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Haverford College

2012-13 Course Catalog

Social Sciences: Sociology, 2012-13

DescriptionFacultyMajor RequirementsMinor RequirementsCoursesDept. Website


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 (on leave)
Visiting ProfessorVictor Lidz
Associate Professor William F. Hohenstein, emeritus

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Major Requirements

A total of at least eleven courses, including SOCL 155a and 155b (two semesters of Foundations in Social Theory); SOCL 215a, ECON 203, or the equivalent (quantitive methods, statistics); SOCL 450a and 450b (senior thesis); plus six 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 SOCL 155a and 155b (Foundations in Social Theory); SOCL 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

M. Gould
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..

133 Social Problems SO

A. Yom-Tov
This course is designed to identify the nature and severity of social problems and to evaluate proposed solutions to such problems. The goal of this class is to provide basic tools to answer questions such as the following: What constitutes a social problem? Who defines when something is a social problem? Why do some social problems receive so much attention, while others are ignored? Under what conditions do different types of social problems emerge? In this course, students will learn to think critically about a variety of social problems in our society and about the strategies and policies designed to solve problems such as poverty, crime, wage inequality, educational inequality, racism and sexism. Students will learn to criticize popular discourses from a critical sociological perspective and will be encouraged to form their own opinions and critiques.

155 Foundations in Social Theory SO

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

M. Gould
Offered occasionally.

215 Quantitative Methods SO/QU

An introduction to the use of statistics in sociological research.

222 Sociology of Religion SO


233 Topics in Sociology: Durkheim and the Durkheimians SO (Cross-listed in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies)


235 Class, Race, and Education SO (Cross-listed in African and Africana Studies, Peace, Conflict and Social Justice Studies, and Peace, Justice, and Human Rights)

An examination of the effects of class and race on educational and occupational outcomes, emphasizing the contemporary United States.

237 Topics in Historical Sociology: Social Movements and Civil Rights in the U.S. SO


244 Self and Society SO

L. McCormick
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: SOCL 155a or b, or consent of instructor.

257 Sociology of the Arts SO (Cross-listed in Music)

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.

260 Contemporary Issues in Immigration SO

This course is designed to cover the main areas of social science research on immigration. It will advance an understanding of processes of migration and the effects of immigration, while evaluating competing and complementary theoretical frameworks explaining these migratory processes.

266 Inequality in Labor Markets SO

The course provides a conceptual and theoretical framework for understanding labor market inequality in the United States. Students will compare and contrast sociological theories and arguments with the economic theories that have had an impact on the sociological study of trends in the levels of inequality, the nature of employment, disparities in access to employment and gender and racial inequality.

275 Sociology of Formal Organizations SO

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

277 Political Sociology SO

M. Gould
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: SOCL 155 a or b & ECON 105 or 106 or consent. Typically offered in alternate years.

298 Law and Sociology SO (Cross-listed in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies)

M. Gould
An examination of the jurisprudential consequences derived from the sociological reconstruction of microeconomic and philosophical theories. Topic for Spring 2012: Islamic Constitutionalism. Typically offered in alternate years.

320 Advanced Quantitative Methods for Sociologists SO/QU

Advanced statistical methods and regression analyses Prerequisite: SOCL 215 or equivalent. The course assumes knowledge of descriptive statistics, correlations, the theory of estimation and hypothesis testing. Previous exposure to regression would be an advantage.

356 Seminar in Social Theory SO

M. Gould/Staff
Prerequisite: SOCL 155 a or b.

450 Senior Departmental Studies SO

M. Gould/L. McCormick/Staff
Thesis work, two semesters required of majors in their senior year.

460 Teaching Assistant SO

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.

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