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Haverford College

Course Catalog

Sociology: 2007-2008

DescriptionFacultyMajor RequirementsMinor RequirementsCoursesMagill Library Sociology Internet Links


Sociology courses help students learn how to “do sociology” by exposing them to exemplars of what sociology has been and by asking them to study micro- and macro-aspects of the “social world.” We believe that there are a variety of legitimate ways to “do sociology” and we do not seek to privilege any one of them. Our individual courses construct arguments for students to consider, to develop, and to argue against and they provide the analytical and methodological training students need to formulate theoretical arguments and to evaluate those arguments empirically. We want an active engagement from our students as they find their
own points-of-view within the discipline, and we expect from them a theoretical and methodological rigor and sophistication within the approaches that they study and adopt.

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Professor Mark Gould, Chair
Assistant Professor Suava Zbierski-Salameh
Associate Professor William F. Hohenstein, Emeritus

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Major Requirements

A total of at least eleven courses, including 155a and 155b (two semesters of Foundations in Social Theory); 215a, Economics 203, or the equivalent (quantitive methods, statistics); 450a and 450b (senior thesis); plus 6 additional courses in sociology. Students should consult their advisor about the possibility of receiving major credit for sociology courses taken at other campuses, including, but not limited to, Bryn Mawr, Swarthmore, and the University of Pennsylvania. Such credit will normally be granted if the courses enhance the integrity of a program grounded in the Haverford curriculum.

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Minor Requirements

A total of at least six courses, including 155a and 155b (Foundations in Social Theory); 215a (Quantitative Methods, or the equivalent), plus at least three 200 and/or 300-level courses in the department. No more than four courses may be taken with a single professor.

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  • 101 Sociology and Philosophy SO
    An examination of the relationships between normative and empirical theory, focusing on the contribution of empirical theory to the resolution of normative questions. Offered occasionally.
  • 155 Foundations in Social Theory SO
    M.Gould, Staff
    An examination of classical and Marxian sociological theory as an exemplification of how we might do sociology today. Students may take either semester for credit, but majors must take both semesters of the course. 155a focuses on social structure, emphasizing the work of Marx and Weber. 155b deals primarily with the interrelationships between social structure, personality and culture, focusing on the work of Durkheim, Freud, Mead, and Piaget. There is some variation between different sections of the course.
  • 207 Internal Disorder: Deviance and Revolution SO
    Theories of deviance and revolution. Offered occasionally.
  • 215 Quantitative Methods SO/QU
    An introduction to the use of statistics in sociological research. Prerequisite: Sociology 155 a or b or permission of instructor.
  • 225 Comparative Transitions to Capitalism: Post-Socialist Societies, China, and Latin America SO (Cross-listed in Latin American and Iberian Studies)
    An analysis of post-socialist transformations in Eastern European societies after the 1989 negotiated revolutions. A comparison of the rise of capitalism in Eastern Europe with contemporary changes in economic and political structures in socialist China and in selected Latin American societies. (Satisfies the social justice requirement.)
  • 233 Topics in Sociology SO
    M.Gould, Staff
    Prerequisite: Sociology 155 a or b or permission of instructor.
  • 235 Class, Race, and Education SO (Cross-listed in African and Africana Studies and Peace and Conflict Studies)
    An examination of the effects of class and race on educational and occupational outcomes, emphasizing the contemporary United States. (Satisfies the social justice requirement.)
  • 237 Topics in Historical Sociology SO
  • 245 East European Societies and Politics: Continuity and Change SO
    An examination of East European societies in three periods-the presocialist, the state socialist, and the transition eras. Special attention is given to state/society relations, to patterns of control and resistance, and to the exogenous causes of the state socialist disintegration. An examination of the transition period-the nature of the social, political, and economic changes underway in the region, and possible historical parallels with the presocialist period. Typically offered in alternate years.
  • 252 Social Change SO
    Prerequisite: Sociology 155a or b, or consent of instructor. (Satisfies the social justice requirement.)
  • 255 Global Capitalism at the End of the 20th Century: Capitalism without Capitalists SO
    The course will examine the emergence of new forms of capitalism in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. It will explore how societies building capitalism in the contemporary period differ from the originators of capitalist development and how this late development affects the integration of the new capitalist economies into the global economy. The course will have a dialogue format; it will include a series of on-campus discussions with intellectuals and activists from both the United States and Eastern Europe. These colloquies will include theoretical analyses of the new forms of capitalism and an examination of how the global economy impinges on people as capitalism emerges. (Satisfies the social justice requirement.)
  • 265 Peasants and Agrarian Transformations: Rural Backgrounds to Modernity SO
    An examination of the centrality of peasants in social transformations into modernity and their continued role in the reproduction of modernity-capitalism in the West and socialism and postsocialism in the east. The revolutionary potential of the peasantry and tradition.
  • 275 Sociology of Formal Organizations SO
    An exploration of organizations from the inside and of the relationship between organizations and their social environments, both domestic and international. Prerequisite: Sociology 155a or b or consent of the instructor Typically offered in alternate years.
  • 277 Political Sociology SO
    M.Gould, S.Zbierski-Salameh
    An introduction to the study of political systems and the interrelationships between the polity and other societal subsystems. Typically offered in alternate years.
  • 297 Economic Sociology SO (Cross-listed in Economics)
    The sociological analysis of economic systems and the sociological reconstruction of microeconomic theory. Prerequisite: Sociology 155a or b, Econ 101, or consent of the instructor. Typically offered in alternate years.
  • 298 Law and Sociology SO
    An examination of the jurisprudential consequences derived from the sociological reconstruction of microeconomic and philosophical theories. Topic for Spring, 2008: Islamic Constitutionalism. Typically offered in alternate years.
  • 354 Sociology of Knowledge SO
    Prerequisite: Sociology 155 a or b or consent of instructor.
  • 356 Seminar in Social Theory SO
    M.Gould, Staff
    Prerequisite: Sociology 155 a or b.
  • 450 Senior Departmental Studies SO
    M.Gould, Staff
    Thesis work, two semesters required of majors in their senior year.
  • 460 Teaching Assistance SO
    M.Gould, Staff
    Students may act as assistants in certain courses that they themselves have already completed. Responsibilities may include the opportunity to lead discussions, informal teaching assistance, a short list of advanced reading and a paper on an agreed topic.
  • 480 Independent Study SO
    M.Gould, Staff
    Research papers and reading courses on special topics related to the individual interests of advanced students Prerequisite: The instructor's approval of a research or reading proposal.

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