Sociology and Anthropology Courses

Spring 2019

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Field Methods in Archaeology

SOAN 210 - Gaylord, Donald A.

Additional special fees may apply. If necessary, some financial aid may be available through departmental funds. This course introduces students to archaeological field methods through hands-on experience, readings, and fieldtrips. Students study the cultural and natural processes that lead to the patterns we see in the archaeological record. Using the scientific method and current theoretical motivations in anthropological archaeology, students learn how to develop a research design and to implement it with actual field excavation. We visit several field excavation sites in order to experience, first hand, the range of archaeological field methods and research interests currently undertaken by leading archaeologists. Students use the archaeological data to test hypotheses about the sites under consideration and produce a report of their research, which may take the form of a standard archaeological report, an academic poster, or a conference-style presented paper.

Peoples of Central Europe Through Literature and Film

SOAN 225 - Jasiewicz, Krzysztof

This course provides basic information about the citizens of the Central European nations of Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary. The beliefs, attitudes, and value systems of the people of Central Europe are studied using core textbook readings supplemented by feature films, video materials, novels, short stories, plays, and poetry. Class discussions focus on interpreting these works of art in the context of comparative, historical-sociological analysis of the Polish, Czech, and Hungarian cultures and societies.

Adolescence Under the Microscope

SOAN 281 - Novack, David R. / Novack, Lesley L.

This course focuses on adolescence through the lens of social psychology. Insights from sociology, anthropology, and psychology are employed to explicate the adolescent experience in the United States in contrast to other societies. Topics include: the impact of liminality on adolescent identity in cross-cultural perspective; adolescence as objective reality or cultural fiction; adolescence and peer relations, gender and suicide; and new technologies and virtual adolescence. Each student engages in a research project focusing on adolescence and identity through either interviews or observational techniques. The final project is a group analysis of adolescence as reflected in Facebook.

Special Topics in Sociology

SOAN 290 - Chin, Lynn G. (Lynny)

A discussion of a series of topics of sociological concern. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Spring 2019, SOAN 290-01: Special Topic: Belonging in College (4). This seminar explores the questions of what does it mean to belong" in college and how does academic institutional structure shape who gets to "fit in" and who "belongs". All college students face the problem of belonging. College is a transformative but nerve-wracking transition. The traditional student experience involves entering a new environment without the comfort and protection of former social ties. On the one hand, severing old ties provides students freedom to explore new identities and perhaps even reinvent themselves. On the other hand, this state of detachment is stressful as students compare themselves to their peers and ask: "How do I measure up?", "Do I fit in?", and "do I belong"? We explore the structural, interactional, and emotional barriers that all students face, and we examine the additional barriers for inclusion for "nontraditional" students. Understanding the struggles "traditional" and "non-traditional" students have in feeling like they belong is of utmost importance for developing successful inclusion interventions on campuses. Chin.

Special Topics in Anthropology

SOAN 291 - Goluboff, Sascha

A discussion of a series of topics of anthropological concern. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Spring 2019, SOAN 291-01: Cults (3). An exploration of the phenomenon of cults (also known as new religious movements [NRMs]). We examine the development of cults, how they operate, and the experiences of those who participate in them. Topics of discussion include brainwashing, gender, violence, sexuality, child rearing, and the possibility of objectivity on the part of the researcher. We structure the term around a visit from Marsha Goluboff Low (Professor Goluboff's aunt), who will talk about the 18 years she spent in Ánanda Márga. Goluboff.

Special Topics in Anthropology

SOAN 291 - Markowitz, Harvey J. / Guse, Aaron J. (Joseph)

A discussion of a series of topics of anthropological concern. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Spring 2019, SOAN 291-02: Land in O'odham Culture Economics and History (4). A seminar on the cultural, economic, and historical dimensions of the O'odham Indians' ties to their lands as expressed in their pre- and post-reservation lifeways. Students address three major themes: 1) O'odham land and cosmology; 2) land and economy in O'odham history; and 3) contemporary cultural and economic issues among O'odham peoples. The class spends 8 days in the Sonoran Desert region of Southern Arizona to visit sites and meet with speakers in and around the Tohono O'odham Nation. Markowitz and Guse.

Winter 2019

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Introduction to Anthropology: Investigating Humanity

SOAN 101 - Markowitz, Harvey J.

This course is an introduction to the four subfields of anthropology: physical/biological anthropology, archaeology, linguistics, and cultural anthropology. The course explores how we humans understand each other, what we do, and how we got to where we are today. Topics include human evolution; cultural remains in prehistorical and historical contexts; connections among language and social categories like gender, class, race, and region; and social organization in past and present contexts. Concepts such as culture, cultural relativism, ethnocentrism, and global and local inequalities are discussed.

Introduction to Sociology: Investigating Society

SOAN 102 - Perez, Marcos E.

An introduction to the field of sociology including both micro and macro perspectives, this course exposes students to key topical areas in the discipline and includes readings that show the range of research methodologies in the field today. The sociological meaning of concepts such as social group, nation, state, class, race, and gender, among others, are discussed. Topics may include social inequalities, group processes, collective action, social networks, and the relationship between social organization and the environment.

Introduction to Sociology: Investigating Society

SOAN 102 - Jasiewicz, Krzysztof

An introduction to the field of sociology including both micro and macro perspectives, this course exposes students to key topical areas in the discipline and includes readings that show the range of research methodologies in the field today. The sociological meaning of concepts such as social group, nation, state, class, race, and gender, among others, are discussed. Topics may include social inequalities, group processes, collective action, social networks, and the relationship between social organization and the environment.

Power and Status: An Introduction to Social Influence

SOAN 205 - Chin, Lynn G. (Lynny)

This seminar explores the fundamental sociological concepts of "power" and "status" and how they are related to social influence. Power and status undergird social inequality on both a macro and a micro level. Students view the types, uses, and consequences of power and status differences through a structural social psychological lens, while analyzing leadership in organizational contexts. Students compare the nature of "power" versus "status" and investigate the ways power and status 1) parallel, 2) differ, and 3) interact with one another in theory and in practice of creating, maintaining, and changing our social world. Students are asked to think creatively about what role status and power dynamics have in shaping all aspects of everyday social life, particularly their lives at W&L.

Applied Bayesian Regression for the Social Sciences

SOAN 219 - Eastwood, Jonathan R. (Jon)

This course is an introduction to applied Bayesian regression, emphasizing applications for social scientists. We begin by introducing some philosophical and mathematical bases of Bayesian inference. We then move on to a sustained focus on applied regression, starting with bivariate regression and moving on to regression with multiple predictors, up to and including models with interactions. Along the way, students will be exposed to the use of directed acyclic graphs (DAGs) in thinking about causality with observational data. Throughout the course students will carry out numerous analyses of data, learning by doing. Examples are drawn from anthropology, sociology, political science, and related fields.

The History of Violence in America

SOAN 256 - Senechal, Roberta H.

An examination of the social origins, evolution, and major forms of extralegal, violent conflict in the United States, including individual and collective violence and conflict related to race, class, gender, politics, and ethnicity, especially emphasizing the 19th and 20th centuries. Major topics include theories of social conflict, slavery and interracial violence, predatory crime, labor strife, and inter-ethnic violence.

Migration, Identity, and Conflict

SOAN 268 - Eastwood, Jonathan R. (Jon)

This course focuses on the complex relationship between migration, political institutions, group identities, and inter-group conflict. The course is a hybrid of a seminar and research lab in which students (a) read some of the key social-scientific literature on these subjects, and (b) conduct team-based research making use of existing survey data about the integration of migrant populations into various polities.

Health and Inequality: An Introduction to Medical Sociology

SOAN 278 - Chin, Lynn G. (Lynny)

This course introduces sociological perspectives of health and illness. Students examine topics such as social organization of medicine; the social construction of illness; class, race and gender inequalities in health; and health care reform. Some of the questions we address: How is the medical profession changing? What are the pros and cons of market-driven medicine? Does class have an enduring impact on health outcomes? Is it true that we are what our friends' eat? Can unconscious racial bias affect the quality of care for people of different ethnicities? What pitfalls have affected the way evidence-based medicine has been carried out?

Gender and Sexuality

SOAN 280 - Goluboff, Sascha

An investigation of gender cross culturally. Special consideration is given to the roles of biology, cultural variation, identity, and power in determining patterns of male dominance. Emphasis is placed on changing relationships between men and women in American society.

Special Topics in Anthropology

SOAN 291 - Bell, Alison K.

A discussion of a series of topics of anthropological concern. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Senior Seminar in Social Analysis

SOAN 395 - Jasiewicz, Krzysztof

This course is designed as a capstone experience for majors with the sociology emphasis. Students, utilizing their knowledge of sociological theory and research methods, design and execute independent research projects, typically involving secondary analysis of survey data. Working on a subject of their choice, students learn how to present research questions and arguments, formulate research hypotheses, test hypotheses through univariate, bivariate, and multivariate analyses (utilizing appropriate statistical packages such as SPSS), and write research reports.

Senior Seminar in Anthropological Analysis

SOAN 396 - Bell, Alison K.

In this course, senior SOAN majors with an emphasis in anthropology review, augment, and synthesize their understandings of anthropological theory, methods, substantive findings, and ethical issues. To do so, we share common readings on research methods and the integration of anthropological method and theory, and we sustain a term-long workshop focused on students' research projects and papers. Each student identifies a topic of interest. Consulting with peers and the instructor, each student considers analytical methods and theoretical orientations, identifies appropriate sources, and proposes a course of research and writing. Once the proposal is vetted, students pursue their research designs and circulate partial drafts for peer and instructor review. They produce a final paper and present their findings orally with visual accompaniment to the class.

Directed Individual Study

SOAN 403 - Goluboff, Sascha

A course for selected students with junior and senior standing, especially for honors students, with direction by different members of the department. May be repeated for degree credit with permission and if the topics are different.

Directed Individual Study

SOAN 403 - Eastwood, Jonathan R. (Jon)

A course for selected students with junior and senior standing, especially for honors students, with direction by different members of the department. May be repeated for degree credit with permission and if the topics are different.

Directed Individual Study

SOAN 403 - Jasiewicz, Krzysztof

A course for selected students with junior and senior standing, especially for honors students, with direction by different members of the department. May be repeated for degree credit with permission and if the topics are different.

Directed Individual Study

SOAN 403 - Gaylord, Donald A.

A course for selected students with junior and senior standing, especially for honors students, with direction by different members of the department. May be repeated for degree credit with permission and if the topics are different.

Honors Thesis

SOAN 493 - Goluboff, Sascha

Honors Thesis.

Honors Thesis

SOAN 493 - Markowitz, Harvey J.

Honors Thesis.

Fall 2018

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Introduction to Anthropology: Investigating Humanity

SOAN 101 - Bell, Alison K.

This course is an introduction to the four subfields of anthropology: physical/biological anthropology, archaeology, linguistics, and cultural anthropology. The course explores how we humans understand each other, what we do, and how we got to where we are today. Topics include human evolution; cultural remains in prehistorical and historical contexts; connections among language and social categories like gender, class, race, and region; and social organization in past and present contexts. Concepts such as culture, cultural relativism, ethnocentrism, and global and local inequalities are discussed.

Introduction to Sociology: Investigating Society

SOAN 102 - Chin, Lynn G. (Lynny)

An introduction to the field of sociology including both micro and macro perspectives, this course exposes students to key topical areas in the discipline and includes readings that show the range of research methodologies in the field today. The sociological meaning of concepts such as social group, nation, state, class, race, and gender, among others, are discussed. Topics may include social inequalities, group processes, collective action, social networks, and the relationship between social organization and the environment.

FS: First-Year Seminar in Sociology

SOAN 180A - Chin, Lynn G. (Lynny)

First-year seminar.

Fall 2018, SOAN 180A-01: FS: Health and Concept of Race (3). First-year Seminar. Prerequisite: First-year class standing only. A deep examination of how people think about what race is, and how societal conceptions of race affect people's health, whether health policy, health outcomes, access to healthcare, or relationship to the medical establishment. We tackle questions such as: What are different conceptions of race and what are some the institutions that socialize people into understanding what "race" is? Is skin color or ethnic predisposition to diseases like Sickle Cell Anemia indicative of a biological basis for race? Should race be used as a factor in medical diagnosis and is it an important factor to account for in medical research? What are some of the causes and outcomes of racial health disparities? Does race denote something inherently biological, cultural, or structural about one's ancestry, background, or lifestyle? In the end, students should be better able to articulate the complexities of that undergird racial disparity in health outcomes. (SS4) Chin.

Archaeology

SOAN 206 - Gaylord, Donald A.

An examination of anthropologically-oriented archaeology. Specific subjects to be considered will include the history of the subdiscipline, theoretical developments, field techniques, substantive contributions for the prehistoric and historic subareas and recent developments in theory and methodology.

Qualitative Methods

SOAN 208 - Goluboff, Sascha

Qualitative research methods are widely used to provide rich and detailed understandings of people's experiences, interactions, narratives, and practices within wider sociopolitical and economic contexts. Typical methods include oral histories, interviews, participant observation, and analysis of visual and textual culture. Students will engage in research aligned with community interests. Stages of the project will include topic identification, research design, ethical and legal considerations, choosing an appropriate methodology, data collection, analysis and write-up, and presentation and critique.

European Politics and Society

SOAN 245 - Jasiewicz, Krzysztof

A comparative analysis of European political systems and social institutions. The course covers the established democracies of western and northern Europe, the new democracies of southern and east-central Europe, and the post-Communist regimes in eastern and southeastern Europe. Mechanisms of European integration are also discussed with attention focused on institutions such as European Union, NATO, OSCE, and Council of Europe.

Revolutions and Revolutionaries

SOAN 250 - Perez, Marcos E.

Experiences of activists, radicals, and revolutionaries in a wide variety of settings. Throughout history, individuals have organized with others to bring about different forms of social change. What is it like to be on the front lines fighting for social transformation? Why do people risk life and limb to do so? How do activists advance their goals? We examine sociological research, biographical studies, political theory, and historical sources for insights into the lives of those who make social and revolutionary movements possible.

Poverty and Marginality in the Americas

SOAN 263 - Perez, Marcos E.

In recent decades, some global transformations have increased inequality and marginality in various regions of the world. Neoliberalism has generated both opportunities and challenges to human development In different countries. This course focuses on how the undermining of safety nets, the decline of models of economic growth centered on state intervention, and the internationalization of labor markets have affected societies in Latin America and the United States. Students analyze the structural causes of marginality and how the experience of poverty varies for people in both regions. We rely on anthropological and sociological studies to address key questions. How do disadvantaged individuals and families in the Americas deal with the challenges brought about by deindustrialization, violence, and environmental degradation? How do their communities struggle to sustain public life? What are the processes causing many people to migrate from one region to the other?

Seminar in Medical Anthropology

SOAN 277 - Markowitz, Harvey J.

Despite radical differences in theory and procedure, the diagnosis and treatment of diseases are human cultural universals. This seminar first examines the beliefs and practices that comprise the medical systems found among a wide variety of non-western peoples. We then investigates the responses of a number of non-western communities to the introduction of western, biomedical practices. We finish by considering such ethical issues as whether or not non-western peoples who supply western doctors and pharmacologists with knowledge of curing agents should be accorded intellectual property rights over this information; in what situations, if any, should western medical personnel impose biomedical treatments on populations; and should anthropologists make use of indigenous peoples as medical trial subjects as was allegedly done by Napoleon Chagnon.

Introduction to American Indian Religions

SOAN 285 - Markowitz, Harvey J.

This class introduces students to some of the dominant themes, values, beliefs, and practices found among the religions of North America's Indian peoples. The first part of the course explores the importance of sacred power, landscape, and community in traditional Indian spiritualities and rituals. It then examines some of the changes that have occurred in these traditions as a result of western expansion and dominance from the 18th through early 20th centuries. Lastly, the course considers some of the issues and problems confronting contemporary American Indian religions.

Childhood

SOAN 288 - Goluboff, Sascha

This course explores the experience of childhood cross culturally, investigating how different societies conceptualize what it means to be a child. Our readings progress through representations of the lifecycle, starting with a discussion of conception, and moving through issues pertaining to the fetus, infants, children, and adolescents. We discuss socialization, discipline, emotion, education, gender, and sexuality, with special attention given to the effects of war, poverty, social inequality, and disease on children and youth.

 

Special Topics in Anthropology

SOAN 291A - Bell, Alison K.

A discussion of a series of topics of anthropological concern. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Fall 2018, SOAN 291A-01: Anthropology of Death (3). An overview of death practices from prehistory to the present. Death is, of course, universal - "it is appointed for all once to die" - but cultural understandings of death vary enormously. We consider such questions as whether Neanderthals intentionally buried their dead, why early farmers built houses over the deceased, and how monumental works like pyramids and mounds express relationships between the living and the dead. Discussion includes diverse beliefs about the afterlife, the nature of the soul, and proper dispositions of the body. We pay special attention to contemporary changing death ways in the United States with the rise in cremation, green burials, celebratory funerals, idiosyncratic gravestones, and online memorials. Bell.

 

Theorizing Social Life: Contemporary Approaches

SOAN 371 - Eastwood, Jonathan R. (Jon)

This course is an introduction to selected recent theoretical work in anthropology and sociology. Our two disciplines are not the same but they overlap. The best scholars in each discipline tend to read in both. We take such an approach in this course, looking at examples of (and opportunities for) cross-pollination.

Directed Individual Study

SOAN 401 - Jasiewicz, Krzysztof

A course for selected students, typically with junior or senior standing, who are preparing papers for presentation to professional meetings or for publication. May be repeated for degree credit with permission and if the topics are different.

Directed Individual Study

SOAN 403 - Gaylord, Donald A.

A course for selected students with junior and senior standing, especially for honors students, with direction by different members of the department. May be repeated for degree credit with permission and if the topics are different.

Honors Thesis

SOAN 493 - Goluboff, Sascha

Honors Thesis.

Honors Thesis

SOAN 493 - Eastwood, Jonathan R. (Jon)

Honors Thesis.

Honors Thesis

SOAN 493 - Markowitz, Harvey J.

Honors Thesis.