Sociology

Professor Valocchi, Chair; Dean and Director of the Center for Urban and Global Studies and Paul E. Raether Distinguished Professor of Global Urban Studies and Sociology Chen; Associate Professor Williams; Visiting Professor Doane; Visiting Associate Professor Miceli; Visiting Assistant Professor Andersson; Visiting Lecturer Tiamzon

The sociology major—Students are required to take 11 courses in sociology, including SOCL 101, 201, 202, 210, 410, or 420, and at least three courses at the 300 level. Students are encouraged to take SOCL 201. Research Methods prior to taking SOCL 210. Social Statistics. These courses must add up to at least 11.0 credit hours. It is recommended that sociology majors take SOCL 101, 201, 202, and 210 as early in the major as possible. Students who qualify and choose to write a two-credit honors thesis (see below) are exempted from taking 410 or 420, the senior seminar requirement. SOCL 201, 202, 210, and 300-level courses must be taken at Trinity College. A grade of at least a C- must be earned in each course that is to count toward the major. Senior thesis credit counts as two elective courses for the major.

Course credit transfers from other institutions—Permission to receive credit toward the major for courses taken at other higher education institutions must be approved in advance by the Sociology Department chair. Petitioners for transfer of credit must submit to the chair the name of the institution and course number, title, and catalog description before formal permission is granted. Upon approval, a maximum of two sociology courses shall count toward the sociology major (all required courses must be taken at Trinity with the exception of SOCL 101; these include SOCL 201, 202, 210, 410 and three 300-level courses).

Study away—A period of study away can enrich students’ knowledge of sociology by exposing them to the diversity and complexity of human interaction. Therefore, majors are strongly encouraged to incorporate into their studies international or domestic study away. While there are many general programs of study away for Trinity students, sociology majors have regularly participated in the programs listed below:

For additional guidance on study-away options for sociology majors, please see the department’s study-away liaison, Professor Johnny Williams.

Honors—In order to be granted honors in sociology, a student must attain a college average of at least B and an average of at least B+ in sociology courses and write a two-credit senior thesis that earns the grade of A- or better (only candidates for honors are eligible to write a thesis). Students who hope to attain honors should consult with their advisers during the spring semester of their junior year. Students who write a thesis are exempted from taking 410 or 420, the senior seminar.

Fall Term

101. Principles of Sociology— The course will deal with questions such as these: What are the underlying causes of our major social problems? Are inequality and the exercise of power by some over others inevitable in all social life? How important in human life are cultural and social factors compared to the influence of biological inheritance, personality and economic constraints? What are the origins of, prospects for, and results of attempts at deliberate social change? To what extent can we realistically expect to achieve our democratic ideals of freedom and equality in contemporary societies? The course addresses the basic concerns, ideas and methods of sociology both as a scientific and a humanistic discipline. (SOC) (Enrollment limited) –Simon, Tiamzon

202. Classical and Contemporary Theory— Critical examination of the major theoretical perspectives current in sociology (structure functionalism, interactionism, conflict theory, exchange theory, and ethnomethodology) and consideration of their implications for core problems: such as social order and social change that concern all sociologists. Also, emphasis upon the methods of theory construction, the relationship between theory and research, and the significance of the classic (e.g., Durkheim’s Suicide) for sociologists now. Prerequisite: C- or better in a prior Sociology course or permission of instructor. (SOC) (Enrollment limited) –Miceli

210. Statistics for the Social Sciences— This course is an introduction to statistical methods, their conceptual underpinnings, and their use in analyzing social science data. Topics include basic presentation and graphing of data, descriptive statistics, probability theory, the normal distribution, one and two sample t-tests and tests of proportions, confidence intervals and hypothesis testing, chi-square tests, and an introduction to linear regression. The course will emphasize the logic and practice of statistical analysis as it applies to the social sciences. Students will also learn to carry out basic statistical analysis with the aid of computer software. This course is intended for students who want a practical introduction to statistical methods and who plan to major in a social science. Prerequisite: C- or better in a prior Sociology course or permission of instructor. (NUM) (Enrollment limited) –Andersson

[214. Racism]— A cross-national comparison of racial and ethnic differences as sources of conflict and inequality within and between societies. We will also consider the role of race and ethnicity as a basis for group and national solidarity. Topics will include the persistence of ethnic and racial loyalties in regard to language, marital choice, and politics; a comparison of social mobility patterns among various ethnic and racial groups; ethnicity and race as reactionary or revolutionary ideologies; and the issues and facts regarding assimilation and pluralism in different societies. (SOC) (Enrollment limited)

227. From Hartford to World Cities: Comparative Urban Dynamics— The 21st century is truly a global urban age characterized by the simultaneous decline and revival of post-industrial cities in the United States and the co-existence of boom and poverty in the rapidly industrializing cities in developing countries, as well as by how globalization is exerting a growing impact on urban places and processes everywhere. This course adopts an integrated and comparative approach to studying the local and global characteristics, conditions, and consequences of the growth and transformation of cities and communities. Using Hartford—Trinity’s hometown—as a point or place of departure, the course takes students to a set of world or global cities outside the United States, especially a few dynamic mega-cities in developing countries to explore the differences and surprising similarities among them. (GLB5) (Enrollment limited) –Chen

[246. Sociology of Gender]— Sex and gender are used as principles of social organization in all known societies. This course surveys research in the sociological study of gender with the goal of providing students with a theoretical grounding for analyzing gender from a sociological perspective. We will explore how our lives and the world around us are shaped by gender and how gender has been constructed over time. We will further examine how sociological research on gender helps us to understand power and inequality at various levels institutional, organizational, and interactional—by examining various topics such as gender socialization, reproduction, education, work, and violence. We will also pay attention to how gender reinforces and builds upon other areas of inequality such as social class, race, ethnicity, and age. (SOC) (Enrollment limited)

260. Sexual Diversity and Society— Sexuality has often been considered to be a natural, biological instinct-a drive that is fueled by hormones, genes or deep psychic impulses. During the last twenty years, however, scholars (including sociologists) have challenged this view of sexuality. Instead, they argue that how we organize our sexuality-our desires, ideas, value systems, practices and identities-are profoundly shaped by social and cultural influences. Although this course focuses on the social construction of homosexuality, we will also examine the many ways that normative as well as nonnormative sexualities are socially constructed. We will also examine the many ways that the social construction of sexuality is informed by class, gender, race and ethnicity. Using materials from sociology and from the many other disciplines that are working in the areas of lesbian and gay studies and queer theory, we will explore the impact that history, economics, social structure and cultural logics have had on sexual behaviors, identities, and belief systems. Enrollment limited. (SOC) (Enrollment limited) –Valocchi

[312. Social Class and Mobility]— This course is an introduction to the theory and research on stratification and mobility in modern societies. Every society distributes resources unequally. This distribution affects not only economic outcomes such as wages, profits, and material well being, but also social and political outcomes such as protest, voting behavior, and self-esteem. This course will explore why this occurs, the types of inequalities that exist, and the consequences of inequality for the distribution of power and for democratic processes in American society. Specific topics include class, occupational, race and gender inequalities, and the social, psychological, and cultural consequences of inequality. Prerequisite: C- or better in a prior Sociology course or permission of the instructor. This course is not open to first-year students. (SOC) (Enrollment limited)

316. Global Gender Inequalities— This course broadly addresses women’s low status and power worldwide. Topics include issues such as son preference, gendered violence, maternal health and reproductive rights, sexual rights, work and household labor, globalization, politics, human rights, and women’s global activism. Utilizing a transnational sociological feminist perspective, students learn how gender inequality intersects with not only culture but also nationalism, racism, and economic injustice in various countries and regions of the world (Southeast Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and South America). At several key points, students engage in critical comparison between examples of gender oppression and exploitation observed in both the United States and other societies (i.e., gendered violence), which reveal a false binary in the discourse of progress often drawn between “us” and “them.” (GLB5) (Enrollment limited) –Andersson

322. The Sociology of Food— The way we experience food—what we eat, where it comes from, how we eat, who we eat with, why we eat what we do—is social and cultural. This course will introduce and utilize some key cultural perspectives in sociology to help us address these questions about the food/society relationship. In particular we will focus on the development of tastes, the construction of good’ and bad’ food’, the role of food in identity, and the global food system. Our approach will be both theoretical and empirical as we investigate social meanings, practices, and structural conditions surrounding the food/society relationship. As part of the course, students will conduct their own research. Prerequisite: C- or better in Sociology 101 or permission of instructor (SOC) (Enrollment limited) –Tiamzon

336. Race, Racism, and Democracy— This course is designed to explore various efforts to reconcile ideals of equality with persistent and perpetual forms of racial oppression. By examining the history and culture of the U.S. and other democratic societies, this course analyzes the central paradox that emerges when societies maintain racial inequality but articulate principles of equality, freedom, and justice for all. Hence we will examine the differences between what people say and what they actually do, and how congruencies and incongruencies between the structure of institutions and culture force one to distinguish myth from reality. This is done so that students can better understand how the structure and process of politics govern the everyday lives of oppressed racial groups in capitalist democracies. Prerequisite: C- or better in a prior Sociology course or permission of the instructor. This course is not open to first-year students. (GLB5) (Enrollment limited) –Doane Jr.

[342. Sociology of Religion]— An examination of the significance of religion for social life, using major sociological theories of religion, supplemented by material from anthropology and psychology. The course focuses on how religious beliefs and practices shape the world views and behavior of humans and influence the development of social structure. The following topics are examined: the origins of religion, magic and science, rituals, religion and the economy, women and religion, and religions of Africans in diaspora. Prerequisite: C- or better in a prior Sociology course or permission of the instructor. This course is not open to first-year students. (SOC) (Enrollment limited)

[355. Reproduction, Birth, and Power]— This course examines topics related to reproductive practices, experiences, and ideologies through current, historical, and cross-cultural lenses. Through our study of specific topics such as contraception, prenatal testing, assisted reproductive technologies, and women’s pregnancy and birth experiences, we will explore the constructed and contested meanings surrounding womanhood, motherhood, sexuality, reproductive freedom, and eugenics. We will pay attention to how the construction of and struggle over these issues are indicators of the status of women in society and have profound effects on women’s lives and bodies. This course has a community learning component. This course has a community learning component. Prerequisite: C- or better in a prior Sociology course or permission of instructor. (SOC) (Enrollment limited)

399. Independent Study— Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the instructor and chairperson are required for enrollment. (1 - 2 course credits) –Staff

466. Teaching Assistantship— Credit does not count toward the major. Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the instructor and chairperson are required for enrollment. (0.5 - 1 course credit) –Staff

490. Research Assistantship— From time to time the opportunity exists for students to assist professors in their research. Hours and duties will be determined on the basis of project needs and student interests. Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the instructor and chairperson are required for enrollment. (0.5 - 1 course credit) –Staff

498. Senior Thesis Part 1— Written report on original research project. Students should consult with the faculty supervisor before registration, i.e., during the previous spring term. Required of all candidates for honors; elective for others. Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the instructor and chairperson are required for each semester of this year (2 course credits) (WEB) –Staff

Spring Term

101. Principles of Sociology— The course will deal with questions such as these: What are the underlying causes of our major social problems? Are inequality and the exercise of power by some over others inevitable in all social life? How important in human life are cultural and social factors compared to the influence of biological inheritance, personality and economic constraints? What are the origins of, prospects for, and results of attempts at deliberate social change? To what extent can we realistically expect to achieve our democratic ideals of freedom and equality in contemporary societies? The course addresses the basic concerns, ideas and methods of sociology both as a scientific and a humanistic discipline. (SOC) (Enrollment limited) –Andersson, Tiamzon, Williams

201. Research Methods in the Social Sciences— An introduction to social sciences inquiry, stressing what is common as well as what is different in the techniques and procedures employed in the different disciplines. The course seeks to develop the student’s skill in designing original research and in evaluating the significance of already published research findings. Topics include: the interdependence of theory and research; ways of formulating research problems and hypotheses; the variety of research designs (introducing the ideas of statistical as well as experimental control); and an overview of the major procedures of instrument construction, measurement, data collection, sampling, and data analysis. Required laboratory sessions offer experience in each step of the research process. Prerequisite: C- or better in Sociology 210 or Mathematics 107, Mathematics 207, or permission of instructor. (1.25 course credits) (NUM) (Enrollment limited) –Tiamzon

[222. Sociology of Iran: Society, Culture and Politics]— This course will provide students with a sociological understanding of modern Iranian Society and culture with particular attention to post-revolutionary Iran. The class starts with a brief section on the social and cultural history of modern Iran and we will study important scholarly works on the Iranian Revolution of 1979. We will then focus on political and cultural issues in post-revolutionary Iran under the Islamic Republic. We will examine the social and cultural changes taking place in Iran over the past three decades. Some areas we will examine are: consumption and lifestyle; youth and underground culture; love and sexual experiences; public and private sphere; new and old religiosity; leisure time and secularization of time; and Iranian Cinema. (GLB5) (Enrollment limited)

241. Mass Media, Popular Culture, and Social Reality— This course examines the integral role mass communication has in social and cultural life. Specifically, it explores how we identify and construct our social identity using media images. This is accomplished by focusing on different types of media content and their effect on individuals and culture, as well as by examining audience response to media content. Other topics covered include the social and economic organization of mass media, development of communication technologies, and sexist and racist stereotypes in the media. Prerequisite: C- or better in a prior Sociology course or permission of instructor. (SOC) (Enrollment limited) –Williams

246. Sociology of Gender— Sex and gender are used as principles of social organization in all known societies. This course surveys research in the sociological study of gender with the goal of providing students with a theoretical grounding for analyzing gender from a sociological perspective. We will explore how our lives and the world around us are shaped by gender and how gender has been constructed over time. We will further examine how sociological research on gender helps us to understand power and inequality at various levels institutional, organizational, and interactional—by examining various topics such as gender socialization, reproduction, education, work, and violence. We will also pay attention to how gender reinforces and builds upon other areas of inequality such as social class, race, ethnicity, and age. (SOC) (Enrollment limited) –Andersson

[250. Urban Sociology]— This course will trace the modern city from its roots in the industrial revolution through the current urban transformations brought about by advanced capitalism and globalization. The course will ask why cities are organized the way they are and how their organization affects social conditions and opportunities. Among the factors shaping cities, this course will explore the effects of economic change, immigration, and public policy on the social organization and built environment of cities. With respect to their social consequences, the course will examine, among other issues, economic inequality, racial stratification, community formation, poverty, and urban social movements. It will inquire into how the city is both a contributor to and a container for these social structures and processes. (Enrollment limited)

[272. Social Movements]— The sociological study of social movements concentrates on collective action by groups that use institutionalized and non-institutionalized action to promote or inhibit social and political change. This course, then, examines collective action as diverse as peasant rebellions against urbanization and commercialization in 18th-century France to the organized militancy of lesbians and gays in 20th-century U.S. We will read historical and sociological research that addresses the following questions: why collective action emerged, how it was organized, what its goals were and if it achieved those goals, how members were recruited and maintained, and how elites and non-elites responded to its activities. (SOC) (Enrollment limited)

312. Social Class and Mobility— This course is an introduction to the theory and research on stratification and mobility in modern societies. Every society distributes resources unequally. This distribution affects not only economic outcomes such as wages, profits, and material well being, but also social and political outcomes such as protest, voting behavior, and self-esteem. This course will explore why this occurs, the types of inequalities that exist, and the consequences of inequality for the distribution of power and for democratic processes in American society. Specific topics include class, occupational, race and gender inequalities, and the social, psychological, and cultural consequences of inequality. Prerequisite: C- or better in a prior Sociology course or permission of the instructor. This course is not open to first-year students. (SOC) (Enrollment limited) –Valocchi

[316. Global Gender Inequalities]— This course broadly addresses women’s low status and power worldwide. Topics include issues such as son preference, gendered violence, maternal health and reproductive rights, sexual rights, work and household labor, globalization, politics, human rights, and women’s global activism. Utilizing a transnational sociological feminist perspective, students learn how gender inequality intersects with not only culture but also nationalism, racism, and economic injustice in various countries and regions of the world (Southeast Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and South America). At several key points, students engage in critical comparison between examples of gender oppression and exploitation observed in both the United States and other societies (i.e., gendered violence), which reveal a false binary in the discourse of progress often drawn between “us” and “them.” (GLB5) (Enrollment limited)

[324. Sociological Perspectives of the American Civil Rights Movement]— This course will examine the development of the American Civil Rights Movement from roughly the World War II period through the beginning of the Black Power era in the mid-to-late 1960’s, treating that history as a case study in the problematics of deliberate social change. We will emphasize the kinds of questions most typically asked by sociologists, examine the various waves of scholarship on the movement generated by sociologists, and explore the implications of their findings produced about the movement for American popular culture and intellectual thought. We will also pay close attention to the interplay of ideology and program within the movement, the consequences of organizational structure, and the movement’s political and economic consequences. Prerequisite: C- or better in a prior Sociology course or permission of the instructor. This course is not open to first-year students. (SOC) (Enrollment limited)

[328. Sociological Perspectives on Health and Gender]— Gender issues influence both the way in which health is defined and the way health care delivery systems are organized and financed. The changing status of women has important consequences for public policy as well as private practice. Using a sociological perspective which incorporates historical material, the course will focus on: the social and historical context in which health is defined, race and class inequities in access to health services, gender issues in the professions, and the influence of the women’s movement in creating alternative health care systems. Students will complete a CLI component in the course, which requires that they volunteer 20 hours in an organization that deals with health. This course has a community learning component. Prerequisite: C- or better in a prior Sociology course or permission of the instructor. This course is not open to first-year students. (SOC) (Enrollment limited)

351. Society, State, and Power— This course examines the sources of power and influence in Western nations. Power flows to people who command a legal, political, or institutional monopoly over valued human resources. We will examine the development of these monopolies, the organizations that perpetuate these monopolies, and the consequences that these monopolies have for our personal and political lives as well as for notions of democracy, solidarity, and freedom. In this respect, we will focus much of our attention on the institutions of state and economy in U.S. society and evaluate the different theoretical perspectives that explain how these institutions confer power on some and deny that power to others. Specific topics include power struggles around the right to representation, for control in the workplace, against racism and discrimination, and over policies to aid the poor. Prerequisite: C- or better in a prior Sociology course or permission of the instructor. This course is not open to first-year students. (SOC) (Enrollment limited) –Williams

363. The Individual and Society— An introduction to microsociology. Topics to be considered include the self and symbolic interaction, conversational analysis, rhetorical and frame analysis, and the social construction of reality. (SOC) (Enrollment limited) –Andersson

399. Independent Study— Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the instructor and chairperson are required for enrollment. (1 - 2 course credits) –Staff

410. Senior Seminar: Guided Research— This course provides a capstone to the sociology major by guiding students through the various stages of the research process. Students develop a research topic, situate that topic in the relevant substantive areas of the discipline, refocus that topic in light of past research and theoretical thinking on the topic, develop a research design best suited to the questions to be addressed, and collect and analyze data to answer those questions. In the process of this guided research, students review and assess the state of the discipline as it pertains to their particular interests, conduct literature reviews before the data collection process to focus their questions and after the data collection process to situate their specific findings in the discipline. In conjunction with the social science data specialist, students explore different methodologies to address their questions and analyze the data. This course is open only to senior Sociology majors. (WEB) (Enrollment limited) –Valocchi

466. Teaching Assistantship— Credit does not count toward the major. Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the instructor and chairperson are required for enrollment. (0.5 - 1 course credit) –Staff

490. Research Assistantship— From time to time the opportunity exists for students to assist professors in their research. Hours and duties will be determined on the basis of project needs and student interests. Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the instructor and chairperson are required for enrollment. (0.5 - 1 course credit) –Staff

499. Senior Thesis Part 2— Continuation of written report on an original research project. Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the instructor and chairperson are required for each semester of this year-long thesis. (2 course credits, considered pending in the first semester, will be awarded for completion in the second semester) (2 course credits) (WEB) –Staff