Class Schedules

Spring 2017 »      Fall 2016 »     

Spring 2017 Class Schedule - updated May 1, 2016 at 08:00 am

Number/Section  Title
Days Time Room Instructor
SOCI 170-01  Sociology of Work
MWF 02:20 pm-03:20 pm STAFF
SOCI 175-01  Sociolinguistics
MWF 10:50 am-11:50 am Marianne Milligan
*Cross-listed with LING 175-01*

SOCI 180-01  Sociology of Culture
MWF 12:00 pm-01:00 pm Deborah Smith
SOCI 194-01  Deviant Bodies
MWF 09:40 am-10:40 am Laura Backstrom
*To ensure a proper mix of students there will be an enrollment limit of 10 seats for Sr and Jr and 10 seats reserved for Sophomores and First Year Students* Why are some bodies regarded as “normal” while others are marked as deviant? How do people use cultural meanings to make sense of their own bodies? How are bodies commodified? How are bodies connected to larger social structures such as race, class, gender, and sexuality? This course will interpret the body through the lens of culture and examine how constructions of the body are shaped by social forces. Further, we will look at the connection between the body and personal identity with an emphasis on stigma management and how identity is enacted through body projects. From performers in historical freak show to contemporary athletes and fashion models, extraordinary bodies can be a means of resistance and power or objects of social control or subjugation. Over the course of the semester, we will analyze representations of bodies that are pregnant, disabled, fat, tattooed, scarred, sick, diseased, surgically-modified, used for sport, used for personal profit, and used to sell products.

SOCI 194-02  Love, Greed, and Aggression
MWF 10:50 am-11:50 am Laura Backstrom
*To ensure a proper mix of students there will be an enrollment limit of 10 seats for Sr and Jr and 10 seats reserved for Sophomores and First Year Students* How do sociologists address human nature? Although complex emotions like love, greed, and aggression are commonly studied by psychologists, neuroscientists, and philosophers, sociologists argue that emotions are deeply affected by social influences. In this course, we will examine the social dimensions of emotions including how they are socially learned, regulated, and distributed in the population. We will also examine the causes and consequences of emotional management, emotional labor, and emotional deviance at the cultural, interactional, and individual levels. The course will be organized around three themes: love, greed, and aggression. First, we will contrast historical and cultural differences in the social construction of emotions, beliefs, and values related to romantic love, intimate relationships, and sexual desire. Second, we will examine whether “greed is good,” and the social psychological impacts of wealth, poverty, and inequality. Finally, we will look at gender differences in aggressive, violent, self-destructive, and anti-social behaviors.

SOCI 269-01  Social Science Inquiry
TR 09:40 am-11:10 am Erik Larson
SOCI 272-01  Social Theories
MWF 10:50 am-11:50 am Khaldoun Samman
SOCI 280-01  Indigenous Peoples' Movements in Global Context
TR 01:20 pm-02:50 pm Erik Larson
*Cross-listed with INTL 280-01*

SOCI 290-01  Colonialism, Modernity, and Identities in the Middle East
TR 01:20 pm-02:50 pm Khaldoun Samman
SOCI 294-01  Consumerism
TR 03:00 pm-04:30 pm Deborah Smith
Throughout the last century, consumerism has increasingly come to dominate American society even as public concern over issues of sustainability continues to heighten, and widening ranks of social actors –from individuals, communities, and non-profit groups to private corporations – deepen their commitment to sustainable practices. In this course, we apply a sociological perspective to examine the significance of a culture of consumption, paying particular attention to the possibilities for sustainability within a consumption-oriented society. Contextualizing the cultural meanings of consumption within the social forces that shape consumption practices, the course will consider various configurations of consumption in American society, including how consumption structures and reproduces social difference and inequality, the role of consumer practices in the constitution of personal identity, sociability and leisure, the role of marketing and advertising, branding and embodied consumer display, and the location of consumption as a site of sub-cultural resistance. In the context of the study of consumption, we will likewise examine emergent configurations of sustainability, asking how individuals, communities, social groups and organizations in contemporary consumer culture are (differently) defining the pursuit and practice of sustainability through, for instance, anti-consumerism, the green movement, fair trade, “green capitalism,” voluntary simplicity, downshifting, slow living, frugal living, radical consumption and ethical consumption. The course will explore how the social forces of consumer society shape, support and contend these sustainability projects, and, by tracing contemporary beliefs and assumptions about sustainability against a sociological understanding of consumer culture, push us to identify and critically access the possibilities within consumer culture for creating a socially and environmentally sustainable future.

SOCI 335-01  Families and Social Change
MWF 01:10 pm-02:10 pm Laura Backstrom

top of page »

Fall 2016 Class Schedule - updated May 1, 2016 at 08:00 am

Number/Section  Title
Days Time Room Instructor
SOCI 110-01  Introduction to Sociology
TR 01:20 pm-02:50 pm CARN 204 Khaldoun Samman
*First Year Course only*

SOCI 110-02  Introduction to Sociology
TR 03:00 pm-04:30 pm CARN 204 Khaldoun Samman
*Enrollment will be limited to First Year students and Sophmores - Seniors and Juniors may only enroll with instructor permission*

SOCI 194-01  Moral Panics
W 07:00 pm-10:00 pm CARN 208 Khaldoun Samman
This course will focus primarily on how fears spread and become a major public concern. We will deal with a number of issues like pedophilia (including priests and pedophilia), gangs, drug scares, and terrorism. Sociologists have long studied these moral panics -- defined as public campaigns to elicit alarm about perceived threats to social order. We will adopt this perspective to see that indeed issues like these do not become part of public discourse naturally from the threat itself. Rather, we will ask what does power have to do with it becoming a public concern? What kinds of narrations are utilized to make it available to us in a particular way? Who gets to define these public threats and who becomes its object of concern? Who does it blame and who does it protect from ridicule? Why do fears and panics usually flow down the power structure, rarely focusing on dominant races and social classes and all too often on the weak, poor, minorities, or the global Other? A major sub theme of the course will be to trace the incitement process through certain networks and what sociologists call “claims makers” and “moral entrepreneurs” (think tanks, groups like Jihad Watch, the State-Security Industrial complex, political elites, human rights groups . . . ), especially right wing groups but also including liberals, mainstream feminists, gay rights activists, and security "experts." We will also be interested in the way these politically orchestrated fears impact the way we understand cultural differences, human rights, immigration, culture and crime, gender inequality, patriarchy, domestic abuse, military occupation, and so on, often in ways that perpetuates Orientalist and problematic classifications of racial and cultural divides.

SOCI 210-01  Sociology of Sexuality
TR 03:00 pm-04:30 pm CARN 05 Laura Backstrom
*To ensure a proper mix of students there will be an enrollment limit of 10 seats for Sr and Jr and 10 seats reserved for Sophomores and First Year Students*

SOCI 220-01  Sociology of Race/Ethnicity
MWF 03:30 pm-04:30 pm CARN 105 Lesley Kandaras
*To ensure a proper mix of students there will be an enrollment limit of 10 seats for Sr and Jr and 10 seats reserved for Sophomores and First Year Students*

SOCI 270-01  Interpretive Social Research
TR 09:40 am-11:10 am CARN 208 Laura Backstrom
SOCI 294-01  Class Cultures and Class Identities
MWF 01:10 pm-02:10 pm CARN 208 Deborah Smith
In popular discourse, the category of class is often missing, misunderstood as temporary and not institutionalized, displaced onto other discourses of difference such as race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality, or mystified within an ideology of individualism. In this course, we adopt a sociological lens to examine the systematic operation of class divisions through cultural mediums, considering how class identities become formulated and class cultures become differentiated within varying institutional contexts. Our study will track the category of class along multiple lines of cultural distinction, examining class subjectivity as it is constructed in relation to gender, race, and sexuality identity, and as it is built around moral discourses of difference and symbolic economies of style, taste, and preference. We will address key theories and questions in the sociology of class as we examine how class meanings are articulated in class-specific attitudes, values, behaviors, and practices, considering how these meanings become distributed, internalized, and ‘activated’ through processes that often render those meanings ‘natural.’ We will discuss our relationship to the class cultures in which we live, and the relationship between class culture, cultural capital, and power, considering both how class culture operates in micro-interactional settings on the basis of widely shared class-cultural beliefs, and how it can exist in more clearly defined institutional settings such as family, school and work, leisure and consumption. The course moves from considering broad questions in the field to an examination of selected empirical works, where we look closely at how class culture operates to construct identities and distinctions among groups. Our study will carry us from working class kids whose culture of rebellion sets them up for working class jobs, to middle class families whose ‘concerted cultivation’ of their children imparts distinct advantages over their working class counterparts; from high school girls whose class identity is constructed in relationship to color, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality, to the halls of an elite boarding school where elite youth train to be cultural omnivores able to inhabit privilege with carefully cultivated ease. Throughout, we will consider class culture and class identity against the landscape of a neoliberal New Economy where, in response to ever-encircling risk and constraint, working class families downscale for survival, upper class families upscale for security, and middle class families struggle to hang on.

SOCI 294-02  Urban Engagement and Social Justice
M 07:00 pm-10:00 pm CARN 204 Lesley Kandaras
Cities hold a democratic potential because people from a variety of backgrounds live and work in them. Yet, persistent and growing disparities have left this potential more of an unfulfilled promise. What structures and practices inhibit efforts to achieve social justice in cities? How can contemporary cities in the United States plan for their future in truly democratic, participatory ways? This course addresses these questions by exploring the intersections of political processes and urban life. The course will draw from urban sociology and closely-related disciplines to understand how urban planning and decision-making are intertwined with power dynamics and inequality. Specifically, this course will examine the conditions needed for effective and inclusive processes, using the Twin Cities region as a case study.

SOCI 294-03  Social Entrepreneurship
TR 09:40 am-11:10 am Kate Reiling
*Course meets in Lower Level Markim Hall; cross-listed with INTL 294-01; first day attendance required; Not open to students who are enrolled in ECON 294-01: Introduction to Enterpreneurship (Spring 2016)* This course focuses on theories and applications of Social Entrepreneurship, which mobilizes and adapts an array of new techniques from the business and nonprofit worlds to address diverse social problems around the world. Students will explore debates over Social Entrepreneurship and seek to understand its current global and U.S. contexts, as well as methodologies like Lean Startup, Human Centered Design, Participatory Poverty Assessment, Design Thinking, and Business Model Canvass. In addition, students will spend the semester working in teams to apply the methodologies to identify a problem and develop a solution. For their final project, students will prepare a plan for their project and present it to an external audience.

SOCI 310-01  Law and Society
MWF 10:50 am-11:50 am CARN 105 Erik Larson
SOCI 480-01  Senior Seminar
TR 01:20 pm-02:50 pm CARN 208 Erik Larson

top of page »