Sociology and Anthropology Courses

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.

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.

Spring 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.

Laboratory Methods in Archaeology

SOAN 211 - 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 lab methods through hands-on experience, readings, and fieldtrips. Students process and catalogue archaeological finds ensuring they maintain the archaeological provenience of these materials. Using the scientific method and current theoretical motivations in anthropological archaeology, students learn how to develop and test hypotheses about the site under consideration by analyzing the artifacts they themselves have processed. We visit several archaeology labs in order to experience, first hand, the range of projects and methods currently undertaken by leading archaeologists. Students then use the archaeological data to test their hypotheses 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.

Campus Sex in the Digital Age

SOAN 261 - Goluboff, Sascha

This class explores how the cell phone has impacted hooking up and dating at college, with particular attention to Washington and Lee University as a case study. We discuss the development of campus sexual culture in America and the influence of digital technology on student sociality. Students use open-source digital research tools to analyze data they collect on the mobile apps they use to socialize with each other on campus. As a digital humanities project, students work in groups to post their analyses on the class WordPress site.

Exploring Social Networks

SOAN 265 - Eastwood, Jonathan R. (Jon)

This course is an introduction to network analysis. Students learn some of the major network analysis literature in sociology and related fields and develop their skills as network analysts in laboratory sessions. Social science, humanities, business, and public health applications are emphasized.

Lakota Land Culture, Economics and History

SOAN 286 - Guse, Aaron J. (Joseph) / Markowitz, Harvey J.

This class focuses on the cultural, economic, and historical dimensions of the Lakotas' (Titonwan tawapi) ties to their lands as expressed in their pre- and post-reservation lifeways. It includes a 10 day field trip to western South Dakota to visit and meet with people in the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Reservations and the Black Hills.

Special Topics in Anthropology

SOAN 291 - Thomson, Marnie J.

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

Seminar: 9/11 & Modern Terrorism

SOAN 367 - Senechal, Roberta H.

Terrorism is a form of collective violence famously illustrated in the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon near Washington on September 11, 2001. This course provides an intensive interdisciplinary examination of the origins of the 9/11 attacks and the terrorist organization that launched them. The course also addresses the impact of the attacks and the future prospects of mass violence against civilians, as well as the role of the media in covering (and dramatizing) terrorism. Much of the course focuses on the social divisions and conflicts that lead to terrorism and its increasingly lethal nature over time. Topics include "old terrorism" (as seen in Northern Ireland and Algeria), "new terrorism" (such as that associated with Al Qaeda), the logic of terrorist recruitment, and the nature of and spread of weapons of mass destruction.

Winter 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 - Goluboff, Sascha

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 Anthropology: Investigating Humanity

SOAN 101 - Thomson, Marnie 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 - 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 Anthropology

SOAN 181 - Thomson, Marnie J.

First-year seminar.

Winter 2018, SOAN 181-01: FS: Writing Africa (3). First-year Seminar. Prerequisite: First-year class standing only. Africa is the world's second-largest continent, comprising more than 50 countries, over one billion people, more than 800 ethnic groups, and almost 2,000 languages. This course provides a glimpse into the diversity of African people and cultures and focuses on some key issues contributing to an understanding of certain aspects of contemporary Africa. While we examine some of the more publicized aspects of Africa such as wars, aid and development, and HIV/AIDS, we also cover topics less readily associated with the continent such as hip hop, romance, and study abroad programs. (SS4) Thomson.

Theories of Social Psychology

SOAN 212 - Chin, Lynn G. (Lynny)

An introduction to three major paradigms present in the sociological tradition of social psychology. The course examines social structure and personality, structural social psychology and symbolic interactionist framework. The three paradigmatic approaches are used to understand how macro-level processes influence micro-level social interaction and vice versa.

Neighborhoods, Culture, and Poverty

SOAN 266 - Eastwood, Jonathan R. (Jon)

This course examines social-scientific research on the determinants of poverty, crime, and ill health by focusing on neighborhoods as the sites where many of the mechanisms impacting these outcomes operate. In addition to engaging with key readings and participating in seminar discussions, students conduct their own exploratory analyses of neighborhood level processes using a variety of spatial data analysis tools in R.

Art & Science of Survey Research

SOAN 276 - Jasiewicz, Krzysztof

This course is designed as a group research project devoted to the art and the science of survey research. Students prepare a list of hypotheses, select indicators, construct a questionnaire, conduct interviews, analyze data, and write research reports. When appropriate, the course may include service-learning components (community-based research projects). Winter 2018 topic:  Assessment of existing housing improvement needs in the City of Lexington.  Students design a survey and conduct interviews among sub-standard housing dwellers in Lexington. The analysis of collected data may lead to policy recommendations.

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.

Gender and Sexuality

SOAN 280 - Novack, David R.

An anthropological and sociological investigation of sex roles in preliterate and modern societies. Special consideration is given to the role of innate sexual differences, cultural variation, technology, and power in determining patterns of male dominance. Emphasis is placed on real and mythical female and male power in the context of changing relationships between men and women in American society.

Special Topics in Anthropology

SOAN 291A - Markowitz, Harvey J.

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

Winter 2018, SOAN 291A-01: Seminar in American Indian Ethnohistory (3).   Markowitz

Special Topics in Anthropology

SOAN 291B - Thomson, Marnie J.

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

Winter 2018, SOAN 291B-01: Global Humanitarianism (3). One of the most important, and most unnoticed, developments in international politics since the end of the Cold War is the rise of an international humanitarian order. In this course, we examine the growth of the humanitarian system, the ways it shapes international politics, and the ways it shapes both humanitarians and beneficiaries. We examine humanitarian labels and their uses by and within the network of global institutions and national governments that comprise the humanitarian order. What notions of individuality and humanity are mobilized in the discourse of humanitarianism? What do labels such as "emergency", "disaster", and "crisis" mean in terms of political action? What kinds of action, including militarism and the erosion of state sovereignty, do humanitarian orders permit? What type of technologies are afforded to and kept from humanitarians and refugees? What international institutions have grown up around the saving of lives, and how do they function? How are people transformed as they interact with new regimes of violence and care? Thomson.

Spring 2018, SOAN  291-01: US Immigration and Refugee Resettlement or "Bad Hombres" or Dangerous Refugees? (4). How have U.S. immigration and national security become so intimately entangled? How do presidential campaigns, executive orders, federal court orders, and protests contribute to the understanding of and rhetoric about immigration, refugee resettlement, and national security? What is the refugee vetting process, and what should it look like? Is terrorism in the US linked to immigration? How do people "illegally'' immigrate and live undocumented lives? What does it mean to be a recently resettled Muslim African refugee? In this course, students seek a deep understanding of the social, political, and historical currents that have culminated in the divisive stances on immigration in 2018. We read anthropological monographs, analyze policy and news, scrutinize political rhetoric, and engage migration experts. Thomson.

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 - Goluboff, Sascha

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 402 - Eastwood, Jonathan R. (Jon)

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 - 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 - 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.

Honors Thesis

SOAN 493 - Markowitz, Harvey J.

Honors Thesis.

Honors Thesis

SOAN 493 - Eastwood, Jonathan R. (Jon)

Honors Thesis.

Honors Thesis

SOAN 493 - Goluboff, Sascha

Honors Thesis.

Honors Thesis

SOAN 493 - Jasiewicz, Krzysztof

Honors Thesis.