Sociology/Anthropology (SOAN)

SOAN 100.  Introduction to Sociology.  4.  

This course will provide an introduction to the field of sociology and how it can be used in the critical examination of contemporary society. The course will explore and compare theoretical perspectives on culture, social structure and the development of the individual within the social context. The course will also have a strong emphasis on social inequality as the product of structural and belief systems, with race, class, gender and sexuality explored as central elements of social organization. Fulfills social science and social justice/environmental responsibility requirements (1998). Social/behavioral science and evaluating systems and environments (2019).

SOAN 103.  Cultural Anthropology.  4.  

Introduction to the study of culture and society in comparative perspective. Utilizes various approaches of anthropologists and data from societies around the world in order to illustrate the nature and functions of culture and social structures. Fulfills social science requirement (1998). Social/behavioral engagement requirement (2019).

SOAN 106.  Introduction to African Heritage (AFAM 106).  4.  

Course serves as an introduction to the geographical roots and cultural heritages of the peoples of African ancestry. It will help students to begin to explore and understand the diverse lifestyles, experiences as well as the dispersion, opportunities, challenges and concerns of peoples of African ancestry in the U.S. multicultural setting. Fulfills diversity in the U.S. and social science requirements (1998). Sociocultural and social/behavioral requirements (2019).

SOAN 150.  Special Topics.  1-8.  

May also be offered at 250, 350 and 450 levels.

SOAN 215.  Anthropology of Slavery.  4.  

Examines slavery in a comparative socio-cultural perspective; covers Africa (80 percent), North America (5 percent) and the rest of the world (15 percent). Explores explanations for the causes of slavery, debates over what practices should be labeled “slavery” and which should be placed in other categories of servitude, and how slavery affects individual understanding of self in various socio-cultural contexts. Fulfills social justice/environmental responsibility requirement (1998). Evaluating systems and environment requirement (2019).

SOAN 216.  HP:The Anthropology of Colonialism.  4.  

Introduces historical anthropology by exploring the socio-cultural dimensions of European colonialism from the late 15th century to the post-colonial period. The course focuses on the colonial experience in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Middle East, particularly from the point of view of the colonized.

Prerequiste: ENGL 102. Fulfills historical perspectives requirement (1998 2019).
SOAN 234.  Culture & Sexuality in Africa.  4.  

Explores how culture shapes sexual practices, identities and roles in African societies. Course topics include virginity, male and female circumcision and other rites of passage, arranged marriages, fertility, the spread of HIV/ AIDS, sexual exploitation and domestic violence, as well as lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender “queer” practices. Fulfills intercultural requirement (1998). Sociocultural engagement requirement (2019).

SOAN 235.  African Families in Transition.  4.  

This course places African families at the center of an anthropological exploration of the myriad ways of family formation and the dynamic nature of how family is defined cross-culturally. It explores how families in different African societies have adapted and continue to adjust to the changing circumstances brought on by colonialism and post-colonial conditions. Fulfills intercultural requirement (1998). Sociocultural engagement requirement (2019).

SOAN 245.  Race and Ethnicity in Latin America.  4.  

Race and ethnicity occupy center stage in Latin America’s identity politics and nation-building processes. Despite the myth of racial harmony, inequalities along racial and ethnic lines shape the life-chances and daily interactions of people throughout the region. This course examines racial and ethnic politics in Latin America from a sociological stand point. We analyze racial formations and the status of Indian communities and peoples of African descent since colonial times; however, our focus is primarily on contemporary racialized structures and relations. Fulfills intercultural requirement (1998). Sociocultural engagement requirement (2019).

SOAN 250.  Special Topics.  1-8.  
SOAN 260.  Independent Study.  1-8.  

May also be offered at 360 level.

SOAN 261.  Native North America.  4.  

Introduces the complexity and diversity of native North American societies from an anthropological perspective. Emphasizes contemporary Indian communities and the dynamic process of maintaining distinctive cultural identities. Fulfills diversity in the U.S. requirement (1998). Sociocultural engagement requirement (2019).

SOAN 265.  Racial and Ethnic Relations.  4.  

A comprehensive exploration of the experience of different racial and ethnic groups in the United States and the social relations they have established with each other. The examination starts from their countries of origin, moves to their initial migration and settlement and concludes with analysis of their current economic, social and cultural situations. Fulfills diversity in the U.S. requirement (1998). Sociocultural engagement requirement (2019).

SOAN 267.  Race and Gender in Media Focus.  4.  

This course will examine the mass media as a social institution that reinforces the perception and construction of race and gender in contemporary American society. The class will discuss race and gender as socially constructed identities that can be internalized through interaction with media products. Fulfills diversity in the U.S. requirement (1998). Sociocultural engagement requirement (2019).

SOAN 290.  Internship.  1-8.  

Supervised and reported experience in social agencies, organizations or related institutional services. May also be offered at the 390 level.

SOAN 313.  Sociology of Sex and Gender.  4.  

Explores the social construction of masculinity and femininity within specific socio-historical contexts, with emphasis on identity formation and structural discrimination. The social organization of sexuality and gender relations within institutions such as the family, labor force and health care are also explored.

Prerequiste: SOAN 100.
SOAN 321.  Development Anthropology.  4.  

Comparative study of planned and unplanned development, particularly as it affects rural and traditional societies. Emphasis upon the intersection of capital and technological changes and inequalities predicated on ethnicity, class and gender.

Prerequiste: SOAN 103.
SOAN 322.  Environmental Anthropology.  4.  

Introduces environmental anthropology and examines human-environment relations and the social construction of nature in cross-cultural perspective. Explores “traditional environmental knowledge” and the relationship between indigenous peoples and environmentalism.

Prerequiste: SOAN 103 or instructor permission. Fulfills social justice/environmental responsibility requirement (1998). Evaluating systems and environments requirement (2019).
SOAN 323.  Gender Health and Illness.  4.  

This course uses a sociological perspective to analyze the relationship between the U.S. medical system and socially constructed ideas about gender for medical knowledge and for men’s and women’s experiences with health and illness. A variety of topics will be analyzed such as obesity, menstruation, erectile dysfunction, and pregnancy and birth.

Prerequiste: SOAN 100 or instructor permission.
SOAN 331.  Latinx Migration Patterns.  4.  

Explores the historical roots and the current economic and political forces, both local and global, that stimulate contemporary out-migration, return and “revolving-door” migration between selected Latin American countries and the U.S., within the larger context of U.S.-Latin America relations.

Prerequiste: any SOAN course or instructor's permission. Fulfills diversity in the U.S. requirement (1998). Sociocultural engagement requirement (2019).
SOAN 337.  Social Research Methods.  4.  

Trains students in the rigorous use of sociological and anthropological methodologies to investigate the social world. Students will learn to use documents, artifacts, social practices, quantitative reasoning and the scientific process as relevant sources of research questions and tools for research design and implementation.

Prerequiste: Historical Perspectives, Quantitative Literacy, SOAN 100, SOAN 103 and one 200-level SOAN course.
SOAN 342.  Social Theory.  4.  

Provides an overview of major 19th and 20th century social theories with special attention to their assumptions and their treatment of core sociological and anthropological concerns and questions. Students will analyze how time periods influence the creation of social theories as well as the theories’ practical relevance.

Prerequiste: Historical Perspectives, SOAN 100, SOAN 103 and one 200-level SOAN course.
SOAN 350.  Special Topics.  8.  
SOAN 358.  African Cultures in Film.  4.  

Survey of traditional culture patterns in Africa south of the Sahara; examination of the processes of change in contemporary Africa. Profiles of African cultures as seen by anthropologists and African writers.

Prerequiste: SOAN 100 or SOAN 103. Fulfills intercultural requirement (1998). Sociocultural engagement requirement (2019).
SOAN 360.  Independent Study.  1-8.  
SOAN 362.  Popular Culture and Media Studies.  4.  

Explores sociological theories and methods used to study popular culture and media products in relation to broader social patterns in the contemporary United States. The course includes examination of the content of popular culture products, the significance of the institutional environments of production, and patterns of audience consumption and interpretation.

Prerequiste: SOAN 100.
SOAN 390.  Internship.  1-8.  
SOAN 416.  Gender and Sociology of the Body.  4.  

This course examines feminist and sociological debates about gender and the body through a variety of topics to analyze whose bodies receive more cultural, political, media and medical attention, and why. Social contexts will be examined to discuss how and why women’s bodies are defined as different than men’s, as well as the implications for men’s and women’s daily lives. Gender equality and social change are discussed at the individual, structural and cultural levels.

Prerequiste: SOAN 337 and SOAN 342, or instructor permission.
SOAN 425.  Latin American Politics.  4.  

This political sociology course will analyze the central role of social movements in the political democratization of Latin America. The central goal is to understand how social unrest and upheaval, organized and active civil societies, grassroots organizations, formal political opposition and several armed movements have pressured authoritarian political systems into processes of democratization.

Prerequiste: SOAN 337 and SOAN 342, or instructor permission. Fulfills intercultural requirement (1998). Sociocultural engagement requirement (2019).
SOAN 430.  Inequality in Latin America.  4.  

Analyzes power relationships and economic inequality in Latin America and examines the way rural and urban populations in the region cope with poverty and exclusion. The course also explores ethnic and gender relations as expressions of status inequality and the effects of global processes on patterns of stratification in the area.

Prerequiste: SOAN 100, or instructor permission.
SOAN 432.  Women of Color in the United States.  4.  

Examines the consequences of intersecting social systems of race and gender, with a focus on women of color in the United States. Guiding topics include the impact of structural context and individual agency on the shaping of gendered racial identities, experiences and social interactions. Issues of power, privilege, inequality and exclusion in feminist and anti-racist social action will also be explored.

Prerequiste: Enrollment limited to SOAN majors who have taken SOAN 337 and SOAN 342 or instructor permission. Fulfills diversity in the U.S. requirement (1998). Sociocultural engagement requirement (2019).
SOAN 450.  Special Topics.  1-8.  
SOAN 470.  Senior Thesis.  1-8.  
SOAN 490.  Departmental Honors.  4.  

Honors and credit for grade of B or above; credit only for grade less than B. Prerequisite or corequisite: SOAN 470.