Sociology and Anthropology Courses

Spring 2017

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.

Fieldwork in archaeology. The student participates in all phases of ongoing archaeological projects. With the supervision of the instructor, students may take SOAN 210 more than once. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

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.

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 2017, SOAN 290-01: Health and Inequality: An Introduction to Medical Sociology (4). No prerequisite, but SOAN 102 is recommended. An introduction to sociological perspectives of health and illness, with an underlying premise that social factors, not just biological ones, influence health outcomes. We examine diverse topics such as the social organization of medicine, inequalities in health, and health care reform. In each topic, we always consider health, medicine/medical care, and illness as social phenomena. We focus on how the structure of our everyday environments can affect our health-both through macro-level institutions, such as how we shape our health care system impacts the delivery of care, to micro-level interactions, such as how doctor-patient interactions may vary with socioeconomic status, gender, race/ethnicity, and nationality. In doing so, we consider the social organization of health, illness and medicine that go beyond differential access to medical care. Some of the questions we address include: 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 biases affect the quality of care for people of different ethnicities? Chin.

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.

Winter 2017

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

SOAN 101 - Markowitz, Harvey J.

An examination of people and their cultures. An introduction to the techniques employed by the physical anthropologist, archaeologist, and ethnographer is provided. Specific subjects considered include: the physical prerequisites to the acquisition of culture, archaeological interpretation of cultural behavior, and the influences of culture upon the individual and society.

Introduction to Anthropology

SOAN 101 - Gaylord, Donald A.

An examination of people and their cultures. An introduction to the techniques employed by the physical anthropologist, archaeologist, and ethnographer is provided. Specific subjects considered include: the physical prerequisites to the acquisition of culture, archaeological interpretation of cultural behavior, and the influences of culture upon the individual and society.

General Sociology

SOAN 102 - Chin, Lynn G. (Lynny)

Human society: culture, personality, human nature, social groups, associations, and institutions; analysis of major institutions and of modern social trends.

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.

Qualitative Methods

SOAN 208 - Bell, Alison K.

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.

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.

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 2017 topic: Voting Behavior of W&L Students in the 2016 National Elections. Students find out the outcome of the 2016 presidential race among their peers and learn how social and economic background and individual value systems influence choices made in the voting booth. In the process, they study various theories of voting behavior and learn how to design and execute a scientific survey, and properly interpret collected data.

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 2017, SOAN 291A-01: Land in O'odham Cultural, Economic, and Historical Perspectives (3). Additional-cost field trip to O'odham reservations in Arizona required. This class focuses on the cultural, economic, and historical dimensions of the O'odham (Papago and Pima) Indians' ties to their lands. The seminar first examines how pre-reservation O'odham expressed these ties in their oral traditions and rituals. Next, students place O'odham economics in historical perspective paying particular note to the major 19th- and 20th-century forces that eroded the O'odham's original land base and control over their economic practices. The class also considers attempts of O'odham peoples to solve present-day economic problems in ways that are compatible with their cultural heritage. Markowitz.

Special Topics in Anthropology

SOAN 291B - Bell, Alison K.

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

Winter 2017, SOAN 291B-01: Consumer Cultures (3). "It is extraordinary to discover that no one knows why people want goods," or so observed a famous pair of authors - one an anthropologist, the other an economist - in 1979. What, since then, have anthropology and interrelated disciplines learned about consumer desire?  This course considers human interaction with the material world in a variety of cultures, periods, and scales. From socio-cultural and political perspectives, what do consumers hope to accomplish by buying, patronizing, or using products like Barbies, bottled water, French fries, blue jeans, tattoos, and piercings? How does consumerism facilitate claims to social connection, personal identity, and meaning? And how do potentially constructive roles of buying "stuff" relate to debt, hoarding, and environmental overexploitation? Bell.

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.

Directed Individual Study

SOAN 401 - Bell, Alison K.

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 - Bell, Alison K.

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 - Bell, Alison K.

Honors Thesis.

Honors Thesis

SOAN 493 - Jasiewicz, Krzysztof

Honors Thesis.

Fall 2016

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

SOAN 101 - Bell, Alison K.

An examination of people and their cultures. An introduction to the techniques employed by the physical anthropologist, archaeologist, and ethnographer is provided. Specific subjects considered include: the physical prerequisites to the acquisition of culture, archaeological interpretation of cultural behavior, and the influences of culture upon the individual and society.

General Sociology

SOAN 102 - Novack, David R.

Human society: culture, personality, human nature, social groups, associations, and institutions; analysis of major institutions and of modern social trends.

General Sociology

SOAN 102A - Chin, Lynn G. (Lynny)

Human society: culture, personality, human nature, social groups, associations, and institutions; analysis of major institutions and of modern social trends.

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.

Biological Anthropology

SOAN 207 - Bell, Alison K.

This course considers the emergence and evolution of Homo sapiens from fossil, archaeological, and genetic evidence. The class focuses on evolutionary mechanisms; selective pressures for key human biological and behavioral patterns, such as bipedalism, intelligence, altruism, learned behavior, and expressive culture; relations among prehuman species; the human diaspora; and modern human diversity, particularly "racial" variation. The course also examines theories from sociobiology and evolutionary psychology about motivations for modern human behaviors.

Race and Ethnic Relations

SOAN 228 - Novack, David R.

An analysis of minority groups in America. Theories of ethnicity are examined focusing on the relationship between class and ethnicity, and on the possible social and biological significance of racial differences. Attention is also given to prejudice and discrimination, as well as to consideration of minority strategies to bring about change.

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.

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.

Theorizing Social Life

SOAN 360 - Goluboff, Sascha

This seminar considers the development of theory about social life and culture within anthropology and sociology. We read the works that have shaped, and continue to shape, major theoretical trends in these interconnected disciplines.

Methods of Social Inquiry

SOAN 375 - Chin, Lynn G. (Lynny)

The rationale and practice of social research methods and their relationship to social theory. Major aspects of social inquiry - such as asking questions, creating hypotheses, measurement and interpretation are examined. The course includes lecture, discussion, and completing a major term-long research project.

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 - Bell, Alison K.

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 - Bell, Alison K.

Honors Thesis.

Honors Thesis

SOAN 493 - Jasiewicz, Krzysztof

Honors Thesis.