Sociology and Anthropology Courses

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.

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.

Fall 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: 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 - Eastwood, Jonathan R. (Jon)

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 - Fitzgibbon, Kara S. (Kara)

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 - Novack, David R.

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 180 - Chin, Lynn G. (Lynny)

First-year seminar.

Fall 2017, SOAN 180-01:FS: Black + White=Gray: Health and Conceptions of Race (3). Prerequisite: First-year standing. First-year seminar. This seminar tackles the question of what is "race" and how it affects health. In the United States, "race" is a concept that people frequently take for granted. People tend to think of their racial identification as a stable aspect of their identities.  This is important given that one's race impacts life outcomes-including one's health. But what does  "race" actually signify? Does race denote something inherently biological, cultural , or structural about one's ancestry, background, or lifestyle?  Is race truly a stable "ascribed" characteristic that has predictive implications for peoples' everyday well-being? In this course, we examine how people think about what race is, and how societal conceptions of race affect people's health, through health policy, health outcomes, access to healthcare, and relationship to the medical establishment. (SS4) Chin

Basic Statistics in the Social Sciences

SOAN 218B - Eastwood, Jonathan R. (Jon)

Introductory statistics course designed to help students become good consumers of statistics, but especially geared for students interested in sociology, archeology, and anthropology. Topics include descriptive and inferential statistics, sampling, and regression analysis. Students also get practical experience with cleaning and analyzing real world secondary data.

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.

Discovering W&L's Origins Using Historical Archaeology

SOAN 230 - Gaylord, Donald A.

Not open to students who have taken SOAN 181 with the same description. This course introduces students to the practice of historical archaeology using W&L's Liberty Hall campus and ongoing excavations there as a case study. With archaeological excavation and documentary research as our primary sources of data. we use the methods of these two disciplines to analyze our data using tools from the digital humanities to present our findings. Critically, we explore the range of questions and answers that these data and methods of analysis make possible. Hands-on experience with data collection and analysis is the focus of this course, with students working together in groups deciding how to interpret their findings to a public audience about the university's early history. The final project varies by term but might include a short video documentary. a museum display, or a web page.

Food, Culture, and Society

SOAN 240 - Goluboff, Sascha

This course explores connections among food, culture, and society. Food has been an essential way that individuals and societies define themselves, especially now in our ever globalizing world, as cultural anthropology continues to be a central discipline guiding this field of study. Students review some of the classic symbolic and structural analyses of gastro-politics. We explore relationships between fast-food/globalized taste vs. the Slow Food Movement/localized taste, and delve into socioeconomic and political practices behind the production and consumption of coffee, milk products, and alcoholic beverages. Students investigate relationships among cooking/eating and race, gender, and sexuality, and discuss community food justice. Opportunities to experience the Rockbridge area food scene are integrated into the syllabus.

Post-Communism and New Democracies

SOAN 246 - Jasiewicz, Krzysztof

A comparative analysis of transition from Communism in the countries of the former Soviet bloc. Cases of successful and unsuccessful transitions to civil society, pluralist democracy, and market economy are examined. The comparative framework includes analysis of transition from non-Communist authoritarianism and democratic consolidation in selected countries of Latin America, the Mediterranean, Southeast Asia, and South Africa.

Deviance

SOAN 270 - Novack, David R.

An examination of theories of deviance from a sociological perspective. Particular emphasis is placed on the causes of deviant acts and on the social processes utilized in evaluating these behaviors. Theoretical applications are made to crime and mental illness.

Health and Inequality: An Introduction to Medical Sociology

SOAN 278 - Chin, Lynn G. (Lynny)

This course introduces sociological perspetivies 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?

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: Classical Approaches

SOAN 370 - Markowitz, Harvey J.

Sociologists and anthropologists have traditionally approached their role as students of social and cultural phenomena from two different paradigmatic starting points: a so-called "Galilean" model and an "Aristotelian" model. Practitioners were thought that they could eventually arrive at covering laws as powerful as those of physics or, falling short of this ideal, arrive at significant generalizations about human phenomenon. This class explores the trajectory of this paradigmatic split among some of the founders of sociology and anthropology and how these theorists utilized their chosen paradigms to make sense of social and cultural life. We also explore the assumptions about human nature, society, and culture that informed each of these theorists approaches and the wider historical contexts influenced their thought.

Directed Individual Study

SOAN 401 - Goluboff, Sascha

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 402 - Novack, David R.

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.

Honors Thesis

SOAN 493 - Eastwood, Jonathan R. (Jon)

Honors Thesis.

Honors Thesis

SOAN 493 - Jasiewicz, Krzysztof

Honors Thesis.

Honors Thesis

SOAN 493 - Bell, Alison K.

Honors Thesis.

Honors Thesis

SOAN 493 - Goluboff, Sascha

Honors Thesis.

Honors Thesis

SOAN 493 - Markowitz, Harvey J.

Honors Thesis.

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.

Spring 2017, SOAN 291-02: Domains of The Dead: Anthropologies of Cemeteries (4). This course teaches students how to think anthropologically about cemeteries, querying them in theory-grounded, systematic, testable ways for information about past and current people's social relations, cultural dispositions, values, beliefs, and aspirations. Assigned readings expose students to key theoretical texts from the anthropology of death and mourning as well as to historical surveys of cemeteries as they vary throughout the United States. Of special interest in the course is the recently documented proliferation of idiosyncratic forms of commemoration diverging considerably from previous centuries of more somber practice. Examples of this florescence and of its more restrained predecessors abound in the Valley of Virginia, and students investigate first-hand a range of cemeteries in Rockbridge, Augusta, and Rockingham Counties. Students record decorative motifs and epitaphs on gravestones as well as objects left on gravesites and work to read them as evidence of cultural expression and change. (SS4) Bell.