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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of Sociology


Spring 2018

 

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA

DEPARTMENT OF SOCIOLOGY

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS 

Spring 2018 

 

 

SOCIOLOGY 101.1: INTRODUCTORY SOCIOLOGY          MWF         9:40AM – 10:30AM                          Aaron Vincent

                

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  This course covers many aspects of modern sociology. The course begins with an overview of the origins of sociology. Then the course covers a survey of sociological research methods and the role of science in sociology. Theoretical perspectives on social life are covered, along with sociological treatments of societal institutions. Theories of inequality, small group behavior, deviance and social change are also covered. Student assessment takes the form of 4 examinations. Students should gain a grasp of the role of social structures on individual lives and an understanding of the role of sociology in the modern world.

                                                                                                    

 

SOCIOLOGY 101.2:   INTRODUCTORY SOCIOLOGY       MWF        12:00PM – 12:50PM        Anna Rogers   

 

CONTENT:This course will introduce students to sociological theory and major areas of research in the discipline of sociology. Through the use of lectures and various forms of media we will discuss sociological facts and principles through an analysis of group-making processes and products. This course will have three major components. The first section of the course will introduce students to sociological theory. The second section of the course will show how these theories are applied to topics such as gender, race, class, religion, deviance, law, and health. The third component of this course includes analysis of popular culture from American society that demonstrates how sociological theory can be applied to everything from every day interactions to larger worldwide networks. This course will show how we shape society and how society shapes us.

TEXT: You May Ask Yourself: An Introduction to Thinking Like a Sociologist, 5th Core Edition by Dalton Conley

REQUIREMENTS : 3 tests, 10 quizzes, and online assignments in Blackboard.

 

 

SOCIOLOGY 101.3:  INTRODUCTORY SOCIOLOGY        TR               11:40AM – 12:55PM                 Zackery Butler          

 

TEXT:  You May Ask Yourself: An Introduction to Thinking Like a Sociologist, 4th Edition by Dalton Conley Also required is a digital product from the publisher of the text: “Inquizitive”

CONTENT:  In this course you will be introduced to the discipline of sociology.  By learning about sociological theories, terms, and methods, you can develop your own “Sociological Imagination.” A way of looking at our social world that allows us to go beyond our everyday understanding to reveal the complexity of social processes. 

REQUIREMENTS:  3 Exams (33%) Quizzes (50%) Inquizitive (17%)

FORMAT:   Lectures, class discussions, and online activities 

                                                                                                    

 

SOCIOLOGY 101.4:  INTRODUCTORY SOCIOLOGY          TR             1:15PM – 2:30PM               Stephen Chicoine

 

CONTENT: This course provides an overview of the field of sociology.  In addition to presenting the basic foundations of the field of sociology, students will learn how social relations, inequality, and institutions shape their day to day lives and the world around them.

 

                                                                                                    

SOCIOLOGY 101.5:   INTRODUCTORY SOCIOLOGY              MW          2:20PM– 3:35PM           Anna Rogers

 

CONTENTS:This course will introduce students to sociological theory and major areas of research in the discipline of sociology. Through the use of lectures and various forms of media we will discuss sociological facts and principles through an analysis of group-making processes and products. This course will have three major components. The first section of the course will introduce students to sociological theory. The second section of the course will show how these theories are applied to topics such as gender, race, class, religion, deviance, law, and health. The third component of this course includes analysis of popular culture from American society that demonstrates how sociological theory can be applied to everything from every day interactions to larger worldwide networks. This course will show how we shape society and how society shapes us.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

SOCIOLOGY 101.6:  INTRODUCTORY SOCIOLOGY       MW           3:55PM – 5:10PM             Joseph Padgett        

 

CONTENT: This survey course will explore the way in which social interaction and social structures influence the lives of individuals.  The course will begin with an overview of the origins of sociology and will cover a broad sampling of sociological research methods and perspectives.  Both the role of science and activist trends in the discipline will be discussed and students will become familiar with the major explanatory paradigms used by sociologists to research and explain social life.  Topics such as socialization, stratification, deviance, and social institutions will be addressed.  Sociology provides a unique view and explanatory framework for understanding human behavior by addressing the reciprocal influences of individual and social behaviors on social structures and the effects of social structures on individual thoughts and behaviors.  Students taking this course will begin to think critically about social processes and the research of social phenomena and complete the course with a firm foundation in sociology and how the discipline might serve them during their academic career and beyond. 

 

 

 

 

SOCIOLOGY 101.7:   INTRODUCTORY SOCIOLOGY       MWF        10:50AM – 11:40AM          TBA          

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                       

SOCIOLOGY 101.8:  INTRODUCTORY SOCIOLOGY       TR         10:05AM – 11:20AM       Professor Jason Cummings

 

CONTENT:  This course will introduce you to the sociological perspective! Broadly speaking, sociology is the study of society. According to the American Sociological Association, "Sociology is the study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior…"  We will examine many of the questions that sociologists ask, the theories that frame these questions and the methods that answer them.  We will address several questions such as why is there inequality? Why do some people commit crimes and others don’t? Why are there so many problems with the U.S. health care system? Throughout the course of the semester I hope to enhance your ability to think critically, develop your ability to express your thoughts and give your insight on how you shape society and how society shapes you. 

REQUIREMENTS:  Exams, Quizzes

FORMAT:  Lecture, Discussion, Media

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOCIOLOGY 101.H02:   INTRODUCTORY SOCIOLOGY           TR       11:40AM – 12:55PM           Laura Brashears 

Restricted to South Carolina Honors College Students

 

“Society is inside of man and man is inside society...” – Arthur Miller, “The Shadows of the Gods.”Each of us has an idea of what is meant by the word “society:” the people we live with, the work we do, and the government agencies that touch our lives. We live in particular places, work at specific businesses, and belong to our own groups. And while we must experience society from our own individual perspectives, none of those individual perspectives can encompass the totality of each of our experiences. Sociologists seek to examine the social world through an objective lens, rising above individual experiences to understand the whole. In other words, sociologists do not take the world before their eyes for granted; rather, we use scientific methods to gain a deeper understanding of how “society is inside of man and man is inside society.” No social endeavor is off-limits to sociologists; we study religion, education, the family, the self, crime, work, economics, politics, organizations, demographic shifts, gender, race and ethnicity and social movements, among other things. We even study how science itself operates as a social entity.

In this course, I will introduce you to a lot of facts that sociologists have collected within quite a few of these areas. While I think these facts are interesting, and important (or I wouldn’t bother teaching them!), I am much more concerned with teaching you how to step back and examine your world from an “outsider’s” perspective. In other words you will learn to use the “sociological imagination”, a faculty that allows us to see the way the world is, and to imagine how it might have been, or might become, different. Once you do so, you will be able to develop a deeper understanding of how social factors have influenced you in the past, and will continue to influence you in the future.

By the end of this course, you should be able to: 

·      Critically evaluate (i.e., use the sociological imagination) events in your life, and society beyond.

·      Analyze social situations from a sociological viewpoint, and communicate your observations coherently in written work.

·      Improve your ability to communicate ideas with your classmates and myself through regular class discussions.

·      Explain and define major sociological concepts, such as structure, culture, socialization, identity, deviance, social institutions, etc.

·      Be able to explain social inequalities related to race/ethnicity, sex/gender, and social class. 

 

 

SOCIOLOGY 101.H03:   INTRODUCTORY SOCIOLOGY          TR       1:15PM – 2:30PM        Professor Shane Thye

Restricted to South Carolina Honors College Students

 

CONTENT: This survey course covers many aspects of modern sociology.  The course begins with an overview of the origins of sociology.  Then the course covers a survey of sociological research methods and the role of science in sociology.  Theoretical perspectives on social life are covered along with sociological treatments of societal institutions.  Theories of socialization, deviance, family, group dynamics and organizations are also covered.  Student assessment takes the form of four examinations and a short film assignment.  Students should gain a grasp of the role of social structures on individual lives and an understanding of the role of sociology in the modern world.                      

 

 

SOCIOLOGY 101.H04:   INTRODUCTORY SOCIOLOGY          TR       4:25PM – 5:40PM        Professor Shane Thye

Restricted to South Carolina Honors College Students

 

CONTENT: This survey course covers many aspects of modern sociology.  The course begins with an overview of the origins of sociology.  Then the course covers a survey of sociological research methods and the role of science in sociology.  Theoretical perspectives on social life are covered along with sociological treatments of societal

 

                                                                                                                                                       

institutions.  Theories of socialization, deviance, family, group dynamics and organizations are also covered.  Student assessment takes the form of four examinations and a short film assignment.  Students should gain a grasp of the role of social structures on individual lives and an understanding of the role of sociology in the modern world.                      

 

 

SOCIOLOGY 101.J10:  INTRODUCTORY SOCIOLOGY          TBA       Online Course        Professor Barry Markovsky            

 

CONTENT:   In this course you will learn about society by looking at "the big picture"—our systems of education, government, economy, race relations, religion. You will also learn about how you fit into that big picture by looking at the ways individuals are impacted by social ties and group memberships. Sociology provides a unique scientific perspective on human behavior by tracing how social processes shape individuals and, in turn, how social processes are created and maintained by the actions and interactions of people. This course will help you to develop a critical understanding of these processes and phenomena.

REQUIREMENTS:  three exams (30%), on-line assessments (30%), group projects (20%), attendance (20%)                                                                 

 

 

SOCIOLOGY 220.1:  ELEMENTARY STATISTICS FOR SOCIOLOGISTS         MWF        10:50AM – 11:40AM                                        Professor Jimy Sanders

 

CONTENT: The goal of this course is to help students improve their statistical literacy.  The course provides an introduction to descriptive, explanatory, and inferential statistical analyses.  Contemporary sociological examples are employed to demonstrate how various types of statistical analyses are helpful in conducting research.  Limitations of applying statistical techniques are also considered.  Emphasis is placed on developing an understanding of when and why various statistical techniques are useful, and how to properly interpret different types of analyses. Students will make use of simple mathematical skills, but the mastery of complex mathematical operations is not a goal of this course.       

REQUIREMENTS: There are three examinations during the semester and a cumulative final.  The examinations emphasize the interpretation of data and statistical analyses.  Minimal mathematical calculations are involved.  The examinations are not conducted with the use of a computer, but pocket calculators are needed.  Of the first three examinations, the lowest score will account for 10                                                                                                                                                             

percent of your course grade whereas the other two scores will each account for 30 percent of your course grade.  The final examination also accounts for 30 percent of your course grade.  Failure to take an examination results in a grade of zero for that examination.  Makeup examinations are provided only when the student has a legitimate excuse (e.g., sickness, death in the family, out of town on university activities).  Grades are assigned on a 10 point scale: 90s are As, 80s are Bs, etc.  B+ = 87-89, C+ = 77-79, D+ = 67-69.

FORMAT: Lecture, questions/answers.

 

 

SOCIOLOGY 301.J10 :   SEX AND GENDER                      TBA                        Professor Carla Pfeffer

Cross-listed with WGST 300

 

Prerequisite: SOCY 101

CONTENT: This is an asynchronous, fully online, distributed learning course that uses a sociological lens to develop critical ways of thinking about sex and gender as social processes in everyday lives. This course considers how sex and gender shape and affect the experiences of women, men, girls, boys, and individuals who live in the spaces in-between (those who are intersex or transgender) across a wide range of social institutions (family, work, education, politics, etc.). A primary goal of this course is to introduce you to the perspectives and empirical findings on sex and gender in sociology, as well as to apply this empirical evidence to real-world experiences. Of

critical importance is the goal of cultivating your skills for analyzing the social situations and events that you encounter in your everyday lives. Throughout this course, emphasis will be placed on developing critical and integrative ways of thinking about sex and gender as social processes in our everyday lives.

 

     

SOCIOLOGY 302.1:    SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY          TR           1:15PM – 2:30PM        Professor Matthew Brashears              

 

This course introduces students to the purpose and structure of scientific theory in general, and in social science in particular. It then reviews the classical (pre-scientific) theories of society before advancing to more modern theoretical perspectives. Theories will be presented from a variety of topical areas, and time will be spent discussing several meta-theories, or theories guiding the development and usage of theory more generally. Attention will also be devoted to the interface between theory and empirical testing. By the end of the course students should be familiar with the role of theory in sociology and science more general, be able to identify several of the major meta-theoretical positions active in social science, and have a working knowledge of theories from a number of substantive areas within sociology.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                             

 

SOCIOLOGY 303.1:  SOCIOLOGICAL RESEARCH METHODS     MWF    12:00PM – 12:50PM    Professor Shelley Smith   

 

         Course Description:

  • Construct effective research methods design and instruments for execution of the design.
  • Compare and contrast different research methods in their appropriateness to specific research questions.
  • Define and describe basic elements of different research methods, for example, measurement error, components of interviews including question types, sampling, analytical techniques appropriate to specific data
  • Students will conduct their own original research in the course.

 

 

SOCIOLOGY 305.1:  SOCIOLOGY OF THE FAMILY        TR        1:15PM – 2:30PM        Professor Jennifer Augustine

 

CONTENT:  This course focuses on families in the contemporary U.S. from a sociological perspective. We will do so by examining theories and empirical research on the family as a social institution. We begin the course by discussing the U.S. family in historical context, then fast forward to exploring changes in the family over the past several decades and the reasons underlying these changes.

Lecture and discussions will address topics such as demographic changes in marital patterns, women’s fertility behaviors, the role of women’s paid employment and its connection to domestic work and caregiving, the social roles of mothers and fathers, the relationship between parents and their children, and the emergence and significance of “new” family forms, including interracial, same-sex,                                                                                                                                                                                              

cohabiting unions, and transnational families. More broadly, we will also examine differences in family life along dimensions of social class, race and ethnic background, and gender, and debate questions about whether recent changes in family life are “good” or “bad.” We will conclude with a debate on the future of the family.   

 

 

SOCIOLOGY 309.1:  INTRODUCTION TO SOCIAL INEQUALITY            MWF    1:10PM – 2:00PM     Professor Jimy Sanders

 

The course considers social mechanisms that generate inequality in societies. We also consider social mechanisms aimed at reducing inequality. Some of the most difficult questions concerning inequality arise from situations wherein a social mechanism that promotes greater equality of opportunity (e.g., the rise of tax supported public education to enable all youth to attend school) contributes to the rise of material inequality (e.g., growing school attendance can lead to greater variation in educational outcomes, which leads to greater variation in occupational outcomes, which leads to greater earnings inequality, which–across the generations–can lead to greater wealth inequality). We also consider the issue of fairness. We may support the idea of rewards based on the idea of equity–it seems fair that good performance is better rewarded than poor performance. But rewards based on equity is a mechanism through which inequality is likely to grow–what do we think about that?

                                                                                                                                                                                                               

 

 

SOCIOLOGY 310.1:  SOCIAL DEMOGRAPHY        MW        11:00AM – 12:15PM          Professor Caroline Hartnett                         

 

CONTENT: One of the most interesting stories of the last few centuries is our changing demography.  During this time our life expectancy has increased dramatically and the number of children we have has declined.  Our family structures have changed, as has our relationship with the environment.  This course is an introduction to the major topics in the study of demography – specifically: mortality, fertility, and migration – and their implications for society and public policy. We will cover population change in both developed and developing countries, focusing on trends and driving factors. Throughout the course we will highlight policy-relevant issues such as global “overpopulation,” migration streams, urbanization, fertility policy, population aging, and the global burden of disease.

 

 

SOCIOLOGY 323.1:  SOCIOLOGY OF DEVIANT BEHAVIOR          MW       2:20PM – 3:35PM          Joseph Padgett

 

CONTENT: This course considers why and how certain attributes and behaviors are defined as deviant, the consequences of deviant labels, and how norms, values, and rules are made and enforced. We will cover basic concepts that run across deviance theories and research, including social control, subcultures, and deviant careers. The course will present various theories of deviant behavior and societal reaction.  We will discuss methodology and how deviance, its causes, and its outcomes are researched, understood, and explained by sociologists and other social scientists. The course will touch on substantive topics in the research of deviance such as

crime, organizational and occupational deviance, substance use, sexuality, suicide, disability, and mental illness.

REQUIREMENTS: Exams, short essays, class discussion

FORMAT: Lecture, discussion, multimedia

 

                                                                                                                                        

SOCIOLOGY 330.1:   SOCIOLOGY OF THE PARANORMAL    TR     11:40AM – 12:55PM     Professor Barry Markovsky

                                 

CONTENT:  This course will permanently change the way you think about paranormal phenomena. We take a two-pronged approach to understanding widespread beliefs in ESP, UFOs, astrology, faith healing, ghosts and many others. First, we consider the social and psychological processes that lead people to believe paranormal claims, even in the absence of good evidence. Second, we take a skeptical stance in analyzing the claims themselves. We first review the topics of critical thinking, scientific theorizing and scientific

methods for evaluating evidence. Following this, we cover a variety of cases through readings, lectures, and videos. Each new case triggers an analysis, drawing upon knowledge from a variety of different scientific fields. Special attention is paid to social science explanations, including theories of perception, persuasion, attitude and attribution formation, interpersonal social influence processes, small group “micro-cultural” factors, and large-scale cultural and communication processes.

 

 

SOCIOLOGY 340.1:   INTRODUCTION TO SOCIAL PROBLEMS                   TR              1:15PM – 2:30PM                                           Professor Andrea Henderson-Platt

 

This course provides students with the opportunity to examine a myriad of contemporary social problems confronting the United States. We will employ sociological concepts and perspectives to examine the most pressing social issues facing this country. This course will force us to confront some ugly and painful dimensions of social life and history. But by engaging directly with these issues, we can imagine what a just and equal social world should look like and how we might contribute to making it a reality.

 

 

 

SOCIOLOGY 355.1: RACE AND ETHNIC RELATIONS       TR        11:40AM – 12:55PM        Professor Jason Cummings

 

Race continues to be at the center of American life and shapes life chances and social interactions. This course examines the major theoretical and empirical approaches regarding race/ethnicity and the current state of race relations in America. We will explore the main assumptions that construct individuals’ perceptions of what race is and how race matters. Using various sociological theories, social psychological theories, and subcultural approaches, this course will give students a historical and present day frame with which to view race and ethnic relations. We will highlight how race/ethnicity continues to act as a boundary that forms meaningful social groupings and divisions. We will regularly discuss assigned readings, which consist of sociological articles and books as well as popular magazine articles, while integrating aspects of mainstream media (movies, songs, and television programs) to add context to our discussions.

 

SOCIOLOGY 368.1: SOCIETY THROUGH THE LENS    TR    10:05AM – 11:20AM    Professor Andrea Henderson-Platt

 

This class is an opportunity for students to develop their sociological imaginations through viewing, discussing, and analyzing various forms of media, including film, photography and music. We will evaluate these various forms of media for the ways in which they uncritically transmit stereotypes, misconceptions and ideologies regarding race, class, gender, and sexuality. It is not a class on film theory or production or the film industry, but rather the sociological implications of media— using various mediums as a sociological data source. Expect to be challenged, but also have fun, because the way you look at media may change after this class.

 

SOCIOLOGY 398.1   TOPICS IN SOCIOLOGY        MW              2:20PM – 3:35PM             Professor Mathieu Deflem

 

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  Situated in the sociology of   pop culture, this course provides an analysis of the conditions of the rise to fame of global pop star Lady Gaga.  The course also situates this case study in the contemporary culture of celebrity and its consequences in the world of entertainment and elsewhere.

TEXT:  Collection of articles and book chapters available on Blackboard.

REQUIREMENTS: Three tests, a research paper, and a cumulative final exam.

FORMAT: Lecture

 

 

 

SOCIOLOGY 504.1    SOCIAL STRATIFICATION      MWF       2:20PM – 3:10PM        Professor Shelley Smith

 

Social stratification, or structured social inequality, will be studied primarily from a structuralist perspective.  Readings will include both classical and contemporary theoretical and research statements.  Considerable attention will be paid to the impact of current economic trends on social inequality and social mobility in different societies, and how those trends are changing the shape of stratified systems around the world.

Most readings will be either posted to Blackboard or found Online.

Requirements will include examinations and written work.

Attendance is required in accordance with University Policy.

 

 

 

SOCIOLOGY 520.1: ADVANCED SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY         TR      2:50PM– 4:05PM          Professor Brent Simpson

 

Survey of social psychological theory and research.  The course will focus primarily on the following topics: inequality and discrimination; power and status; cooperation and collective action; social norms and morality; and social networks and relationships. While a prior course in sociology or social psychology would be useful, it is not required.                 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                             

SOCIOLOGY 540.1:  SOCIOLOGY OF LAW                MW                    3:55PM – 5:10PM          TBA  

   

 

 

SOCIOLOGY 598.1:  SELECTED TOPICS:        MW                    2:20PM – 3:35PM          Professor Caroline Hartnett 

 

This course is an advanced-level introduction to the central themes in demographic research, with special attention paid to methodological approaches. We will cover historical trends in mortality, fertility, migration, and age structure, as well as contemporary academic debates on topics such as low fertility and socioeconomic health disparities. By the end of the course, students should be able to calculate and interpret key measures of mortality, fertility, migration, and population growth. During the course, students will gain experience formulating demographic research questions and answering these questions using secondary data.

 

 

SOCIOLOGY 598.2:  QUALITATIVE METHODS IN THE SOCIAL SCIENCES      MW         12:55PM – 2:10PM             Professor Carla Pfeffer

Cross-listed with WGST 598

 

In this course, students will be introduced to a broad survey of approaches used to gather and analyze data in the social sciences. We will explore case study, ethnographic, interview, focus group, content analysis, archival, and participatory-action forms of research. Students will not only learn about each of these methods, but will be exposed to exemplars of each type of approach as well. In addition to learning about various qualitative methods and analytical approaches in the social sciences, students will begin to practice them as well. Attention will be paid to the importance of ethical considerations in qualitative research. Our analytic focus will distinguish deductive, inductive, and abductive approaches and attend to researchers’ meaning-making from the data they gather. Note that this is a blended undergraduate/graduate course. Graduate students will be expected to complete additional work and readings for the course and will be evaluated more rigorously than undergraduate students.

 

 

SOCIOLOGY 720.1:   SURVEY OF RESEARCH METHODS      TR      4:25PM – 5:40PM      Professor Jennifer Augustine

 

 

 

 

 

SOCIOLOGY 749.1:  TOPICS IN DEMOGRAPHY            MW         2:20PM – 3:35PM         Professor Caroline Hartnett

 

This course is an advanced-level introduction to the central themes in demographic research, with special attention paid to methodological approaches. We will cover historical trends in mortality, fertility, migration, and age structure, as well as contemporary academic debates on topics such as low fertility and socioeconomic health disparities. By the end of the course, students should be able to calculate and interpret key measures of mortality, fertility, migration, and population growth. During the course, students will gain experience formulating demographic research questions and answering these questions using secondary data.

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                              

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