Professor Andac-Jones
MW 5:00 - 6:15 PM

TBD

SOCI 160-01 Sociology of sexuality 

Professor Guidroz
TR 12:30 - 1:45 PM

In this course, we will examine sexual attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors from a sociological perspective.  We will also consider how the biology of sex gets sociologically constructed, and the myriad ways sexual desire and sexual activity are structured by social relations.  Cross-cultural and historical accounts of sexual practices and sexual identities will be considered, as well as the contemporary theories and methods in sexuality studies.  The course also focuses on the ways in which sexuality as social institution and identity intersects with other major hierarchies of privilege and inequality, specifically race, ethnicity, social class, and gender.   Students will conclude the course with a knowledge- and skills-based research project on a relevant topic.

SOCI 160-02: Sociology of sexualities 

Professor Guidroz
TR 3:30 - 4:45 PM

In this course, we will examine sexual attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors from a sociological perspective.  We will also consider how the biology of sex gets sociologically constructed, and the myriad ways sexual desire and sexual activity are structured by social relations.  Cross-cultural and historical accounts of sexual practices and sexual identities will be considered, as well as the contemporary theories and methods in sexuality studies.  The course also focuses on the ways in which sexuality as social institution and identity intersects with other major hierarchies of privilege and inequality, specifically race, ethnicity, social class, and gender.   Students will conclude the course with a knowledge- and skills-based research project on a relevant topic.

SOCI 163-01 Education & Society

Professor Cookson
MW 8:00 - 9:15 AM

Schooling is a particular institutional form for educating and socializing young people. In this course, we will examine the social aspects of education and schooling in the United States; the interaction between home, society, and educational institutions; the ways that social inequalities are reproduced or ameliorated through schools; and the ways that identities are formed through education.

What role do schools play in society’s system of stratification? The core concern of the Sociology of Education as a field of inquiry is the role that schools play in relation to a given society’s system of stratification. That is the organizing frame for this course. We will review various theoretical perspectives on schools and inequality and then look historically at the evolution of formal education within the United States. We will note the link between schools and societal stratification, addressing how schools both contribute to social mobility and to the reproduction of the prevailing social order by focusing in part on the family and community context of children’s personal and academic development. We will then discuss the outcomes of schooling and how these outcomes are produced. Finally, we will consider sociological perspectives on contemporary education reform.

SOCI 166-01 modernization & development

Professor Wickham-Crowley
TR 2:00- 3:15 PM

The issues of modernization and development are at the very core of the development of sociology itself. The great founders (by consensus) of sociology, Karl Marx, Émile Durkheim, and Max Weber, each intellectually wrestled with the enormous social changes seen in industrializing Europe-- and elsewhere as well-- and out of that quest emerged their characteristic but deeply different approaches to social thought itself. On those different foundations, and especially so from Marx and Weber, later scholars have built (also varied) theories seeking to explain, first, the extraordinary "rise of the West," but also "the [growing?] gap between rich and poor" nations and regions. Yet even today the most widely-endorsed perspectives on development can be seen as echoes or light refracted from those intellectual roots. The course will sequentially and also critically deal with all the following topics: (1) the (mostly non-economic) consequences of modernization/development for the social order, including

demographic trends, suicide, crime, cultural uprooting, and economic gaps between the haves and have-nots; (2) the Weberian tradition deriving from his work on Protestantism and Capitalism; (3) the concerns of Marx himself, plus key later developments rooted in his ideas, dependency theory and world-system theory; and ending with (4) a variety of readings which trace different developmental “fortunes” to differences in states, institutions, and social structures.

SOCI 190-01 black writers on white identity

Professor Dyson
M 2:00 - 4:30 PM

This course will examine the nature of white identity through a black lens, probing ideas about white privilege, white innocence, and white fragility. We will probe the historical, cultural, racial and religious features of white culture and behavior as they impinge on, and are interpreted by, black writers, thinkers, artists and filmmakers.

SOCI 195-01 sociology of terrorism

Professor Daddio
MW 3:30 - 4:45 PM

Sociology of Terrorism takes a deviance and social control approach to the concept, theories, structure, and control of terrorism.  A concept of many meanings and applications, the first section of the course will examine the social construct of the concept, terrorism, from several social and cultural perspectives. The second component of the course will examine terrorism from the functional/structural, conflict, and symbolic interaction theories of sociology. The first is the theoretical approach normally applied by governments, the second is the classic argument used by terrorist groups, while the third theory focuses on the protagonists and the victims.  Part three will focus on the current state of terrorism, and part four on the current debate about controlling terrorism.  The method is lecture participation, and discussion.  The last section will present expected future trends in terrorism.

SOCI 201-01: Methods of social research

Professor Hinkson
MW 9:30 - 10:45 AM

This course covers the fundamentals of social science research design. Great emphasis is placed on principles that are applicable to all methods of research, from surveys to participant observation, from comparative historical to statistical analysis. Starting with an introduction to the philosophy of science, the course moves on to such practical matters as how to distinguish a theory from a philosophical assertion or political program; how to frame a research question; how to design a research project to test a hypothesis; how to conduct research; and how to write a research proposal.

SOCI 202-01: sociological theory

Professor Feilds
TR 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM

This course is an introduction to the foundations of sociological theory. The goal of the course is to critically evaluate the major theorists and debates within the classical and early modern tradition and apply those theories to contemporary issues. Focus areas include: the problem of social order; the nature of social conflict; capitalism and bureaucracy; the relationship between social structure and politics; the social nature of religion; and the development and reinforcement of identity. To examine these topics, we will critically read selections of classic sociological theory (including, but not limited to, Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, W.E.B. DuBois, Karl Marx, Jane Addams, and Ida B. Wells) and then use those theories to better understand contemporary social, political, and economic issues. Readings will continually move between theoretical statements and contemporary journalistic pieces. In addition to becoming familiar with important theoretical traditions in sociology, students will learn to think and read more critically, and to learn communicate ideas more effectively, both as speakers and writers.  This course requires a fair amount of reading, and some of the material is dense, so students are encouraged to take care in budgeting their time. It is essential that students come to class prepared to discuss the assigned material.

SOCI 203-01: Statistics for social research

Professor McDonald
TR 9:30 - 10:45 AM

This is an introduction to statistical analysis of social data. It presumes no math knowledge beyond high school algebra and no more than basic computer literacy. It is intended for the beginning social researcher. It introduces the logic of statistical reasoning and all of the basic statistical measures used in elementary analysis of social data. Students who have not had any sociology courses must get the permission of the instructor for admission to this course.

The course includes the following topics: various methods of summarizing, presenting and comparing descriptive data graphically and in summary measures of central tendency and of variation; the normal distribution and probability theory; methods of examining the strength and significance of relationships among variables; hypothesis testing; chi-square; analysis of variance; multivariate tabular analysis; and multiple regression and correlation.

Students perform statistical analyses of real data sets (including the General Social Survey, the premier database for social scientists) with a user-friendly PC-based statistical package (an individual copy of which comes with each textbook). (Mac-version not available.) Homework problems are due about once every week and a half.

SOCI 209-01: The city/urban studies

Professor McCabe
TR 12:30 - 1:45 PM

This course provides an interdisciplinary introduction to the study of cities and urban life. Cities are socially and politically contested spaces, and observers of urban life have sought for more than a century to understand the process of urbanization and the consequences of living in cities. Some argue that cities represent the crowning achievement of modernity; others suggest that cities are isolating and alienating, fostering anomie, rather than social cohesion. The course integrates work by urban planners, architects, political scientists, geographers and sociologists to provide a comprehensive set of tools to understand and analyze modern urban life.

The course is divided into four sections. The first section on the rise of the modern city begins with an analysis of the dynamics of capitalist urbanization and examines socio-spatial changes in the urban landscape during the early twentieth century. In the second section, which focuses on the decline of the American city and the growth of the suburbs, the course investigates the process of economic restructuring that led to the transformation of cities. It considers the massive expansion of post-War suburbs and the corresponding concentration of poverty in the city. The third section, which references the city rediscovered, investigates processes of gentrification and contested public spaces in the city. It examines social interactions and conflict in contemporary cities. In the final section, the course investigates the impact of globalization on cities, especially in the Global South. This analysis includes the growth of slums and the emergence of new mega-cities on a scale unprecedented in urban history. The course concludes by asking about the potential for creating more just, equitable and sustainable cities.

SOCI 220-01 global development & social justice

Professor Hsu
MW 3:30 - 4:45 PM

Global development is a term that refers to efforts around the world to make societies better (by improving people’s lives), especially for people who have lower income and less access to important things such as education and health services. This course explores the efforts being made to alleviate the suffering of people around the globe. Some of the questions we will answer include: What are people doing to try to help people around the world? Are those efforts effective? Why or why not? What are some of the unintended consequences that occur as a result of these activities?

Out of the uneasy mix of missionaries, conquistadors, colonists, and humanitarians who populate its prehistory, poverty alleviation (in conjunction with the exercise of power) has evolved in the past six decades to become the field of global development as we know it today. Its dominant institutions became nationally and formally organized after World War II awakened the American conscience in a new way to the suffering of people in far-flung parts of the world, while at the same time, powerful national interests shaped the development enterprise more broadly. The goals of poverty alleviation have been realized to some extent; standards of living have risen to unprecedented levels since the 1990s. However, there are also apprehensions that global development is failing in some important ways. Some critics within the industry wonder how much people are really benefiting.

This course is organized in roughly three sections: First, we examine research on what development interventions look like on the ground. What do people do, and how do people respond? How effective are the programs and projects? What are the outcomes?

In the second section, we examine various explanations for why we are seeing particular outcomes, including those that focus on development’s historical roots, global political and economic structures, and organizational logics.

Finally, the last section will look at various answers to the question, “How, then, should we proceed with global development?” A core part of one’s answer to this question depends on the definition of well-being one assumes. We will examine what “development as freedom” implies, as well as other conceptions of the good life and the use of happiness indexes around the world.

SOCI 224-01 family diversity in America 

Professor Reid
W 6:30 - 9:00 PM

 In this course, students will learn about the family as a social institution. Course materials will specifically focus on US families in all their diversity and students will apply a critical sociological perspective to analyzing the role of families in social life. Students will learn about the historical roots of the family, changing demographic trends in family composition and family formation, and family-related social problems and social policies. Specific topics include family of origin and socialization, sex and dating, partnering and marriage, parenting, family structure, gender and family, and work/family balance.  Throughout the course students will develop critical understanding of the relationship between the family and social inequalities pertaining to class, race/ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation.

SOCI 227-01 Economy & society in east asia

Professor McNamara
W 6:30 - 9:00 PM

We begin with a question - how do markets give meaning to our everyday lives? We explore how production and consumption, work & leisure shape institutions like companies, family and schools, and help construct identities both individual and social. You will learn Economic Sociology through the lens of Asian development.

The story of development in East Asia continues to unfold. First there was unexpected growth and the transition from poverty to middle-income nations. Then there were crises and almost certain collapse, followed by remarkable reforms and recovery. Now their success has led other nations to emulate their policies. China and South Korea offer new models of market society, blurring lines between closed and open markets, socialism and capitalism. Will the “Washington Consensus” around liberal democracy survive contending models from East Asia?

The two nations offer two very different models of state and society, and of economic growth and stability. The differences stretch the borders of earlier development paths, raising questions of convergence with the West, versus contention. The firm takes center stage as we move from McDonald’s at home to department stores in Harbin, from China’s state-owned enterprises to Korea’s chaebol. What do the concept and structure of firms tell us of state-business relations above, and social identities below? We learn of states, whether China’s party-state or Korea’s developmental state. We locate firms in organizational logics and fields of enterprise. We track changes in gender and class identities evident in China’s transition from comrades to capitalists, and in shifting Korean conceptions of social versus economic citizenship.

Paths of capitalism versus socialism, the role of reason as an organizing principle, logics of organization at the firm, and patterns of social distinction demark the landscape of class discussions and student papers Our journey begins in the U.S. with George Ritzer and the role of reason and emotion reshaping production and consumption today. We then look more closely to firms and states to distinguish socialist and capitalist East Asia. With this background we begin case studies of changes in market and society in China and South Korea. Concepts drawn from cultural sociology and political economy provide a compass. The course moves to a conclusion around the question of convergence or contention, student papers, and the work of Beck and Giddens on our future as earlier borders and identities fade.

SOCI 240-01 Poverty/inequality in america

Professor Owens
T 6:30 - 9:00 PM

This course will examine the science of poverty and inequality. We'll cover the major empirical debates on the causes and consequences of poverty and inequality. We'll look at what the social scientific literature can tell us about how inequality shapes life chances, neighborhoods, political institutions, and health, among other outcomes.  We'll look at several dimensions of inequality, including race, class, income, education, and gender and we'll cover multiple methodological approaches to the study of inequality, including quantitative, experimental, and ethnographic methods.  Students will leave the course with a comprehensive survey of the literature in the field, and a better understanding, grounded in science, of why increasing income inequality is one of the most pressing social issues of our time.

SOCI 249-01: Family & Gender in japan

Professor Imamura
W 3:30 - 6:00 PM

Family and Gender issues are central concerns in Japanese debates about domestic policy, values and the nation’s ability to develop in the 21st century. This course will move between historical and contemporary definitions of family and gender to introduce the student to institutional structures and ideas of change in contemporary Japan. While focusing on Japan, the course will incorporate theses of gender East and West with the goal of identifying ideas and institutions which can serve as touchstones for a better understanding of Japanese society, and for a reflexive comparison with the US and other societies.

SOCI 274-01 Env/food justice movements

Professor Kato
M 12:30 - 3:00 PM

This seminar draws on a range of interdisciplinary theoretical perspectives in examining the similarities and differences between the environmental justice movement (EJM) and the food justice movement (FJM). EJM has a slightly longer history in the United States than FJM, and the two movements share notable similarities but with some key differences in terms of in terms of how they define and aim to resolve the problems of environmental injustice or food injustice. We begin by situating the emergence of EJM and FJM in the context of broader environmental and alternative food movements, both domestically and globally, and explore how various theoretical frameworks of the movements analyze environmental and food issues through the lens of social justice and human inequality, specifically on categories of race, class, and more recently, gender. Over the course of the semester we will examine various real cases of environmental and food justice activism, including both successful and failed attempts, and discuss each case in relation to the theoretical frameworks introduced in the seminar through the assigned readings and the lecture. This course has a required Community-Based Learning component (see below for Community-Based Learning section below) in which the students will engage in service learning in partnership with organizations working on EJ/FJ issues locally in Washington, D.C. Students are required to complete minimum of 30 hours of community service. The seminar is a 4-credit course. The service experiences are integrated into the in-class learning experiences and are designed to inform and enhance one another. Each student will identify and engage with an organization that works to advance EJ/FJ for the final project for the seminar, and present their findings to the class at the end of the semester.

SOCI 284-01 adv. Sem: Happiness & society

Professor Hsu
R 2:00 - 4:30 PM

There are many definitions of happiness, well-being, “the good life,” and “having it all”—varying over time and across locations. Much of the existing research on happiness owes its foundations to the thoughts of eighteenth-century English lawyer and theorist Jeremy Bentham. Social scientists have investigated the effects of wealth, inequality, gender, age, education, and migration status on happiness. Conclusions, however, have been unclear; many cross-national surveys (“How happy are you, on a scale of 1–10?”) have produced diverse, conflicting results about which countries or cities are happiest. This course begins by comparing the study of happiness as approached by different disciplines in the social sciences: anthropology, sociology, psychology, and economics. We will then compare how happiness has been understood in regards to three dimensions: unintentional/intentional, subjective/objective, transcendent/ immanent, and static/transient. We will also examine different types of data on happiness, covering survey, experimental, cross-cultural, interview, fieldwork, and ethnographic data