Sociology and Anthropology Degree Requirements

2016 - 2017 Catalog

Sociology and Anthropology major leading to BA degree

A major in sociology and anthropology leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree consists of at least 36 credits, as follows.

1. Introduction: SOAN 101 and 102
2. Theory: SOAN 370 or 371
3. Methods: Two courses chosen from the following: SOAN 208, 210, 211, 218, 265, 276, 378. With permission, INTR 202 or PSYC 120 may be used to meet this requirement.
4. Emphasis: Completion of one of the two following areas of emphasis:

Anthropology emphasis: take nine additional credits from the electives listed below, two in anthroplogy and one in sociology

Sociology emphasis: take nine additional credits from the electives listed below, two in sociology and one in anthropology

Anthropology electives: SOAN 181, 186, 206, 207, 208, 210, 211, 223, 224 (REL 224), 230 (HIST 230), 232, 238 (HIST 238), 240, 243 (ARTH 243), 252, 255, 275, 277, 285 (REL 285), 286, 288, 291, 378, 391

Sociology electives: SOAN 180, 202, 205, 208, 212, 218, 221 (REL 221), 225, 228, 234 (HIST 234), 245 (POL 245), 246 (POL 246), 251 (POL 251), 256 (HIST 256), 265, 266, 267, 268 (POL 268), 270, 272 (POL 272), 276, 280, 281, 289, 290, 367 (HIST 367), 390

5. Additional Electives: At least 9 additional credits chosen from SOAN courses numbered 200 or above. When approved in advance by the department head, up to three courses numbered at the 200 level or above in economics, history, philosophy, politics, psychology, religion or other disciplines may be substituted into this requirement.

6. Capstone: SOAN 395 or 396. With permission, one term of SOAN 493 may be used to meet this requirement.

Students who also declare a major in psychology may request a substitution for a SOAN methods course.

Students who wish to attend graduate school in Anthropology should complete the Anthropology emphasis and consider enrolling in courses dealing with all four fields (an elective course in cultural anthropology, 206, 207 and 252). Those who have a particular interest in Archaeology should select the Anthropology emphasis and should enroll in SOAN 206, 210, and 211.

Students who wish to attend graduate school in Sociology should complete the Sociology emphasis and consider enrolling in SOAN 276 as one of the Sociology emphasis electives.

  1. Introduction:
    • SOAN 101 - Introduction to Anthropology

      FDR: SS4
      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Fall, Winter

      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.


    • SOAN 102 - General Sociology

      FDR: SS4
      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Fall, Winter

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


  2. Theory:
    • SOAN 370 - Theorizing Social Life: Classical Approaches

      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Fall 2017 and alternate years

      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.


    • or
    • SOAN 371 - Theorizing Social Life: Contemporary Approaches

      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Fall 2018 and alternate years

      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.


  3. Methods:
  4. Two courses chosen from the following:

    • SOAN 208 - Qualitative Methods

      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Winter 2017 and alternate years

      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.


    • SOAN 210 - Field Methods in Archaeology

      FDR: SS4
      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Spring

      Fieldwork in archaeology. The student participates in all phases of ongoing archaeological projects. Students who have successfully completed SOAN 206 (old ANTH 205) are assured of a place in SOAN 377. With the supervision of the instructor, students may take ANTH 377 more than once. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.


    • SOAN 211 - Laboratory Methods in Archaeology

      FDR: SL
      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Spring 2017 and alternate years

      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. Activities include washing, labeling, photographing, measuring, and recording pertinent aspects of each artifact in an archaeological database. Students then 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.


    • SOAN 218 - Basic Statistics in the Social Sciences

      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Fall 2017 and alternate years

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


    • SOAN 265 - Exploring Social Networks

      FDR: SS4
      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Not offered in Spring 2017

      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.


    • SOAN 276 - Art & Science of Survey Research

      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Offered when interest is expressed and departmental resources permit

      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.


    • SOAN 378 - Archaeological Field Survey Techniques

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Offered when interest is expressed and departmental resources permit

      The course is designed to provide the student with an opportunity to engage in archaeological field survey in Rockbridge County. Classroom meetings concerning the theory and methods of modern archaeological survey are supplemented by field research concerning sites of historic and prehistoric significance.


    • With permission, one of these two courses may be used to meet this requirement:
    • INTR 202 - Applied Statistics

      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Fall, Winter

      An examination of the principal applications of statistics in accounting, business, economics, and politics. Topics include descriptive statistics, probability, estimation, hypothesis testing, and regression analysis.

       


    • PSYC 120 - Statistics and Research Design I

      FDR: SS3
      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Winter

      Students learn the basics of collecting, interpreting, and presenting data in the behavioral sciences. Data from a variety of sources, such as questionnaires, psychological tests, and behavioral observations, are considered. Students learn to use and to evaluate critically statistical and graphical summaries of data. They also study techniques of searching the literature and of producing written reports in technical format. Individual projects include oral presentations, creating technical graphics, and publishing on the World Wide Web.


  5. Emphasis:
  6. Completion of one of the two following areas of emphasis:

    Anthropology emphasis: take nine additional credits from the electives listed below, two in anthropology and one in sociology

    Sociology emphasis: take nine additional credits from the electives listed below, two in sociology and one in anthropology

    • Anthropology electives:
      • SOAN 181 - FS: First-Year Seminar in Anthropology

        FDR: SS4
        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Offered occasionally. Each first-year seminar topic is approved by the Dean of The College and the Committee on Courses and Degrees. Applicability to FDRs and other requirements varies

        First-year seminar.


      • SOAN 186 - Land in Lakota Culture, Economics, and History

        FDR: SS4
        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Spring. Offered when interest is expressed and departmental resources exist

        A review of the history of Lakota land from 1851 to present and its importance to Lakota cultural identity, political sovereignty, and economic development. We examine specific federal policies including the treaties of 1851 and 1868, the extermination of the buffalo herds, the confiscation of the Black Hills, the creation of the reservation system, and the Dawes Act among others. Students spend nine days off-campus to participate in workshops at the Center for American Indian Research and Native Studies and to visit sites in and around the Pine Ridge Reservation, the Rosebud reservation, and the Black Hills.


      • SOAN 206 - Archaeology

        FDR: SS4
        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Winter 2017 and alternate years

        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.


      • SOAN 207 - Biological Anthropology

        FDR: SS4
        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Winter 2017 and alternate years

        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.


      • SOAN 208 - Qualitative Methods

        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Winter 2017 and alternate years

        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.


      • SOAN 210 - Field Methods in Archaeology

        FDR: SS4
        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Spring

        Fieldwork in archaeology. The student participates in all phases of ongoing archaeological projects. Students who have successfully completed SOAN 206 (old ANTH 205) are assured of a place in SOAN 377. With the supervision of the instructor, students may take ANTH 377 more than once. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.


      • SOAN 211 - Laboratory Methods in Archaeology

        FDR: SL
        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Spring 2017 and alternate years

        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. Activities include washing, labeling, photographing, measuring, and recording pertinent aspects of each artifact in an archaeological database. Students then 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.


      • SOAN 223 - Social Sciences and Religion

        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Winter 2017 and alternate years

        Scholars still debate the appropriate relationship between social science and religion, with the two most extreme positions assuming the impossibility of a social science of religion, on the one hand, and denial of the validity of religious claims, on the other. Beginning with an examination of the fundamental debates regarding the nature and goals of social scientific inquiry, we examine classical and contemporary analyses of religion in psychology, sociology, and anthropology. The major social scientific paradigms - materialist, functionalist, and phenomenological - differ in their implications for understanding and explaining religious phenomena; they provide the context for consideration of questions of reductionism, explanation vs. understanding, insider vs. outsider orientations, and the nature and limits to truth claims made both by social scientists and religious devotees and scholars.


      • SOAN 224 - American Indian Religions, Landscapes, and Identities (REL 224)

        FDR: HU
        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Winter 2018 and alternate years

        Drawing on a combination of scholarly essays, native accounts, videos, guest lectures, and student presentations, this seminar examines the religious assumptions and practices that bind American Indian communities to their traditional homelands. The seminar elucidates and illustrates those principles concerning human environmental interactions common to most Indian tribes; focuses on the traditional beliefs and practices of a particular Indian community that reflected and reinforced the community's understanding of the relationship to be maintained with the land and its creatures; and examines the moral and legal disputes that have arisen out of the very different presuppositions which Indians and non-Indians hold regarding the environment.


      • SOAN 230 - Discovering W&L's Origins Using Historical Archaeology (SOAN 230)

        FDR: SS4
        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Winter

        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.


      • SOAN 232 - Historical Archaeology

        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Offered when interest is expressed and departmental resources permit

        This course considers the discipline of historical archaeology from developmental, theoretical, methodological, and substantive perspectives. Beginning with the age of European exploration and continuing through modern times, this course surveys archaeological approaches to understanding social relations, class structures, and economic strategies among people of diverse ethnicities in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, and Australia. Students become familiar with prominent theoretical orientations within historical archaeology, debates about archaeologists' ethical obligations, and methodological developments in fieldwork and artifact research.


      • SOAN 238 - Anthropology of American History (HIST 238)

        FDR: SS4
        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Fall 2017 and alternate years

        This course explores issues within historic American communities that ethnographers often investigate among living groups, including cultural values, religious ideologies, class structures, kinship networks, gender roles, and interethnic relations. Although the communities of interest in this course ceased to exist generations ago, many of their characteristic dynamics are accessible through such means as archaeology, architectural history, and the study of documents. Case studies include early English settlement in Plymouth, Massachusetts; the 18th-century plantation world of Virginia and South Carolina; the post-Revolutionary Maine frontier; and 19th-century California.


      • SOAN 240 - Food, Culture, and Society

        FDR: SS4
        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Fall 2017 and alternate years

        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.


      • SOAN 243 - Imaging Tibet (ARTH 243)

        FDR: HA
        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Spring

        An examination of images and imaging practices of the early 1900s to the present in order to define and analyze the ways in which both Western and Asian (particularly Tibetan and Chinese) artists have imagined Tibet and its people.


      • SOAN 252 - Language, Culture, and Communication

        FDR: SS4
        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Winter 2018 and alternate years

        This course surveys anthropological approaches to understanding the intersections among language, culture and society. Topics include non-human communication systems, the origins of human language, and methods of establishing historical relationships among languages. Formal linguistic analysis receives some attention, but the greatest part of the course concerns language in sociocultural contexts. Examples of linguistic phenomena in ethnographic perspective are drawn from people around the world, including the Gullah, the Apache, and the Bedouin of Egypt.


      • SOAN 255 - Terror and Violence in Anthropological Perspective

        FDR: SS4
        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Offered when interest is expressed and departmental resources permit

        This course investigates violence and terror in historical and contemporary societies. We discuss the various causes, methods, and effects of violence and terror, and then look at how anthropologists have documented, challenged, and even condoned such processes.


      • SOAN 275 - Feminist Anthropology

        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Offered when interest is expressed and departmental resources permit

        This course covers the complex and sometimes "awkward" relationship between feminism and anthropology. We explore topics such as the place of feminist theory and politics within the discipline of anthropology, the problems involved in being a feminist and an anthropologist, and the creation of feminist ethnography.


      • SOAN 277 - Seminar in Medical Anthropology

        FDR: SS4
        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Winter

        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.


      • SOAN 285 - Introduction to American Indian Religions (REL 285)

        FDR: HU
        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Fall

        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.


      • SOAN 286 - Land in American Indian Culture, Religion, and History

        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Spring 2018 and alternate years

        This class focuses on the religious, cultural, and historical dimensions of a selected American Indian nation and ties to its lands as they found expression in the beliefs and practices of its pre- and post-reservation communities. The specific themes that the seminar will address are: 1) Lands, Culture, and Cosmology; 2) Lands, Subsistence, and Ceremony; and 3) Land in the Nation's History; and 4) Sacred Landscape and Contestation.  The course may cover the Lakota Sioux, Cherokee, or other Indian nation. Topic for 2014:


      • SOAN 288 - Childhood

        FDR: SS4
        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Fall 2016 and alternate years

        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.

         


      • SOAN 291 - Special Topics in Anthropology

        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Offered when interest is expressed and departmental resources permit

        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.

        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.

         


      • SOAN 378 - Archaeological Field Survey Techniques

        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Offered when interest is expressed and departmental resources permit

        The course is designed to provide the student with an opportunity to engage in archaeological field survey in Rockbridge County. Classroom meetings concerning the theory and methods of modern archaeological survey are supplemented by field research concerning sites of historic and prehistoric significance.


      • SOAN 391 - Special Topics in Anthropology

        Credits: 3

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


    • Sociology electives:
      • SOAN 180 - FS: First-Year Seminar in Sociology

        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Offered occasionally. Each first-year seminar topic is approved by the Dean of The College and the Committee on Courses and Degrees. Applicability to FDRs and other requirements varies

        First-year seminar.


      • SOAN 202 - Contemporary Social Problems

        FDR: SS4
        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Offered when interest is expressed and departmental resources permit

        A study of the relationship of social problems to the cultural life and social structure of American society. An analysis of the causes, consequences, and possible solutions to selected social problems in American society.


      • SOAN 205 - Power and Status: An Introduction to Social Influence

        FDR: SS4
        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Winter 2017 and alternate years

        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.


      • SOAN 208 - Qualitative Methods

        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Winter 2017 and alternate years

        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.


      • SOAN 212 - Theories of Social Psychology

        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Fall 2016 and alternate years

        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.


      • SOAN 218 - Basic Statistics in the Social Sciences

        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Fall 2017 and alternate years

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


      • SOAN 221 - Sociology of Religion (REL 221)

        FDR: HU
        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Offered when interest is expressed and departmental resources permit

        Theories of the origin and functions of religion; institutionalization of religious belief, behavior, and social organization; and conditions in which religion maintains social stability; and/or generates social change.


      • SOAN 225 - Peoples of Central Europe Through Literature and Film

        FDR: SS4
        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Spring 2017 and alternate years

        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.


      • SOAN 228 - Race and Ethnic Relations

        FDR: SS4
        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Fall

        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.


      • SOAN 234 - Nations and Nationalism (HIST 234)

        FDR: SS4
        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Offered when interest is expressed and departmental resources permit

        This course examines the rise and global spread of national identity over the last five centuries by considering cases from Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas and using these to test major theories of nationalism from history and the social sciences. Major questions considered include the following: What, if any, are the empirically identifiable relationships between national identity and other major dimensions of "modernization," such as the rise of the modern state and industrial capitalism? Is nationalism a cause, consequence, or victim of "globalization"? Can we construct a theory of the spread of national identity that not only makes sense of macro-level patterns but also articulates clear "microfoundations" and identifiable causal mechanisms?


      • SOAN 245 - European Politics and Society (POL 245)

        FDR: SS4
        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Fall 2016 and alternate years

        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.


      • SOAN 246 - Post-Communism and New Democracies (POL 246)

        FDR: SS4
        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Fall 2017 and alternate years

        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.


      • SOAN 251 - Social Movements (POL 251)

        FDR: SS4
        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Winter

        A survey of American social movements, including an evaluation of competing theoretical approaches to the study of social movements and an examination of the strategies, successes, failures, and political and social consequences of the civil rights, labor, student, and women's movements. Close attention is given to factors contributing to the rise and decline of these movements.


      • SOAN 256 - The History of Violence in America (HIST 256)

        FDR: HU
        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Winter 2017 and alternate years

        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.


      • SOAN 265 - Exploring Social Networks

        FDR: SS4
        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Not offered in Spring 2017

        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.


      • SOAN 266 - Neighborhoods, Culture, and Poverty

        FDR: SS3
        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Winter 2018 and alternate years

        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 ArcGIS and related software.


      • SOAN 267 - Simulating Society

        FDR: SS5
        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Winter 2018 and alternate years

        This course is an introduction to computational social science, a rapidly growing field that spans the boundaries of several disciplines. It focuses on complex phenomena such as the spread of rumors, cascades of collective action, dynamics of inter-group violence, housing segregation, and related processes. To analyze such processes, we can make use of agent-based models. In this course, students read and discuss key works in this area of research. They also explore simulations of social processes and develop their own simulations. No programming background is required or expected.


      • SOAN 268 - Migration, Identity, and Conflict (POL 268)

        FDR: SS4
        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Winter 2017 and alternate years

        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.


      • SOAN 270 - Deviance

        FDR: SS4
        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Winter

        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.


      • SOAN 272 - Social Revolutions (POL 272)

        FDR: SS4
        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Offered when interest is expressed and departmental resources permit

        This seminar provides an in depth exploration of a variety of social revolutions. The overarching goal of the course is to discern whether or not a single "theory of revolutions" can be constructed. Are there common patterns to be observed in (and common causes behind) events as separated by time, place, and ideology as the 17th-century "Glorious Revolution" in England, the French Revolution, Latin American revolutions (including the Wars of Independence and the Mexican Revolution), the Russian Revolution, and more recent events such as the revolution that brought the current regime in Iran to power? To this end, students read and discuss a variety of such theories that have been put forward by sociologists, historians, and political scientists and then consider case studies of the aforementioned social revolutions in order to scrutinize these theories.


      • SOAN 276 - Art & Science of Survey Research

        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Offered when interest is expressed and departmental resources permit

        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.


      • SOAN 280 - Gender and Sexuality

        FDR: SS4
        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Winter

        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.


      • SOAN 281 - Adolescence Under the Microscope

        FDR: SS4
        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Spring

        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.


      • SOAN 289 - Sociology of the Self, Self-Help, and the Pursuit of Happiness

        FDR: SS4
        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Offered in Spring when interest is expressed and departmental resources permit

        Beginning with a survey of sociological theories of modernity and modern identities, the course moves to a consideration of empirical scholarly claims that modern identity is somehow problematic, and modern persons somehow especially 'world-open' and incomplete. In trying to understand the emergence of social movements oriented toward 'helping' and 'healing' the self, the following questions are considered: What sociological conditions underlie these movements? Do they have analogues in other times and places or are they tightly linked to the conditions of 'modern' societies? If, in the end, 'self help' aims to address problems that are sociological at root, can we expect its remedies to be useful? Are any non-individualized solutions to the problems lying behind a felt need for 'self help' possible? This course meets once a week with REL 205: Self-Help and PSYC 300: The Pursuit of Happiness in a seminar where students become teachers and lead a class in which we all discuss together the work we have done separately during the week. In this way, students become part of a broad learning community that cuts across the many disciplines and divisions that make up the university.


      • SOAN 290 - Special Topics in Sociology

        Credits: 3 in Fall or Winter, 4 in Spring
        Planned Offering: Offered when interest is expressed and departmental resources permit

        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.


      • SOAN 367 - Seminar: 9/11 & Modern Terrorism (HIST 367)

        FDR: HU
        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Spring 2018 and alternate years

        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.


      • SOAN 390 - Special Topics in Sociology

        Credits: 3

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


  7. At least nine additional credits chosen from:
  8. SOAN courses numbered 200 and above. When approved by the department head, up to three courses numbered at the 200 level or above in economics, history, philosophy, politics, psychology, religion, or other disciplines may be substituted into this requirement.

  9. Capstone:
  10. With permission, one term of SOAN 493 may be used to meet this requirement.

    • SOAN 395 - Senior Seminar in Social Analysis

      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Winter

      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.


    • or
    • SOAN 396 - Senior Seminar in Anthropological Analysis

      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Winter

      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.