This course introduces students to the interdisciplinary field of environmental studies with a particular focus on how social scientists attempt to understand the human causes of environmental change. Sociological, psychological, anthropological, historical, economic, political, and moral perspectives are examined. Offered every year.
This course introduces students to the basic concepts, theories, and methods in sociology. It surveys such issues as: culture, socialization, family, social inequality, race and ethnicity, sexism, deviance, and social change. Offered every semester.
An interesting introduction to a topic in the field of Sociology. Offered intermittently.
An analysis of the ways in which problems come to be socially defined, understood, debated, and resolved. The course will focus on the varied processes through which problems reflect underlying social conflicts. Offered intermittently.
This course asks the question, why are humans violent? It examines different types of violence, the various theories that explain violence, and the various methods which social scientists utilize to study violence. Offered intermittently. Prerequisite: Statistical Reasoning.
This course examines the long and diverse experiences of people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent in the United States. Looking at historical and contemporary issues, we can understand how the presence of Asian Pacific Americans has affected U.S. society and what it means to be American. Offered every Fall.
Focusing on the "family values" debate and the diversity of U.S. families along lines of race, class, gender, and sexuality, the course analyzes how families have changed over time in response to the economy, government, media, feminism, and the New Right. Offered every Fall.
An introduction to the historical development and social structure of cities; their changing historical importance in the growth of social, economic, and political life; and their crucial role in the political economy of a global society. Offered intermittently.
Globalization has become a buzzword in our society. But what is globalization? In this class we will examine what it is, how it shapes our lives and where it happens by looking at both the theory and reality of globalization. Offered every year.
This course examines women's experiences in developing countries in the light of local and global inequalities and connections. Major theoretical approaches are used to understand how gender relationships shape and are shaped by development policies within national and global contexts. These approaches are illustrated by case studies in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Offered intermittently.
This course examines the history and experiences of African Americans. Looking at historical and contemporary issues, we examine key social institutions such as the media, schools and "The State" which have shaped and continue to shape the lives of Blacks in America. Offered intermittently.
This course examines the experiences of mixed race populations (mulattos, mestizos, mixed blood Native Americans, and Eurasians) in comparative perspective. Using these experiences, as well as sociological theories (assimilation, third culture, marginality, and multiculturalism), the course examines how race is a social and political construct, with tangible and material repercussions. Offered intermittently.
This course examines the social significance of gender in contemporary U.S. society. It analyzes the social construction of gender ideology and how women and men's experiences are affected by social institutions such as work, education, the family, and the criminal justice system. Men and women's differential experiences are analyzed within the context of race, class, and sexual orientation. The course demonstrates how the experiences of men and women are created through social institutions and can, therefore, be transformed through social and institutional change. Offered intermittently.
A semester-long entry into and questioning of dance's culture-making function. While we will consider concert dance, this is only one aspect of our greater research into how dance participates in national and international culture, and how various dance practices create subcultures whose values often complicate dominant modes of thought. Through readings, guest lectures, videos, discussions, participation in classes, event attendance, and a final fieldwork-driven project, we will address the notions of culture and subculture, and the imbedded themes of identity, entertainment, aesthetics, criticism, value, and lifestyle. Areas may include: ballroom, tango, capoeira, circus arts, ballet, street dance, music videos, club and drag performance, contact improvisation, Broadway musicals, film and television, and YouTube. No prior dance experience is required. Crosslisted with DANC 180. Offered intermittently.
This course features argumentation and critical writing, reading, and thinking skills as applied to analysis of texts central to the field of Sociology. Required for and restricted to Sociology majors. Fulfills Core A2 for qualified transfer students. Prerequisites: A grade of C- or better in RHET 120, RHET 130/131, RHET 195, or transfer credit in college-level composition with a grade of C- or higher. Offered every semester.
This course explores the structures, cultures, and development of contemporary societies from a sociological, comparative, and global perspective. It examines the institutional arrangements and cultural patterns which underlie class, race and gender-based global inequalities within and between different societies, emphasizing case-studies from developing countries. Offered every Fall. Prerequisite: SOC - 150 and upper-division standing; or permission of instructor.
This course will explore the institutional arrangements and cultural patterns which underlie inequalities based on race, class, gender and sexuality in American society. Offered every Spring. Prerequisite: SOC - 150 and upper-division standing; or permission of instructor .
A study of the foundations and development of sociological theory, focusing on arguments and debates that have taken place around questions of agency and structure, order and change, rationality and science, culture and ideology, and the meaning of equality, justice and liberty. Offered every semester. Prerequisite: SOC - 150 or permission of instructor.
This course stresses the comprehension and assessment of research methods in sociology. Students critically consider the logic and variety of methods that sociologists use to observe the social world by examining the most common qualitative and quantitative techniques. The focus is on assessing how well research strategies address the underlying sociological question(s), how the evidence provides tenable knowledge of social phenomena, and how the evidence can be used in developing new theories or testing the adequacy of existing theories. Offered every semester. Prerequisites: SOC - 150; MATH - 101, 102, 105, 106, or PSYC 260; or permission of instructor.
This course provides socio-historical and theoretical frameworks for understanding those U.S. populations known a Chicanos/as and Latinos/as. The course is intended for students who would like to rigorously pursue a research project that further expands their knowledge of these populations. Offered every Spring.
This course explores the U.S.-Mexico border as a place of transnational political, social, economic, and cultural interaction, conflict, and interdependence. It traces the history of the region prior to the U.S.-Mexico Wat to the creation of the present boundary, with a particular focus on contemporary boundary issues such as urbanization/migration, border social movements, border thinking and de-colonization, Chicano/Mexican tensions, and border militarization. Offered intermittently.
This course explores illness due to environmental pollution. An overview of sociological perspectives on health and illness is followed by an examination of the role of scientific knowledge and other social factors in identifying, treating, and preventing environmental illness. Offered intermittently.
This course examines the way in which human societies adapt to and change their physical environment. It studies environmental issues in their political, economic, technological, social, and cultural contexts, looking at the ways in which sociological theories and concepts can help us understand the impact of social factors on the environment. Offered intermittently.
The study of individual motives, cognitions, attitudes; the role of the individual in groups and society; behavior as influenced by social forces. Offered every semester.
This course examines diverse forms of resistance to corporate globalization from a sociological perspective. Theoretical perspectives on resistance to corporate and neo-liberal globalization will be addressed in the light of case-studies on transnational movements, world social forums, revolutions, protests and other types of action carried out both in the South and global North. This will include collective struggles for alternative forms of globalization as well as individual acts of resistance to corporate globalization and its impact on inequalities and injustices based on social class, caste, race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, and/or political views. Offered intermittently.
The problems facing inner city schools are in fact issues that are endemic to our society as a whole. With that in mind, this course will examine the relationship between the urban school and its larger social environment with special attention paid to the role of schools as agents of socialization, stratification and control in our society.
The social and cultural importance and the structure, variety, and extent of sport in modern societies. Social factors-institutions, processes, and systems-are examined in relation to sport and sport groups as subcultures. Offered intermittently.
This course is a comparative inquiry into the bases and mechanisms of racial and ethnic thinking which have been used as the criteria to create social inequality. This course looks at the epistemological ways that people have come to understand the concepts of race and ethnicity and have used those understandings to perpetuate social inequality. Offered intermittently.
Introduction to major theoretical perspectives, empirical work, and methodological issues in the sociology of popular culture: the social production of meanings and symbols (including art, music, literature), and the impact of those meanings and symbols on society. Particular focus on the role of culture in power struggles, investigating when and how dominant groups use culture to maintain their power, and when and how subordinate groups use culture as a means of political resistance.
East Asia is often mistakenly characterized as a culturally homogeneous region in popular discourse. However, this region has a long history of migration, which has been an important driving force in enriching their cultural diversity. This course examines the history and politics of internal and transnational migration in China, Korea and Japan from the 19th century to the 21st century. This course offers a comparative exploration of how migration impacts various aspects of each society, such as social inequality, ethno-racial identities, nationality and citizenship, gender and family, and political economy. This course investigates how the colonial past and globalization connect these regional powers and influence public attitudes and policies toward migration and diversity today. Offered intermittently.
This course examines how societies come to construct children and childhood through an examination of the history of childhood, kids' culture, families, schools, work, the 'traffic' in children, toys, myths and stories, and understandings of gender, race and class. Offered every Spring.
This course examines the structural and interpersonal bases of inequality, especially as they relate to differential opportunities, mobility, and power. Offered intermittently.
This course examines religion as a social phenomenon emanating from culture and influencing society; its cohesive force and potential for social change. Offered intermittently.
This course introduces students to the subject of nationalism and citizenship, one of the most fiercely contested topics in modern society. Through an examination of various theories and case studies, the historical, political, and cultural development of nationalism and citizenship will be explored in Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe. By looking at nationalism and citizenship from a more comparative perspective, an appreciation of how the subject affects political, social, and personal identity will be gained. Offered intermittently.
This course provides an overview of sociological theories and research about education in modern societies, with a particular focus on the role of schooling in reproducing and/or redressing social inequalities. Topics include: major theories of education and society; the effects of school characteristics and funding on student achievement and educational attainment; the effects of social class on student achievement; the dynamics and impact of subcultures within schools; race, class, gender, and sexuality differences in curricula, instruction, school organization, and student experience; cross-national differences in educational systems; the commercialization of schooling; education-related controversies; and educational reform movements. The course considers education at a variety of levels, from preschool to university. Offered intermittently.
This course examines the basic concepts, models, and theories used to understand large-scale social change. It uses historical and comparative analyses to look at the structural and psychological ramifications of major social changes in modern societies. Offered intermittently.
This course will examine the body as a site of contentious political struggle. Using feminist perspectives the course explores the social control function of sexual surgery, forced sterilization, reproduction and reproductive technology, and the social construction of beauty. Offered every Fall.
This course examines sexuality as a social, cultural and political issue, placing particular emphasis on the social construction of lesbian and gay identities and communities in the United States. The course will explore the relationship between heterosexual culture and minority sexual cultures and how that relationship affects various social institutions (e.g. family, education, church, politics, etc.) as well as society's response to contemporary social problems. Offered every Fall.
This course surveys the major principles and perspectives used by sociologists to explain social movements and revolution. It will examine the origins, strategies, recruitment, consequences, decline, and renewal of various social movements and revolutions, drawing on case studies from the industrialized states and the newly industrializing nations of the developing world. Offered intermittently.
Revolutions are dramatic and contested attempts to produce social change. Using various theoretical perspectives and historical case studies, this course takes a sociological view of revolutionary change in Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Offered intermittently.
This course examines some basic themes and concepts used in analyzing the relationship between society and politics. It considers various theoretical orientations to power, politics, and the state through a number of contemporary and distinctly American issues, paying particular attention to the social origins of politics, the structure of the political process, and the effects of social, economic, and cultural institutions on political life. Offered intermittently.
An examination of the causes of war, militarism, and weapons production; a study and evaluation of efforts to create lasting peace through social and political action. Offered intermittently.
This course is an introduction to major sociological approaches to law and society. Theoretical perspectives are used to examine how the social structure shapes and is shaped by the creation and operation of law, including case studies of antidiscrimination law in the United States and other topics (such as immigration and international human rights) that illustrate the challenges facing law in the context of global capitalism. Offered every Spring.
This course will examine the major theoretical perspectives on deviance, social control, and the consequences of violating normative behavior. The course emphasizes the role of power in the construction and contestation of deviance. Offered intermittently.
The course examines the historical events that gave rise to a separate system for juveniles and to the development of the concept of delinquency. It focuses on the causes of delinquency and explores some of the empirical problems related to treatment and control of juveniles in the United States. Offered intermittently.
This course is designed to introduce students to the field of criminology, including major theories of crime causation, the making of criminal law and punishment, as well as different types of crime and how they are dealt with in the United States. Students will also learn about recent trends in U.S. crime rates and the functioning of the criminal justice system, with a particular focus on the impact of race, class, and gender. Students will critically analyze criminal justice policies that have been implemented to deal with crime, such as the death penalty, the three strikes law, and mass incarceration. Offered every semester.
Cities around the world are becoming increasingly important as locations for capital accumulation, population movement, employment and cultural formations. They are also places of spatial contestation while producing challenges to sustainability and the built environment. By 2030 all developing regions, including Asia and Africa, will have more people living in urban than rural areas. This course examines many of the critical issues that are making cities important centers of human settlement. Likewise, it will focus on theoretical approaches to globalizing cities and their future. Offered intermittently.
This course provides socio-historical approaches to contemporary Brazilian culture and society from a race, class, and gender/sexuality perspective. Case-studies of popular/political cultures, social movements, inequalities and identities illustrate major developments in Brazilian culture and society within the context of democratization and globalization. Offered intermittently.
This course explores the forty year culture of
hip-hop, which started as Bronx neighborhood jams, and has become a
multi-billion dollar business as well as a global “underground” network of
This course is a study of the role of credit, credit cards, and debt in society and how they influence patterns of social, personal and financial relations. It also explores the world of fringe financial services. Most importantly, it examines the intersections of credit and debt in the life of students and the meaning of credit worthiness. Offered intermittently.
This course examines how environmental goods like clean air and water and environmental bads like hazardous waste and industrial pollution come to be unequally distributed in societies, often along lines of race, class, and gender. Offered intermittently.
This course focuses on special topics and issues in sociology. Offered intermittently.
Drawing upon student internships in social change organizations and readings that address community organizing, this course provides an opportunity to learn how to become an effective agent of social change. The course culminates with student-led social change projects. Offered intermittently.
This course combines 90-100 hours of volunteer or internship work in the San Francisco Bay Area; reading-based discussion of fieldwork research techniques, ethics, and writing; and classroom workshop discussions of students' projects. Requirements include weekly class meetings; extensive written field notes; class presentations; commentaries on other students' projects; literature review; and a final paper. It is highly recommended that students take SOC 308, Research Methods, before enrolling in this course.
Written permission of instructor, department chair, and dean is required. Offered intermittently.
Written permission of instructor, department chair, and dean is required. Offered intermittently.
The Senior Honors Thesis is an original written work whose topic, elected by the student, is considered the capstone of his/her academic education. The thesis provides an occasion of a creative overview and synthesis of the student's work across the major and allows the student an opportunity to fully exercise her or his independent research and writing skills in an area of sociology. The Honors Thesis Workshop provides a supportive context for researching and writing a thesis. The seminar is open to seniors who have at least a 3.5 grade point average and who meet other requirements for admission as established by instructor. Course may be used as an electuve for the Sociology major. Offered every semester. Prerequisites; SOC 306, SOC 308, upper-division standing, and permission of instructor.
This course provides students with an opportunity to engage in focused study on a thematic topic using theoretical readings, primary and secondary social research, and by working with a social-justice oriented organization. Required for senior Sociology majors. Prerequisites: SOC 306, SOC 308, and upper-division standing; or by permission of instructor.