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Anthropology and Sociology are closely related social science disciplines. They study the ways in which people live together under various social and cultural conditions. By exploring the multifaceted dimensions of human societies, they seek to understand human behavior, social interactions, and institutional structures in all their diversity.
The Anthropology and Sociology Department offers disciplinary majors in Anthropology, Sociology, and Anthropology Sociology; the department offers minors in Anthropology and in Sociology. All courses to be credited toward any major or minor in the department must be passed with a grade of C- or better.
Anthropology Policy on Courses Transferred In to the Major/Minor:
1) Students participating in an HWS term abroad program may count one “traditional regional culture” course towards an anthropology major, even if the course is not taught by an anthropologist. Limit—one such course per student. The student will consult with their anthropology adviser about whether this course will count within or outside the student’s area of specialization.
2) Anthropology majors/minors must take the core courses (ANTH 273, 306, and the 300- and 400-level seminars) at HWS. No exceptions.
3) Students who take anthropology courses at US accredited institutions that HWS accepts for graduation credit will receive credit toward their anthropology major or minor for that course(s) provided that an appropriate faculty member has checked the course description/syllabus against our own course offerings (with the intention of not allowing students to take essentially the same course, albeit under slightly different titles, both here and elsewhere).
4) Students who take anthropology courses outside the US, even on HWS programs (with the exception listed in the first item above), taught by instructors from non-US areas, must petition the department if seeking to count a course for anthropology credit, providing thorough documentation of the course content and instructor qualifications.
Sociology Policy on Courses Transferred In to the Major/Minor:
1) Students can take SOC 100 elsewhere.
2) Sociology majors/minors must take the required core courses (SOC 211, 212, and 300) at HWS. Exception: they have taken the course here at least once but have not achieved the minimum grade of C- or better. Students must get the approval of the department chair and the faculty member(s) teaching the course at HWS before transferring in a substitute core course taken elsewhere.
3) Sociology majors must take SOC 464/5 (senior seminar) and the 300-level seminar at HWS. No exceptions.
4) Students must petition for permission to count 200-level sociology electives taken elsewhere. The petition should include a full course syllabus as well as information about the instructor’s credentials (i.e., the field in which they hold a Ph.D.). The department’s usual practice is not to count courses that are taught by faculty without a sociology degree. The department chair will circulate the student’s petition to the department faculty for consideration.
REQUIREMENTS for the ANTHROPOLOGY MAJOR (B.A.)
disciplinary, 10 courses
ANTH 273, ANTH 306, and a 400-level seminar; an anthropology course focused on a geographic area; and six additional anthropology electives. Within the six electives, one must be a 300-level course or a 300 or 400-level seminar, and at least two must be outside the student’s primary subfield of specialization (cultural anthropology, archaeology, linguistics, or physical anthropology). One 200-level or higher sociology course can substitute for a 200-level anthropology elective course. All courses must be passed with a grade of C- or higher. No more than one course with a CR grade may be counted towards the major.
REQUIREMENTS for the ANTHROPOLOGY MINOR
disciplinary, 5 courses
One course in cultural anthropology and four additional courses in anthropology, of which at least three must be at the 200 level or above, and one must be a 300-level course or a 300 or 400-level seminar (ANTH 450 does not fulfill this requirement). All courses must be passed with a grade of C- or higher. No more than one course with a CR grade may be counted towards the minor.
REQUIREMENTS for the SOCIOLOGY MAJOR (B.A.)
disciplinary, 10 courses
SOC 100; SOC 211; SOC 212; SOC 300; SOC 464 or SOC 465; and five additional sociology courses, at least one of which must be at the 300 level. One 200-level or higher anthropology course can substitute for a 200-level sociology elective course. All courses must be passed with a grade of C- or higher. No more than one course with a CR grade may be counted towards the major.
REQUIREMENTS for the SOCIOLOGY MINOR
disciplinary, 6 courses
SOC 100; either SOC 211, SOC 212 or 300; and four additional sociology courses. All courses must be passed with a grade of C- or higher. No more than one course with a CR grade may be counted towards the minor.
REQUIREMENTS for the ANTHROPOLOGY SOCIOLOGY MAJOR (B.A.)
disciplinary, 11 courses
ANTH 110; SOC 100; any four of the five courses from department core offerings (ANTH 273, ANTH 306, SOC 211, SOC 212, SOC 300); a 400-level seminar in either anthropology or sociology; two electives in anthropology and two electives in sociology that together form a cluster, to be chosen in consultation with the adviser. All courses must be passed with a grade of C- or higher. No more than one course with a CR grade may be counted towards the major.
ANTHROPOLOGY AREAS OF SPECIALIZATION
ANTH 110 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
ANTH 205 Race, Class, Ethnicity
ANTH 211 Power, Protest, and Politics
ANTH 212 NGOs and Development
ANTH 213 Cultures of India
ANTH 220 Sex Roles
ANTH 221 Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples
ANTH 222 Native American Religions
ANTH 246 Stratagems and Spoils
ANTH 247 Urban Anthropology
ANTH 271 Jobs, Power, Capital
ANTH 279 Diagnosing the World
ANTH 280 Environment and Culture
ANTH 282 North American Indians
ANTH 295 Village India
ANTH 296 Africa: Beyond Crisis, Poverty, and Aid
ANTH 297 Latin America
ANTH 319/419 Feminist and Political Anthropology
ANTH 323/423 Ethnographies of Capitalism
ANTH 330/430 Anthropology of Creativity
ANTH 340/440 Anthropology of the Global Commons
ANTH 341/441 Making Babies
ANTH 352/452 Builders and Seekers
ANTH 354/454 Food, Meaning, Voice
ANTH 362/462 Evolution and Culture
ANTH 370/470 Life Histories
ANTH 102 World Prehistory
ANTH 206 Early Cities
ANTH 208 Archaeology of Japan and China
ANTH 209 Women and Men in Prehistory
ANTH 210 Prehistoric Ecology
ANTH 290 Pharaohs, Fellahin, Fantasy
ANTH 326 Ancient Mesoamerican Urbanism
ANTH 342/442 Ancient World Systems
ANTH 362/462 Evolution and Culture
ANTH 115 Language and Culture
ANTH 227 Intercultural Communication
ANTH 228 Physical Anthropology
ANTH 285 Primate Behavior
ANTH 362/462 Evolution and Culture
ANTHROPOLOGY COURSE DESCRIPTIONS
ANTH 102 Archaeological Myth and Reality: World Prehistory This course seeks to replace myths of “killer apes” and “ancient astronauts” with archaeological reality. A broad survey of archaeological knowledge of both New and Old World prehistory provides a framework for analysis of major transitions in cultural evolution and of selected archaeological puzzles, such as the enigmatic markings of the Peruvian desert near Nazca. This course is designed for non-majors who want a general understanding of what “happened” in prehistory. The course is also suitable for prospective majors who need an overview of the archaeological record against which to set more specialized courses in archaeology. No prerequisites. (Nicholas, offered annually)
ANTH 110 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology This course explores the anthropological understanding of human society through ethnographic case studies of particular societies. In the holistic approach of anthropology, the interrelations of kinship, economics, politics, and religion are stressed. Special emphasis is also placed on anthropological theories of human behavior and the wide range of creative solutions to the problem of social living devised by various cultures of the world. (Staff, offered each semester)
ANTH 115 Language and Culture This course introduces students to the study of language as a natural phenomenon and as a human creation. Different approaches to the analysis and study of language as a social and symbolic system are presented. Topics include the Sapir Whorf hypothesis (the idea that language determines how and what we think), the relationship between language and gender, how social forces alter the shape of language, and what language tells us about the structure of the human mind. (Anderson, offered annually)
ANTH 205 Race, Class, and Ethnicity This course explores race, class, and ethnicity through comparative study of the diverse experiences, histories, and life conditions of indigenous peoples, immigrant groups, diasporas, religious minorities, and oppressed classes in various local and global contexts. Analyzed and compared are the conscious and systemic social, cultural, economic, and political forces that have developed in history and function at present to maintain unequal access to wealth, power, and privilege according to differences of race, ethnicity, and class. Also examined are the various modes of thought and social action oppressed peoples have employed for political empowerment, economic justice, cultural survival, integrity of identity, and recognition of human rights. (Anderson, offered occasionally)
ANTH 206 Early Cities This course deals with the manner in which humankind first came to live in cities. Early urbanism is viewed within the context of the general origins of complex society in both the Old and New Worlds. Explanatory models, such as those emphasizing population pressure and trade as causal mechanisms for the growth of cities, are reviewed. This course provides the student with a knowledge of early urban forms in different parts of the world, as well as familiarity with the methods used by archaeologists to study such phenomena. ANTH 102 is helpful background but is not required. (Nicholas, offered alternate years)
ANTH 209 Women and Men in Prehistory Until recently, much of world prehistory has been written as if only men were participants in the evolution of culture. Women for the most part have been invisible to archaeology. In the last decade, however, archaeologists have begun to focus explicitly on the issue of gender in prehistory. This course examines some of the older male-centric models, as well as some of the innovative (and controversial) new work, endeavoring to build a picture of the past in which both men and women are seen to be actors. Cases are chosen from a mix of archaeological periods and settings but currently include the controversy over the gender of the occupant of Tomb 7 at Monte Alban, Oaxaca, Mexico. (Nicholas, offered every two to three years)
ANTH 210 Prehistoric Ecology Karl Butzer has said that when we study human ecology, we look at the “dynamic interface between environment, technology, and society.” This course takes an ecological perspective to the prehistory of humankind, finding that many events in the past can be understood more clearly when ecological analyses are undertaken. Much of the course centers on the radical shift in human relationship to the environment that took place when hunting and gathering was replaced by domestication of plants and animals. Ecologically oriented research on the trajectories of the great ancient civilizations is also studied. (Nicholas, offered alternate years)
ANTH 211 Power, Protest, and Politics Power is often considered in the abstract, as something far removed from our everyday lives. But what if we consider how power infuses such simple things as putting on nail polish, gifting, and consuming sugar and tea? What might such a perspective illuminate about such things as “the state” and “globalization” that are generally described as encompassing society and structuring the world? This course engages anthropological approaches to culture and power to help students develop frames for critically evaluating how power inflects everyday practices, resistances, and the culturally and theoretically taken for granted. (Rodriguez, offered alternate years)
ANTH 212 NGOs and Development This course introduces students to critical research on NGOs in a variety of geographic contexts and invites students to consider the usefulness of approaching NGOs as discursive constellations, as arising from the interplay of international and national policy, as cultural practices, and as products of and producing globally circulating discourses of development. The course asks, what are the everyday practices constituting NGOs and development practices, and in what ways do development practices compel new types of relationships? Further, the course asks about how anthropologists study these phenomena, and how anthropological research might speak to policy concerns and issues of social justice. (Rodriguez, offered alternate years)
ANTH 213 Cultures of India This course introduces students to the ongoing legacies of colonialism, nationalism, and to the centrality of gender to anti-colonial and nationalist discourses in India. We explore theorizations of caste, popular stereotypes about India, and debates over how to approach these phenomena. The course attends to the place of India in the international hierarchy of nation-states and to struggles around “development” and “modernization,” processes that articulate the Indian government with international policy. The course addresses contemporary politics, with special attention to India’s emergence as a superpower with nuclear capabilities, multinational corporations, and local struggles over the shape of everyday life. (Rodriguez, offered annually)
ANTH 214 Rethinking Families: Policy, Intervention, and Difference This course is an exploration of the concept of the family in relation to the policies and institutions that shape our daily lives. We will explore the ways that multiple family formations challenge our conceptions of what makes a family and consider how families are impacted by and formed through categories of race, class, citizenship, ability, and sexuality. We will then examine how the family institution has been positioned as a key political site, and explore how families are shaped by public education, law, and social welfare policies, among other institutions. This course asks students to develop an understanding of the family as a political institution, to consider a variety of diverse family formations, and to critically examine the policies and institutions that shape the lives of children and families in the contemporary United States.
ANTH 220 Sex Roles: A Cross-Cultural Perspective This approach to the study of sex roles is cross cultural and multidisciplinary, oriented toward an understanding of the behavior of women and men in various societies including the United States. The course addresses such questions as: What are the biological bases of femaleness and maleness? Are there correlations between physical environments and the status of women and men? How do individuals learn their sex roles? Do some social structures, religious ideologies, rituals, and values support or perpetuate inequality between the sexes? And, have sex roles changed with modernization, urbanization, and industrialization? (Maiale, offered alternate years)
ANTH 221 Human Rights and Indigenous Peoples Throughout its history, anthropology has been committed to and active in maintaining the rights of indigenous peoples against the colonizing and globalizing forces of nation-state power, racist ideologies, forced assimilation, and industrial resource extraction. To develop an informed, current, and critical understanding, the course will offer an overview of the concepts, documents, and organizations shaping the human rights of indigenous peoples at a global level, as well as in-depth studies of how particular indigenous peoples and organizations are addressing human rights violations in various local contexts. Indigenous rights will be studied in the complex web of relations among the United Nations, international courts, NGOs, nation-states, corporations, and indigenous political formations. To be examined are issues of rights to survival, land, health, natural resources, self-government, language, education, cultural property, socio-economic welfare, and religious freedom. (Anderson, offered alternate years)
ANTH 222 Native American Religions This course explores Native American sacred ways of speaking, acting, knowing, and creating in diverse historical and contemporary culture and contexts. Indigenous views and practices are studied as a groundwork for interpretative and theoretical formulations about the role of religion Native American history, culture, and language. Native American religious traditions are further comprehended as dynamic modes of survival, empowerment, and renewal in the face of Euro-American domination, past and present. Upon these understandings, indigenous, anthropological, and Euro-American domination perspectives on religion are brought into balanced dialogue and exchange. (Anderson, offered alternate years)
ANTH 227 Intercultural Communication To what extent is communication between members of different cultures really possible? This course uses an anthropological approach and examples from many cultures and ethnic groups to address this question. It explores the systematic blindness that all too often produces conflicts between members of different cultures, ethnic groups, and races, and considers the role of values and relativism in intercultural relations. The course welcomes foreign students, those planning study abroad, and students experiencing the challenges of “re-entry” to American culture. No prerequisites. ANTH 110 is helpful but not required. (Anderson, offered occasionally)
ANTH 228 Physical Anthropology Physical anthropology studies humans as biological organisms (members of the Primate Order). This course provides an overview of the three major divisions of physical anthropology: anatomical and behavioral characteristics of living non-human primates; the fossil evidence for human evolution, including discussion of the origins of culture as a major adaptive characteristic of humankind; and examination of human variability today, including a discussion of race. (Nicholas, offered alternate years)
ANTH 247 Urban Anthropology Urban anthropology treats the research problems and strategies of anthropologists in a wide variety of urban situations. The course corrects some popular myths and misconceptions about crowding, size, poverty, and class. It also treats issues such as rural/urban migration and interethnic relations. An analysis of crucial social, economic, and political relationships in Third World and Western contexts is provided. (Staff, offered alternate years)
ANTH 271 Jobs, Power, and Capital: The Anthropology of Work This course is concerned with the theory and policy associated with the concept of work in traditional, transitional, industrial, and post industrial societies. Special attention is given to the changing role of family, kin, and gender in labor, and the impact of industrialization and the new international division of labor on the work experience, the workplace, and the labor process. Open to students in Anthropology, Sociology, Urban Studies, Women’s Studies, Economics, Africana Studies, and Latin American Studies. Prerequisite: ANTH 110 or by permission of instructor. (Staff, offered every three years) Note: Students may obtain anthropology seminar credit by enrolling in this course as ANTH 471 Seminar: Jobs, Power, and Capital.
ANTH 273 Ethnographic Research and Methods This course considers the practice, problems, and analysis of field and library research in social and cultural anthropology. It examines the theoretical background and social and political role of ethnographers, and gains an understanding of the basic skills and qualitative methods of inquiry, including participant observation, interviewing, photography, life history, ethno history, and network and structural analysis. Students conduct research projects locally. Prerequisite: ANTH 110. (Maiale, Annear, Spring, offered every year) Note: Majors should plan to take this alternate year only course at the earliest opportunity in order to complete their programs.
ANTH 280 Environment and Culture: Cultural Ecology The subject of ecological studies in cultural anthropology is the study of the interaction between human populations and their environments. These populations—hunters, gatherers, farmers, herders, and city dwellers—are examined in diverse habitats or settings: tropical forests, flooded rice plains, highland pastures, deserts, and cities. Attention is focused on ecological concepts and human adaptations and implications of these for present dilemmas in our own troubled environments. What lessons are there to be learned about resource management from “primitive” people? (Annear, Fall, offered every year)
ANTH 282 North American Indians The course is a survey of the experiences and sociocultural systems of past and present indigenous American peoples north of Mexico. Examined are relationships between ecological factors, subsistence patterns, modes of social organization, language, architecture, art, gender relations, ways of knowing, and religious beliefs. Also studied are historical and contemporary issues of political-legal relations, survival strategies, social activism, economic development, cultural identity, language renewal, land rights, cultural vitality, resource rights, and artistic creativity. (Anderson, offered annually)
ANTH 285 Primate Behavior Because primates are humankind’s closest relatives, the study of primate behavior holds a special fascination for us. This course uses films and readings to examine the various behaviors of representative prosimians, New World monkeys, Old World monkeys, and apes. It looks primarily at studies of natural primate behavior in the wild but also reviews some examples of lab research. The focus is on locomotion, subsistence, social behavior, and intelligence within an evolutionary framework. The course concludes by considering the light which study of non-human primates might shed on the evolutionary origins of our own species. (Nicholas, offered alternate years)
ANTH 290 Pharaohs, Fellahin, Fantasy: Ancient Egypt Fires the Imagination This course examines Egypt of the Pharaohs: their forebears and their descendants to the present day. Just as the Nile links Africa, Egypt, and the Mediterranean, a stream of culture links the Egyptian past to the present, and as a great river meanders, carves new banks but still flows from source to sea, so too, Egyptian culture has changed through conquest and innovation but remains, at some level, recognizable. Students explore gender and economic relations, how we know what we know, and how to recognize occult or romantic fantasy. ANTH 102 or 206 are recommended but not required. (Nicholas, offered every two to three years)
ANTH 296 Africa: Beyond Crisis, Poverty, and Aid This course explores the continent’s diversity by reexamining broadly held stereotypes, delving into its history, and researching daily realities of modern day Africans. We will examine a cultural mosaic of different African societies from a variety of perspectives, including anthropology, politics, history, and economics. While this course focuses on small-scale communities and case studies, it also looks at wider sociocultural and geopolitical interconnections. We will ask how common representations of Africa shape our understanding of this diverse continent and gain insight into the many different ways Africans live their lives. I'm pleased you are in this course. There is a Zambian Chibemba proverb that states, "Imiti iikula, e mpanga." (Growing trees make a forest.) May this course act as a nursery that fosters your intellectual growth about this extraordinary part of our world!
No prerequisites. (Annear, offered annually)
ANTH 297 Peoples and Cultures of Latin America This course examines the development of diverse populations of Latin America from colonial times to the present, dealing especially with the effects of population growth, urbanization, industrialization, international politics, and rapid social change. Students will analyze approaches to ethnicity, diaspora, migrations, genocide, sexuality, neo-liberalism, human rights, and the commoditization of life and labor. The course is structured to illuminate key ethnographic pieces through selected theoretical works and to situate them within a historical/conceptual development of the discipline in the region. Students will read selected anthropological material and view films produced on different geo-political regions of Latin America (Mesoamerica, the Andean region,
Amazonia, and the Caribbean). (Maiale, offered alternate years)
ANTH 302 Borders and Walls Our lives are shaped by borders and walls, the material and conceptual obstacles that keep some of us in and others out. Passports, immigration checkpoints and neighborhood boundaries delimit and shape our everyday experiences. This course examines anthropological engagements with these boundaries and their ongoing production, asking about experiences of crossing, the temporal shifting of borders, how individuals navigate conceptual borders of race, class, and sexuality as well as the visceral boundaries that mark the edges of the contemporary nation-state.
ANTH 306 History of Anthropological Theory This course explores the range of anthropological theory by reviewing works identified with different theoretical perspectives: 19th century evolutionism, Boasian empiricism, British social anthropology, structural idealism, cultural ecology, neo-evolutionism, practice theory, and post modernism. The emphasis is on developing the student’s own ability to evaluate and use theory. Prerequisites: Several anthropology courses or permission of instructor. This is ideally a junior year course for majors and students from related fields. (Offered every Fall)
ANTH 319/419 Feminist and Political Anthropology This course explores anthropological engagements with feminism and what this productive and corrective engagement with feminisms and what this practices and to a critical analysis of the anthropological endeavor. this course explores how culturally produced systems of gender and power inform such processes as nation-states, History-making, commonsense, the academic enterprise, social institutions, research methods, embodies dispositions, and the (re)making of cultural worlds. Particular attention will be given to understanding what makes cultural anthropology is a political pursuit, one wrapped up in systems of inequality that include colonialism, science and scientific expertise, and the authority to write and speak. (Rodriguez, offered alternate years)
ANTH 323/423 Ethnographies of Capitalism This course explores theories of capitalism and capitalist practice and debates in the discipline of anthropology about what constitutes “capitalism,” as well as how one goes about studying these varieties of social relations. Emphasis is given to ethnographic examples for understanding the cultural processes that produce capitalist relations, and the cultural practices that capitalist forms of organizing produce. Particular consideration will be given to how capitalist relations operate at the intersections of race, class, gender, nationality and other social positionalities. Prerequisite: Students must have declared a major or minor in anthropology, or have permission of the instructor. (Rodriguez, offered alternate years)
ANTH 326 Pattern and Process in Ancient Mesoamerican Urbanism This course surveys the broad outline of Mesoamerican archaeology, with a special focus on cities viewed in their ecological and cultural contexts. Cities studied include Monte Alban, Teotihuacan, Tikal, Tula, Chichen Itza, Mayapan, Tenochtitlan, and others. The course familiarizes students with various descriptive and theoretical models of ancient urbanism and discusses the relationship between these theoretical models and the data from Mesoamerica (as well as the relationship between theory and research design). No prerequisites, but ANTH 102 or ANTH 206 provide helpful background. (Nicholas, offered alternate years)
ANTH 330/430 The Anthropology of Creativity Creativity flows continually through all human cultures and languages with spontaneity, novelty, and unfolding meaning. The course offers a survey of various anthropological perspectives on the power of individuality, interpretation, resistance, and imagination in the aesthetic process of creation. Considered are music, poetics, literature, and graphic arts in various historical and contemporary cultural contexts, with special attention to creolization and hybridization in the process of globalization. Prerequisite: Students must have declared a major or minor in anthropology, or have permission of the instructor. (Anderson, offered annually)
ANTH 340/440 Anthropology of the Global Commons This course offers an exploration of common property resources (CPRs) and civic associations around the globe. These include questioning conventional assumptions about how humans manage CPRs; meaning cooperatively owned or commonly accessed environmental resources such as pastures, fisheries, and the Earth’s atmosphere. We will also investigate how people associate in groups by studying a long celebrated thesis that declares (U.S.) Americans to be civically minded and naturally oriented toward the democratic process. Prerequisite: Students must have declared a major or minor in anthropology, or have permission of the instructor. (Annear, offered alternate years)
ANTH 341/441 Making Babies: Anthropology of Reproductive Technologies This course offers an exploration of the emerging field of the anthropology of reproduction. Because reproduction is so strongly associated with biology in our society, viewing it through a cultural lens poses significant challenges to some of our most basic beliefs. In this course we will examine the cross-cultural conceptions of fertility and conception, delve deeply into comparative ethnography of reproductive practices and meanings, and consider the cultural constructions of reproduction wrought by new reproductive technologies. This seminar will approach these issues from a critical cross-cultural perspective, pursuing two general themes: nature, culture and personhood; and the intersections between reproduction, politics, and power. Prerequisite: Students must have declared a major or minor in anthropology, or have permission of the instructor. (Maiale, offered alternate years)
ANTH 342/442 Comparing Ancient World Systems This course focuses on how ancient cultures came into contact with one another to create larger systemic networks of information exchange, trade, political interaction, and warfare. The study is grounded in “comparative world-systems theory,” which modifies Wallerstein’s vision of a modern world-system and extends the concept to significantly earlier time periods. Students explore continuity and transformation in general world-system dynamics in antiquity, paying particular attention to effects on urbanism and warfare. The course is grounded in the study of archaeological/historical cases (for example, ancient Mesopotamia), and is discussion based; student research presentations are an integral part of the course. Prerequisite: Students must have declared a major or minor in anthropology, or have permission of the instructor. (Nicholas, offered occasionally)
ANTH 354/454 Food, Meaning, Voice Everyone eats and the meanings attached to food are bountiful. Anthropologist Jack Goody notes that cuisine like music is not hampered by language and is able to easily cross cultural barriers. So food communicates within language and can also communicate like language. Food speaks. But what does food have to say? This course explores anthropological approaches to the study of food and cuisine. In our readings and writings, we will examine the way food is produced, prepared, exchanged and given meaning in cultures around the world. Food plays an important part in identity construction, religion, and socialization, and we will explore the communicative significance of foodways in past and present societies as expressed through symbols, rituals, everyday habits, and taboos. Course readings will investigate the way that cultural ideas about gender, ethnicity, national identity, class, and social value are communicated through activities such as cooking, consuming special diets, feasting, and fasting. Prerequisite: Students must have declared a major or minor in anthropology, or have permission of the instructor. (Annear, Maiale, offered alternate years)
ANTH 362 Evolution and Culture Evolutionary models seek to understand the processes underlying changing successions of living organisms or cultural systems. This course examines the relevance of evolutionary approaches to the understanding of culture. It begins by examining the degree to which biological analogues are or are not appropriate in building models of cultural evolution, considering such topics as Darwinian gradualism, Lamarckianism, and punctuated equilibria. The approaches of the 19th century unilineal evolutionists in anthropology are then contrasted with the multilineal theories of the 20th century. The course concludes with student presentations of research projects on either the history of evolutionary concepts in anthropology or on modern applications thereof. Prerequisites: Students are recommended to complete several anthropology courses before taking this seminar. Students with a strong interest in the topic and backgrounds in related fields are encouraged to seek permission of the instructor. (Nicholas, offered every three years) Note: Students may obtain anthropology seminar credit by enrolling in this course as ANTH 462 Seminar: Evolution and Culture.
ANTH 450 Independent Study Permission of the instructor.
ANTH 495 Honors Permission of the instructor.
ANTH 499 Internship in Anthropology A minimum of 150 hours of work or practice under the supervision of an anthropology faculty adviser. Students are expected to keep a reflective journal and to produce a paper that relates their experience to more general issues in anthropology. The length and scope of the paper shall be determined in consultation with the internship faculty adviser. Internship adviser permission is required to take this course, and prior departmental approval is required for any students who wish to repeat ANTH 499. Permission of the instructor.
Anthropology Courses Taught Occasionally
ANTH 260 Medical Anthropology
ANTH 370/470 Life Histories
SOCIOLOGY COURSE DESCRIPTIONS
SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology An introduction to the fundamental concepts of sociology, this course focuses on such central issues as the social nature of personality; the effects of social class, race, and gender on social life; the interactional basis of society; and the place of beliefs and values in social structure and social action. A fundamental concern is to analyze the reciprocal nature of social existence—to understand how society influences us and how we, in turn, construct it. Typically, the course applies the sociological perspective to an analysis of American society and other social systems. (Freeman, Harris, Kosta, Monson, Perkins, Sutton, offered every semester) Note: All upper level sociology courses require SOC 100 as a prerequisite.
SOC 205 Men and Masculinities Masculinities profoundly shape the experiences of men, women, and children, yet the role of gender in men’s lives is often taken for granted. Masculinities interact with statuses such as ethnicities, sexualities, disabilities, and social class, making it impossible to study men as a single group. Accordingly, this course examines how diverse forms of masculinity are constructed, reinforced, and reproduced within broader systems of social stratification. This course will provide a better understanding of how gender ideals and practices shape men’s lives, and it will critically assess the privileges and problems that masculinities create in the lives of men and others in society. Substantive topics that will be examined include boyhood socialization, masculinities and emotions, men’s violence against women, male sexualities, men’s health, and men’s friendships and intimate relationships. (Harris, Sutton, offered alternate years)
SOC 206 Kids and Contention: the Sociology of Childhood in the U.S. Context This class tackles the contentious history of childhood and youth in the U.S. context from a sociological perspective. We’ll explore the history of childhood and youth, paying close attention to the ways in which young people are able to impact their social environment. Childhood is a social category that has historically been constructed by policies that fulfill the needs of adults. This course will provide us with a context to understand and interpret those policies and also investigate how children respond. We’ll also examine how policy and other institutions inform particular norms, values, and stereotypes of young people, sometimes regardless of data or input from the young people themselves. Throughout the semester, we’ll evaluate the role(s) of children in the various institutions, including schools, families, courts, neighborhoods, peer groups, and as consumers. Prerequisite: SOC 100 (Freeman, offered annually)
SOC 211 Research Methods This course is an introduction to the basic issues and fundamental trends of social research. The logic of inquiry, research design, sampling, validity, reliability of indicators in social data, and logistical and ethical problems in the collection and analysis of data form the central problems for consideration. Techniques of data collection, such as, participant observation, content analysis, experimental design, unobtrusive measures, and survey research are discussed. The course is intended to prepare students for original research efforts and also to help them become more sophisticated consumers of the literature of the social sciences today. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Monson, Sutton, offered every semester)
212 Data Analysis This course provides an introduction to the organization and analysis of data in the process of social research. Presentation of data in tabular and graphic forms, the use of elementary descriptive and inferential statistics, and the use of bivariate and multivariate analytic procedures in the analysis of data are examined. This course includes a laboratory experience in the use of computing software to display data and test hypotheses. The course is ultimately intended to prepare students for original research efforts and to help them become more sophisticated consumers of the literature of the social sciences today. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Perkins, Freeman, offered annually)
SOC 220 Social Psychology In this seminar course, major theoretical perspectives and classic empirical studies in social psychology are introduced. The emphasis is on exposure to a variety of viewpoints in the literature. Theoretical orientations, such as learning theory, exchange theory, role theory, symbolic interaction, attribution theory, and cognitive balance models are surveyed during the term. Furthermore, studies in substantive areas, such as social norms and behavioral conformity, attitude change, interpersonal attraction, group dynamics, conflict and cooperation, and leadership are examined in light of these major perspectives. The course gives attention to the congruencies and disparities among psychological and sociological perspectives within the interdisciplinary field of social psychology. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Perkins, offered alternate years)
SOC 221 Race and Ethnic Relations What is race? What is ethnicity? Has race always existed? Why should the history of people of color matter to contemporary policy and social relationships?In this course, students analyze minority group relations including inter-group and intragroup dynamics, sources of prejudice and discrimination, social processes of conflict, segregation, assimilation, and accommodation. Minority-majority relations are viewed as a source of hierarchy, contention, and change, and the history and current context of our multigroup society are analyzed. Emphasis is placed on racial and ethnic groups in the United States. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Freeman, offered annually)
SOC 223 Inequalities Inequality is a fundamental aspect of social structure but we, as individuals, frequently find it simple to justify without investigating its history. Despite the adoption of the rhetoric of equal rights and democratic values, inequality thrives in the United States. Our placement in Geneva, N.Y., allows us, as sociologists, a unique opportunity to observe these systems of inequality within our city and relate them to broader patterns in the nation as a whole. This course is designed to give students a foundational knowledge in sociological theory of inequality stemming from Marx, Weber, and DuBois and continuing through contemporary theories of intersectionality. These perspectives will then be used to understand inequality in social class, race, gender, sexualities, and in the global arena. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Freeman, offered annually)
SOC 224 Social Deviance This course explores the social etiology of deviant behavior, the functions of deviance, and societal reactions to deviance. An interdisciplinary approach is taken to the internalization of norms, guilt, shame, punishment, and conformity as they relate to deviance. Various theoretical approaches are examined. Social deviance is considered as a regular aspect of societies, and this course is directed toward a normative theory of culture, addressed to the problems of order, conflict, and change. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Harris, Sutton, offered annually)
SOC 225 Sociology of Family What is “the family?” Are two-parent, single parent, or extended families more common historically and cross-culturally? What social forces contribute to the rise in divorce? How have cultural norms concerning motherhood and fatherhood changed over time? The family is analyzed as a social institution embedded in particular historical contexts and which reflects broad economic change, cultural shifts, and political movements, including industrialization, de-industrialization, and feminism. Particular attention is paid to ways in which various axes of social inequality (gender, class, race, and sexuality) shape how family life is experienced at the individual level, and how various family forms are evaluated, penalized, and/or supported at the societal level. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Monson, offered annually)
SOC 226 Sociology of Sex and Gender What is the connection between biological sex and our identities as men and women? How is the variation over time and across cultures in gendered behavior explained? What are the sources and consequences of differences between women and men? How are these differences linked to inequalities of race and class as well as gender? This course provides an introduction to sociological perspectives on gender relations as a social structure. Several theoretical frameworks for understanding the sources and persistence of gender differences and inequality are considered, including liberal feminism, radical feminism, multicultural feminism, and men’s feminism. Students examine a range of social institutions and ideological constructs shaping the social structure of gender, such as family, employment, sexuality, reproduction, and beauty. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Monson, offered alternate years)
SOC 238 The Making of Immigrant America Ethnicity and race are constantly evolving social constructions, yet they remain among the most persistent forms of structured social inequality. focusing on the United States, but with reference to other multi-ethnic societies, this course will consider the immigration histories to examine why and how the salience of ethnic identity increases and decreases at particular historical moments, how the categories of race and ethnicity inform each other, and how they are inexorably related to the continuous remaking of the American mainstream. This course will pay particular attention to the immigration patterns of the turn-of the-twentieth-century (Ellis Island) groups, and the Chicago-school tradition of urban ethnographies that documented the lives of those groups during the 20th and 21st centuries. (Kosta, offered alternate years)
SOC 242 The Sociology of Business and Management This course provides an “applied” sociological analysis of the major trends shaping business in the United States and worldwide. Students explore the nature of business organization and management, at the micro level in its institutional forms and the business and management environment, at the macro level as it operates within economic and cultural systems, and within global contexts. The issues of demographic effects, ethical concerns, technological innovation, the role of producers and consumers, and the changing role of government are considered. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Harris, offered alternate years)
SOC 244 Religion in American Society This course focuses upon religion in American society from the post World War II era to the present, using sociological theory and empirical research to form the basic analytical perspective. A survey of the major religious traditions is provided along with an introduction to contemporary cults, sects, and new religious movements. Topics such as civil religion, processes of secularization and revival, social and demographic influences on belief and practice, organizational structures, church and state relations, and political activism of religious groups are examined. Discussion concerning the theological, ethical, and political implications of sociological claims about religion is also encouraged. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Perkins, offered alternate years)
SOC 245 Sociology of Work The study of capitalist and pre-capitalist forms of human labor, and the changes in social organization that accompany changes in the mode of production are covered in this class. Students consider non-wage as well as wage labor in contemporary industrial America. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Mason, offered occasionally)
SOC 249 Technology and Society This course is designed to explore the impact that technologies have on human beings and their societies. It examines the history of technological development, and particularly the industrial revolution and the current cybernetic revolution. A broad range of topics are covered, including such issues as family relations, work patterns, energy and the environment, domestic and international social stratification, and social organization. The course also concentrates on the empirical effects that such inventions as moveable type, compasses, steam engines, automobiles, washers and dryers, telephones, radio, television, rockets, transformers, and computers (to name several) have had on human beings. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Mason, offered alternate years)
SOC 251 Sociology of the City More than 80 percent of Americans and 50 percent of the world’s peoples now live in urban areas. Such figures show that the city has become one of the most important and powerful social phenomena of modern times. As a result, it is imperative that we understand the city’s influence on our lives. This course provides a basic introduction to urban life and culture by examining the development of the city in Western history. Classic and modern theories are examined in an attempt to grasp what the city is and what it could be. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Kosta, offered alternate years)
SOC 253 Global Cities Everywhere, in numbers unheard of before, people are flocking to the world’s cities, in many cases, regardless of the fact that when they arrive there, they find living conditions awful or even worse. Why? What do people want from cities? This course seeks to answer these questions by exploring the overarching concept of “the global city” developed in the aftermath of the restructuring of the world economy since the mid-1970s. It will examine the historical emergence of global cities (née “world cities”), and critically assess this conceptualization as a paradigm, theory, and research agenda within urban studies. We start with an overview of urbanization processes in the US from the 19th century onwards, introduce the central body of theoretical literature on global cities, and continue exploring thematic topics such as new forms of inequality, labor relationships, neighborhood dynamics, and forms of fragmentation and segregation, through a comparative focus of urban processes around the world. A central feature of this course is the exploration of 21st century urbanism in the non-Western world. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Kosta, offered alternate years)
SOC 258 Social Problems The focus of this course is the examination of fundamental social problems confronting contemporary American society. How social problems have emerged or have been perpetuated in recent years, and how social problems are defined and perceived by particular social groups are important issues for this course, as is the analysis of possible solutions to these problems. Poverty, racism, care of the aged, alcohol and substance abuse, the AIDS epidemic, pornography, juvenile delinquency, prostitution, family violence, abortion, children’s rights, church and state conflicts, gun control, and capital punishment are some examples of topics for this course. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Mason, offered annually)
SOC 261 Sociology of Education This course is an examination of the interplay between the formal ideal and informal personal aspects of education and other social processes. Topics of discussion include the potential of critical experience as contrasted to institutional certification; the assessment of personal career choices; educational experience as a life long aspect of the legitimation and stratification processes; friendships and voluntary association as resources for the resolution of stress; and education as a selective recruitment and promotion process involved with evolving social trends. Participants are expected to work from a critical, introspective sociological perspective. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Mason, Freeman, offered annually)
SOC 262 Criminology This course provides an introduction to the study of crime and criminal justice and an in-depth look at why people break the law. The major theories of crime and criminal behavior are presented and analyzed, current crime and punishment trends are investigated, and the main sources of crime data are critically assessed. Substantive crime topics such as fear of crime, drug use, murder, burglary, white-collar deviance, human trafficking, and sexual assault are also examined. Special attention will be given to how social interaction, socialization, and social inequality relate to crime patterns, criminal behavior, victimization, and the administration of justice. (Sutton, offered annually)
SOC 263 Juvenile Delinquency This course outlines the history of juvenile delinquency in the United States and highlights current trends and patterns of delinquent behavior. A number of explanations have been proposed for why young people engage in deviance and crime, and a range of responses have been developed to identify, rehabilitate, and at times punish juveniles who do not behave appropriately. This course provides an in-depth look into these explanations and responses, and it critically examines how social power, inequalities, gender, poverty, and other sociological themes are intertwined with juvenile offending and the social control of juvenile delinquents. A sample of substantive topics focused on in this course includes gangs, juvenile sex offenders, substance abuse, violence, and the juvenile justice system. (Sutton, offered annually)
SOC 271 Sociology of Environmental Issues This course examines the development and future implications of environmental issues from a sociological perspective. Topics of discussion include: technological fix and social value definitions of environmental issues; how occupational and residence patterns are involved with the perception of and response to environmental issues; urban policies as aspects of environmental issues (e.g., zoning, public transport, etc.); stress involved with current life styles and occupations; and the personal, group, and social responses to resolve environmental problems. Topics of interest to students are discussed as they develop during the course. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Mason, offered annually)
SOC 290 Sociology of Community This course first examines the use of the concept of community as it has been applied to kinship groups, neighborhoods, and rural and urban settlements. It seeks to sharpen analytic and conceptual abilities and then focuses investigation on historical and contemporary utopian and intentional communities. Students take several field trips, meet with guest lecturers, and participate in a group project toward creating community. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Harris, offered alternate years)
SOC 295 Alcohol Use and Abuse Alcohol is consumed as beverage by most adults in contemporary American society. Alcohol is also the most widely used and abused drug. On the one hand, attractions, pleasures, and possible benefits of alcohol consumption can be identified as motivations for widespread use. On the other hand, the debilitating effect and costs of heavy drinking and alcoholism on the health of individuals, families, and society in general are enormous. This course examines the causes and consequences of alcohol use and misuse both in terms of its biochemical and social construction. This sociology course brings together natural science and social science contributions to the interdisciplinary study of this phenomenon by incorporating a variety of academic perspectives including biology, chemistry, psychology, epidemiology, and sociology and by making extensive use of multimedia resources. We explore the effect of family, genetics, peers, ethnicity, and gender on drinking behavior along with the physiological effects of alcohol on the human body. Social patterns of drinking in various societal contexts will also be examined. Discussion of controversial issues concerning alcohol consumption will include concepts of abuse, theories of addiction, effective treatment approaches, blood alcohol limits for driving, minimum drinking age limits, treatment and punishment of DWI offenders, alcohol testing in work and sports contexts, and restrictions on advertising. (Perkins, offered alternate years)
SOC 299 The Sociology of Vietnam: Conflict, Colonialism, and Catharsis This course explores the social world of Vietnam. Students study Vietnamese history, culture, and social relations. Through this study of their institutions (religion, economy, politics), arts, and artifacts, students find themselves immersed in the life of Vietnam, and are likely to achieve a fuller appreciation of the modes and meanings of what it means to be Vietnamese, as well as what it means to be American. The course examines the many forces that impinge on Vietnamese social life, and explores how the Vietnamese are seeking to reconcile and resolve the contradictions of socialist and capitalist theory and practice, as they seek to improve the lives of their people and position themselves as a significant Southeast Asian political and economic force. Prerequisites: SOC 100 or an introductory course in Anthropology, Political Science, History, Asian Studies, or Religious Studies. (Harris, offered alternate years)
SOC 300 Classical Sociological Theory The founders of sociology were deeply concerned about problems that continue to be of vital importance for contemporary sociological inquiry. Questions such as the nature of society and its relationship to individuals, the relation between sociological theory and social practice, whether sociology is a science and, if not, what it is, and so on, are all absolutely central to the sociological enterprise, and yet often become lost. This course returns to the classics in an effort to uncover the questions sociologists need constantly to ask themselves if they wish to reflect cogently upon their role in the contemporary world. Required of all sociology majors. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Harris, Kosta, offered annually)
SOC 301 Modern Sociological Theory This course examines the nature of theory and the problems of theory construction. The course surveys current theories representative of major intellectual orientations. These varieties of contemporary sociological theory are analyzed and the problems encountered within each explored. Theoretical orientations examined include social behaviorism, structural functionalism, conflict theory, symbolic interactionism, and the psychoanalytic. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Mason, Harris, offered alternate years)
SOC 310 Generations This course explores issues of grandparent/parent/child relations, youth and aging, and the value patterns of different generations in contemporary American society. These issues are examined both in terms of developmental stages of the life course and the distinct experiences of historical age cohorts. A major focus of the course is on relationships among succeeding generations and, in particular, on what continuities and discontinuities exist between age groups. In this context the political and moral orientations and parental philosophies of various generations are explored. The course is conducted as an advanced level seminar. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Perkins, offered occasionally)
SOC 370 Religion, Politics & Lifestyle Sociological theory has long debated the role of religious belief and practice in the maintenance and transformation of society. Does what is sacred essentially maintain the social patterns and power structure of society or do various forms of belief and spirituality make a crucial contribution to movements producing social change? Has religion become a less important element of society in the modern world through growing secularization or is it continually transformed with renewed social influence in society? These questions about the effects and prevalence of sacred beliefs and institutions are examined through the views of both classic and contemporary sociologists. This advanced seminar course examines variation in the social significance of religion by looking at how alternative movements as well as dominant beliefs and practices in modern Western societies have remained influential, faded to marginality, or reemerged in political and social life. Three debates will be highlighted: the problem of pluralism spawning religious conflict, the question of the inevitability of secularization, and the possibility of imposing a separation between religion and the modern political state. (Perkins, offered alternate years)
SOC 375 Social Policy This course focuses on U.S. income support policies designed to address poverty due to old age, unemployment, and single parenthood, using case studies of other Western welfare states for comparative purposes. The course traces the historical development and restructuring of the U.S. welfare state, from the “poor laws” in the colonial era, through the New Deal of the 1930s, the War on Poverty in the 1960s and 1970s, and the “end of welfare as we know it” at the turn of the 21st century. Central questions considered include how families, labor markets, and states intersect, and whether welfare states’ policies ameliorate or reinforce inequalities of gender, race, and class. Prerequisite: SOC 100. (Monson, offered alternate years)
SOC 450 Independent Study Permission of the instructor required. (Offered annually)
SOC 465 Senior Seminar Prerequisite: Students must have passed SOC 211 and either SOC 212 or SOC 300 with grades of C- or better before enrolling in this course. (Staff, offered annually)
SOC 495 Honors Permission of instructor required. (Offered annually)
SOC 499 Internship in Sociology A minimum of 150 hours of work or practice under the supervision of a sociology faculty adviser. Students are expected to keep a reflective journal and to produce a paper that relates their experience to more general issues in sociology. The length and scope of the paper shall be determined in consultation with the internship faculty adviser. Internship adviser permission is required to take this course, and prior departmental approval is required for any students who wish to repeat SOC 499. Permission of instructor.
Sociology Courses Taught Occasionally
SOC 201 Sociology of International Development
SOC 222 Social Change and the Individual
SOC 228 Social Conflict
SOC 230 The Sociology of Everyday Life
SOC 231 Sociology of Art and Culture
SOC 233 Women and Political Mobilization in the Third World
SOC 240 Gender and Development
SOC 241 Sociology of Sport
SOC 243 Religion, State, and Society in Modern Britain
SOC 248 Medical Sociology
SOC 250 Population Crisis in the Third World
SOC 256 Power and Powerlessness
SOC 257 Political Sociology
SOC 259 Social Movements
SOC 260 The Sociology of Human Nature
SOC 298 Sociology of Mass Communications
SOC 312 Advanced Quantitative Methods
SOC 325 Moral Sociology and the Good Society
SOC 330 Symbolic Interaction
SOC 331 Sociology of Art and Culture
SOC 340 Feminist Social Theory
SOC 350 Sociology of Knowledge
SOC 380 Totalitarian Society
Note: A number of regularly offered bidisciplinary courses and interdisciplinary program courses carry credit for the Sociology major. Examples include BIDS 214 The Politics of Reproduction, BIDS 229 Two Cities: New York and Toronto, BIDS 245 Men and Masculinity, BIDS 288 White Mythologies, and BIDS 295 Alcohol Use and Abuse. Students are encouraged to see the Bidisciplinary and Program offerings and to check with department faculty about such offerings.