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Haverford College

Course Catalog

Sociology: 2009-2010

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 Lisa McCormick
Assistant Professor Anat Yom-Tov
Visiting Associate Professor Victor Lidz
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 (quantitative 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. Normally, such credit will 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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  • 110 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, L.McCormick
    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
    Topic for Fall, 2009: The Iranian Revolution. Offered occasionally.

    215 Quantitative Methods SO/QU
    An introduction to the use of statistics in sociological research. Prerequisite: Socl 155 a or b or permission of instructor.

    233 Topics in Sociology SO
    Prerequisite: Socl 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.

    237 Topics in Historical Sociology SO

    244 Self and Society SO
    An examination of the historical, cultural, embodied, and interactional contexts in which selfhood is defined, experienced, and enacted. Particular emphasis on the perspectives of symbolic interactionism, social constructionism, and ethnomethodology to analyze the processes and settings in which selfhood is constituted, disrupted, and transformed. Typically offered in alternate years.

    252 Social Change SO
    Prerequisite: Sociology 155a or b, or consent of instructor.
    257 Sociology of the Arts SO
    An introduction to sociological perspectives on the arts. Topics include the relationship between art and social structure, the social sources of aesthetic meaning, the social consequences of artistic classifications and representations, the use of art to construct and undermine social boundaries, the social relations of creating, producing, evaluating, and consuming art, the functions of art in everyday life, and the potential for art to promote social change. Typically offered in alternate years.

    275 Sociology of Formal Organizations SO
    This course is aimed as an introduction to classical and contemporary sociological research on organizations. Prerequisite: Soc 155a or b or consent of the instructor Typically offered in alternate years.

    277 Political Sociology SO
    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: Soc 155a or b, Econ 105, 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, 2010: Islamic Constitutionalism. Typically offered in alternate years.

    356 Seminar in Social Theory SO
    M.Gould, Staff
    Prerequisite: Socl 155 a or b.

    450 Senior Departmental Studies SO
    M.Gould, L.McCormick, A.Yom-Tov
    Thesis work, two semesters required of majors in their senior year.

    460 Teaching Assistance SO
    M.Gould, L.McCormick, A.Yom-Tov
    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, L.McCormick, A.Yom-Tov
    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.