Fall 2020 Courses

A&S 265 Sociology of Sport

A&S 301 Social Welfare Policy and the Safety Net

Descriptions for courses that I regularly teach at Lafayette College:

A&S 103 Introduction to Sociology

This course takes a social scientific approach to the study of society, human social relationships, and social institutions. Its purpose is to introduce the basic concepts, theoretical orientations, and methods of the sociological perspective. Topic areas include socialization, culture, deviance, the family, the media, and social inequality. [SS]

A&S 217 Poverty in America

This course considers the nature, causes, and consequences of poverty in the United States, primarily from a sociological perspective. It examines the measurement, scope, demographics, and dynamics of poverty in the U.S., as well as factors closely connected to poverty, such as low-wage work, neighborhood, family structure, education, violence, and crime. In this course, the experiences of the urban poor will be of particular interest. [GM1, SS] Prerequisites: A&S 102 or 103, or permission of instructor.

A&S 220 Who Gets What and Why

This course uses sociological perspectives to examine the nature and mechanisms of social inequality, primarily in the United States context. Specific topics may include distributions of income, wealth, and political power; discrimination in the work place and economy; disparities in health and educational outcomes; and systemic inequities in the criminal justice system. Special attention will be paid to race, class, and gender inequality, and how systems of power intersect to disadvantage (or privilege) certain groups. [GM1, SS] Prerequisite: A&S 102 or 103, or permission of instructor.

A&S 227 The Family

The family is the most universal of all institutionalized human groups and yet, in our own society, seems fragile and unstable. A primary theme throughout the course is in the changing forms and functions of the family with emphasis on contemporary society. Consideration will be given to class, ethnic and life-style variations in family form. [SS] Prerequisite: A&S 102 or 103, or permission of instructor.

A&S 229 Sociology of Sex and Gender

This course examines theoretical and empirical approaches to the sociology of sex and gender, focusing primarily on women’s and men’s experiences in contemporary American society. We will explore the ways that gender intersects with race, ethnicity, social class, and sexuality and pay special attention to how major institutions in society—such as education, the media, the workplace, and the family—are pivotal sites for the maintenance and reproduction of gender roles, differentiation, and inequities. [W, GM1, SS] Prerequisite: A&S 102 or 103, or permission of instructor.

A&S 265 Sociology of Sport

This course investigates organized sport as an institution and cultural phenomenon from a sociological perspective. Through such critical study, students will gain a greater understanding of American culture, social inequality, and societal institutions. Much of the course focuses on race, class, and gender and how sports both reflect and perpetuate status inequities. We also explore relationships among sports and education, politics, and adolescent culture and delve into social problems in contemporary sports (e.g., doping). [SS] Prerequisite: A&S 102 or 103, or permission of instructor.

A&S 301 Social Welfare Policy and the Safety Net

The term “safety net” commonly refers to a range of public and non-governmental programs and policies aimed at alleviating poverty or protecting individuals and families from experiencing distress and hardship. This course uses a sociological perspective to examine the development, nature, and implications of social welfare policies and programs in the United States. [W, GM1, SS] Prerequisite: A&S 102, A&S 103, or permission of instructor.

A&S 342 Theories of Society

This upper-level course provides an intensive grounding in a broad range of anthropological and sociological theory. The course addresses the development of social theory since the 19th century. Over the course of the semester, students will explore the limitations and uses of different social theories, applying what they are learning as they pursue an extended research project in consultation with the instructors. The course serves as a capstone and is required of all majors. [W] Prerequisite: A&S 102 or 103, or permission of instructor(s).