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SOC 156: Ritual, Politics, Power (ANTHRO 152)

Our everyday lives are made up of multiple routines, some consciously staged and imagined and others unconscious and insidious. Anthropologists call these rituals. Rituals shape every aspect of our lives, creating our symbolic universes and governing the most minute of our practices. nnFor early anthropologists and for those interested in religious and symbolic life, rituals and rites were seen as both one of the most universal features of human existence, and, as that which enables us to reflect upon our human existence. A prominent example are that of the ¿rites de passage¿ found in every culture, from puberty initiation rites, weddings or funerals, which socially signal the change from one status to another. While initially for anthropologists, rituals marked the difference between the sacred and the profane, soon scholars began to see the ubiquity of ritual and the symbolic in shaping even the most mundane activity such as the structure of a meal and why one is not meant to eat des more »
Our everyday lives are made up of multiple routines, some consciously staged and imagined and others unconscious and insidious. Anthropologists call these rituals. Rituals shape every aspect of our lives, creating our symbolic universes and governing the most minute of our practices. nnFor early anthropologists and for those interested in religious and symbolic life, rituals and rites were seen as both one of the most universal features of human existence, and, as that which enables us to reflect upon our human existence. A prominent example are that of the ¿rites de passage¿ found in every culture, from puberty initiation rites, weddings or funerals, which socially signal the change from one status to another. While initially for anthropologists, rituals marked the difference between the sacred and the profane, soon scholars began to see the ubiquity of ritual and the symbolic in shaping even the most mundane activity such as the structure of a meal and why one is not meant to eat dessert before the main course. The first half of the class examines these different debates surrounding the meaning and effects of rituals and rites. The second half of the class takes these debates to think about the question of power and politics. We return to the question of how our symbolic universes are staged and imagined by us through ritual forms such as the annual Presidential ¿pardoning the turkey¿ at Thanksgiving. The question of power however pushes us even further to ask why it is that we obey particular kinds of authority, consent to particular actions, and find ourselves doing things we haven¿t consciously decided to do. Many have argued that these kinds of political questions about how we respond and are shaped by power have something to do with our symbolic worlds and ritual, from the most obvious (the monarchy) to the most subtle (listening in a classroom). Throughout the course, these abstract questions will be grounded in cross-cultural examples and analysis.
Last offered: Spring 2017 | UG Reqs: WAY-ED, WAY-SI

SOC 156A: The Changing American City (CSRE 156, SOC 256A, URBANST 156A)

After decades of decline, U.S. cities today are undergoing major transformations. Young professionals are flocking to cities instead of fleeing to the suburbs. Massive increases in immigration have transformed the racial and ethnic diversity of cities and their neighborhoods. Public housing projects that once defined the inner city are disappearing, and crime rates have fallen dramatically. Do these changes signal the end of residential segregation and urban inequality? Who do these changes benefit? This course will explore these issues and strategies to address them through readings and discussion, analyzing a changing neighborhood in a major city in the Bay Area in groups (which will include at least one site visit), and studying a changing neighborhood or city of their choice for their final project. The course does not have pre-requisites.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-ED, WAY-SI
Instructors: Hwang, J. (PI)

SOC 164: Immigration and the Changing United States (CHILATST 164, CSRE 164, SOC 264)

The role of race and ethnicity in immigrant group integration in the U.S. Topics include: theories of integration; racial and ethnic identity formation; racial and ethnic change; immigration policy; intermarriage; hybrid racial and ethnic identities; comparisons between contemporary and historical waves of immigration.
Last offered: Spring 2015 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-SocSci, WAY-ED, WAY-SI

SOC 166: Mexicans, Mexican Americans, and Chicanos in American Society (SOC 266)

Contemporary sociological issues affecting Mexican-origin people in the U.S. Topics include: the immigrant experience, immigration policy, identity, socioeconomic integration, internal diversity, and theories of incorporation.
Last offered: Autumn 2010 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-SocSci, WAY-ED, WAY-SI

SOC 168: Global Organizations: The Matrix of Change (PUBLPOL 168, PUBLPOL 268, SOC 268)

We derive analytical tools from the social sciences in studying a variety of organizations given their strategies, and in particular, when their strategies change. Focus is on how to design effective organizations and projects within and across institutional settings. Theme: Labor market integration of refugees, an international outlook. Recommended: FINANCE 377, MS&E 180, SOC 160, ECON 149, or MGTECON 330.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-SocSci, WAY-ED

SOC 169: Introduction to Intersectionality (AFRICAAM 169B, FEMGEN 169)

"Intersectionality" is so popular, it's almost impossible to avoid: it was added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary in 2017, it was painted on signs at the Women's Marches, and it guides modern day social movement organizers. But what does intersectionality mean? What can intersectionality offer And what does it mean for research and social movements to be truly intersectional? The aim of this course is to provide students with an understanding of the concept of intersectionality. First, we will delve into the works (chiefly from Black feminist scholars) that provide the foundation for today's concept of intersectionality. We will then explore, compare, and critique sociological research that applies (or fails to apply) an intersectional lens to its objects of study. Finally, we will investigate the use of intersectionality in social movements and outside academia. Throughout the course, we will prioritize reading, evaluating, and questioning sociological theory and research.
Last offered: Winter 2019 | UG Reqs: WAY-ED, WAY-SI

SOC 173: Gender and Higher Education: National and International Perspectives (EDUC 173, EDUC 273, FEMGEN 173, SOC 273)

This course examines the ways in which higher education structures and policies interact with gender, gender identity, and other characteristics in the United States, around the world, and over time. Attention is paid to how changes in those structures and policies relate to access to, experiences in, and outcomes of higher education by gender. Students can expect to gain an understanding of theories and perspectives from the social sciences relevant to an understanding of the role of higher education in relation to structures of gender differentiation and hierarchy. Topics include undergraduate and graduate education; identity and sexuality; gender and science; gender and faculty; and feminist scholarship and pedagogy.
Last offered: Spring 2019 | UG Reqs: GER:EC-Gender, WAY-ED, WAY-SI

SOC 177: The Sociology of Popular Culture

Why do some songs become popular, but not others? Why are music genres that were wildly popular in the 1950s no longer popular today? Trends and fads and can be found nearly everywhere in our daily lives movie tropes, skirt lengths, styles of shoes, internet memes, hot stock-picks all of these go in and out of fashion. But, why should they? Did something change? And if so¿what? This course seeks to understand how and why things become (un)popular. The course begins with early 20th century theories on the massification and commodification of culture and traces development of this literature over time. Topics covered include propaganda, social influence, and significant responses to questions such as: What constitutes high/low culture? Does popular culture manifest--"from the bottom-up", for the people by the people--or is popular culture dictated--"from the top down", by elites and commercial interests? To what extent do social networks (and the status and power of the people within the more »
Why do some songs become popular, but not others? Why are music genres that were wildly popular in the 1950s no longer popular today? Trends and fads and can be found nearly everywhere in our daily lives movie tropes, skirt lengths, styles of shoes, internet memes, hot stock-picks all of these go in and out of fashion. But, why should they? Did something change? And if so¿what? This course seeks to understand how and why things become (un)popular. The course begins with early 20th century theories on the massification and commodification of culture and traces development of this literature over time. Topics covered include propaganda, social influence, and significant responses to questions such as: What constitutes high/low culture? Does popular culture manifest--"from the bottom-up", for the people by the people--or is popular culture dictated--"from the top down", by elites and commercial interests? To what extent do social networks (and the status and power of the people within them) influence these relationships? How is popular culture received, interpreted, and used? Today, the media landscape looks significantly different than it did in the early 20th century, and in the final portion of the course we will consider the extent to which new technologies, media platforms, hyper-focused advertising, and cluster-based similarity algorithms have impacted the way we think about and answer these questions. In the final portion of the course, we will critically examine active and ongoing debates in the literature related to this question and produce a final paper that contributes to the discussion. No final exam.
Last offered: Spring 2019 | UG Reqs: WAY-ED, WAY-SI

SOC 179A: Crime and Punishment in America (SOC 279A)

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the way crime has been defined and punished in the United States. Recent social movements such as the Movement for Black Lives have drawn attention to the problem of mass incarceration and officer-involved shootings of people of color. These movements have underscored the centrality of the criminal justice system in defining citizenship, race, and democracy in America. How did our country get here? This course provides a social scientific perspective on America¿s past and present approach to crime and punishment. Readings and discussions focus on racism in policing, court processing, and incarceration; the social construction of crime and violence; punishment among the privileged; the collateral consequences of punishment in poor communities of color; and normative debates about social justice, racial justice, and reforming the criminal justice system. Students will learn to gather their own knowledge and contribute to normative debates through a field report assignment and an op-ed writing assignment.
Terms: Win | Units: 4-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-ED, WAY-SI
Instructors: Clair, M. (PI)

SOC 188: One in Five: The Law, Politics, and Policy of Campus Sexual Assault (FEMGEN 143)

TRIGGER WARNING: Over the past three years, the issue of campus sexual assault has exploded into the public discourse. While definitive figures are difficult to obtain due to the necessarily private nature of these events, several recent studies estimate that between 20-25% of college women (and a potentially higher proportion of students identifying as transgender and gender-nonconforming, as well as around 5-10% of male students) experience sexual assault. People of color, LGBT students, disabled individuals and other vulnerable groups are at increased risk. This is also a significant problem in k12 education. Survivors have come forward across the country with harrowing stories of assault followed by what they describe as an insensitive or indifferent response from college administrators. These survivors have launched one of the most successful, and surprising, social movements in recent memory. As a result, the federal government under President Obama stepped up its civil rights en more »
TRIGGER WARNING: Over the past three years, the issue of campus sexual assault has exploded into the public discourse. While definitive figures are difficult to obtain due to the necessarily private nature of these events, several recent studies estimate that between 20-25% of college women (and a potentially higher proportion of students identifying as transgender and gender-nonconforming, as well as around 5-10% of male students) experience sexual assault. People of color, LGBT students, disabled individuals and other vulnerable groups are at increased risk. This is also a significant problem in k12 education. Survivors have come forward across the country with harrowing stories of assault followed by what they describe as an insensitive or indifferent response from college administrators. These survivors have launched one of the most successful, and surprising, social movements in recent memory. As a result, the federal government under President Obama stepped up its civil rights enforcement in this area, with over 300 colleges and universities under investigation for allegedly mishandling student sexual assault complaints as of July 2017. At the same time, this heightened response has led to a series of high-profile lawsuits by accused students who assert that they were falsely accused or subjected to mishandled investigations that lacked sufficient due process protections. The one thing that survivors and accused students appear to agree on is that colleges are not handling these matters appropriately. Colleges have meanwhile complained of being whipsawed between survivors, accused students, interest groups, and enforcement authorities. The election of President Trump has now created significant uncertainty about how this issue will be handled by the Department of Education going forward. The Trump Administration took the extraordinary step this September of rolling back all of the Obama Administration guidance on this subject. Meanwhile Congress has been unable to pass legislation addressing the issue, though there are several bipartisan bills under consideration. This course focuses on the legal, policy, and political issues surrounding sexual assault on college campuses. We will learn background about sexual violence and the efforts to implement legal protections for survivors in the educational context. We will also study the basic legal frameworks governing campus assault, focusing on the relevant federal laws such as Title IX and the Clery Act. We will hear from guest speakers who are actively involved in shaping policy and advocating in this area, including lawyers, lobbyists, filmmakers, journalists, and policymakers. The subject matter of this course is sensitive and students are expected to treat the material with sensitivity. Much of the reading and subject matter may be upsetting and/or triggering for students who identify as survivors. There is no therapeutic component for this course, although supportive campus resources and Title IX staff are available for those who need them. This course was previously a Sophomore College Class that is now being offered as a regular quarter-length course. Elements used in grading: Grades will be based on class attendance, class participation, and either several short reflection papers (section 01) or an independent research paper (section 02). After the term begins, students accepted into the course can transfer from section 01 into section 02, which meets the R requirement, with consent of the instructor. Enrollment is by INSTRUCTOR PERMISSION. Access the consent form here feminist.stanford.edu/academics/undergraduate-program/forms or email rmeisels@stanford.edu to request a form via email. Cross-listed with the Law School ( LAW 7065).
Terms: Spr | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-ED, WAY-SI
Instructors: Dauber, M. (PI)
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