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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 178: The Politics of Inequality (POLISCI 147P, PUBLPOL 247)

This course is about the distribution of power in contemporary democratic societies, and especially in the US: who governs? Is there a ``power elite,'' whose preferences dominate public policy making? Or, does policy reflect a wide range of interests? What is the relationship between income and power? What are the political consequences of increasing income inequality? How do income differences across racial and ethnic groups affect the quality of their representation? What are effective remedies for unequal influence? Finally, which institutions move democratic practice furthest towards full democratic equality? This course will address these questions, focusing first on local distributions of power, and then considering the implications of inequality in state and national politics. nStudents will have the opportunity to study income inequality using income and labor force surveys in a mid-term assignment. Then, in a final paper, students will conduct an empirical examination of the implications of income inequality for American democracy.
Last offered: Spring 2017 | UG Reqs: WAY-SI

SOC 179A: Crime and Punishment in America (AFRICAAM 179A, 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 180A: Foundations of Social Research (CSRE 180A, SOC 280A)

Formulating a research question, developing hypotheses, probability and non-probability sampling, developing valid and reliable measures, qualitative and quantitative data, choosing research design and data collection methods, challenges of making causal inference, and criteria for evaluating the quality of social research. Emphasis is on how social research is done, rather than application of different methods. Limited enrollment; preference to Sociology and Urban Studies majors, and Sociology coterms.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-SocSci, WAY-SI
Instructors: Pedulla, D. (PI)

SOC 180B: Introduction to Data Analysis (CSRE 180B, SOC 280B)

Methods for analyzing and evaluating quantitative data in sociological research. Students will be taught how to run and interpret multivariate regressions, how to test hypotheses, and how to read and critique published data analyses.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-SocSci, WAY-AQR, WAY-SI
Instructors: Jackson, M. (PI)

SOC 183D: Addictions, Self, and Society

From your daily cup(s) of coffee to the ¿War on Drugs,¿ drugs touch the lives of most people. Yet, how societies deal with drug use and abuse change throughout time. In this course, we will look at drug use and abuse through a sociological lens, exploring how micro (personal), meso (interactional), and macro (structural) level forces underpin the meanings, experiences, and policies associated with drug use and abuse in the United States. Beyond this, we will examine how these forces contribute to persistent systems of inequality among different groups. This will not serve as a ¿how to¿ course, but one in which you will be asked to critically examine the role of drugs and their effects on society. By the end of this course, students should be able to:
Terms: Sum | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-SI
Instructors: Sobotka, T. (PI)

SOC 184D: Policing in Society: From Precincts to Playgrounds

This course examines the social underpinnings of historical and modern-day policing. We will analyze trends in policing practices in the US through time, and ask how ¿ and to what effect ¿ police have become enmeshed in the social fabric of American life. Students will be exposed to some of the methods social scientists use to investigate society¿s most pressing issues as we examine the intersections of policing with other institutions (e.g. education, technology, and health) through both popular journalism and rigorous academic research.
Last offered: Summer 2019 | UG Reqs: WAY-SI

SOC 185D: Gender and Politics

Despite gains in recent years, women remain dramatically underrepresented in virtually all realms of the American political system. In this course, students will become familiar with the empirical patterns and trends, social and cultural debates, and policy issues concerning the role of gender in American politics. We will examine the gender gap in voting patterns and mass political participation, as well as strategies for increasing women¿s representation. Students will come to understand the effects of women¿s lack of parity, including policy attitudes, processes, and outcomes. Furthermore, we will explore gender inequality in politics through an intersectional lens of race, class, age, education, and sexuality.
Terms: Sum | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-SI
Instructors: Orth, T. (PI)

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

TRIGGER WARNING: Over the past several years issue of campus sexual assault and harassment has exploded into the public discourse. Multiple studies have reinforced the finding that between 20-25% of college women (and a similar proportion of students identifying as transgender and gender-nonconforming, as well as approximately 10% of male students) experience sexual assault carried out through force or while the victim was incapacitated during their time in college. Fraternities have been found to be associated with an increased risk of female sexual assault on campus. Vulnerable students and those from marginalized groups are often found to be at increased risk. This is also a significant problem in k12 education. Sexual harassment rates are even higher. 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 succe more »
TRIGGER WARNING: Over the past several years issue of campus sexual assault and harassment has exploded into the public discourse. Multiple studies have reinforced the finding that between 20-25% of college women (and a similar proportion of students identifying as transgender and gender-nonconforming, as well as approximately 10% of male students) experience sexual assault carried out through force or while the victim was incapacitated during their time in college. Fraternities have been found to be associated with an increased risk of female sexual assault on campus. Vulnerable students and those from marginalized groups are often found to be at increased risk. This is also a significant problem in k12 education. Sexual harassment rates are even higher. 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 the end of that administration. At the same time, the Obama administration¿s heightened response 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 and appeared to be more concerned with protection the institutional brand than with stopping rape or protecting student rights. Colleges have meanwhile complained of being whipsawed between survivors, accused students, interest groups, and enforcement authorities. In an about-face that many found shocking, the Trump Administration rescinded all of the Obama-era guidance on the subject of sexual harassment and has promulgated new proposed regulations that would offer significantly greater protection to accused students and to institutions and commensurately less protection to survivors. An increasingly partisan Congress has been unable to pass legislation addressing the issue.This course focuses on the legal, policy, and political issues surrounding sexual assault and harassment on college campuses. Each week we will read, dissect, compare and critique a set of readings that include social science, history, literature, legal, policy, journalism, and narrative explorations of the topic of campus sexual assault. We will explore the history of gender-based 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 critically explore the ways that responses to this violence have varied by the race, class, gender identity, sexual orientation, and other characteristics of parties and institutions. We will hear from guest speakers who are actively involved in shaping policy and advocating in this area, including lawyers, activists, journalists, and policymakers. This year we will also host special guest speaker Chanel Miller, author of the bestselling memoir Know My Name. The subject matter of this course is sensitive, and students are expected to treat the material with maturity. 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.nnElements used in grading: Grades will be based on class attendance, class participation, and an independent research paper, which meets the R requirement. Enrollment is by INSTRUCTOR PERMISSION. Access the consent form here feminist.stanford.edu/academics/undergraduate-program/forms or email etsurkov@stanford.edu to request a form via email. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the class is full. Demand for the class is high and participation is capped at 18. The class usually fills by February 9th, so make sure to apply early. Cross-listed with the Law School ( LAW 7065 and with sociology ( SOC 188).
Terms: Spr | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-ED, WAY-SI
Instructors: Dauber, M. (PI)

SOC 189: Race and Immigration (CSRE 189, SOC 289)

In the contemporary United States, supposedly race-neutral immigration laws have racially-unequal consequences. Immigrants from Mexico, Central America, and the Middle East are central to ongoing debates about who's includable, and who's excludable, from American society. These present-day dynamics mirror the historical forms of exclusion imposed on immigrants from places as diverse as China, Eastern Europe, Ireland, Italy, Japan, and much of Africa. These groups' varied experiences of exclusion underscore the long-time encoding of race into U.S. immigration policy and practice. Readings and discussions center on how immigration law has become racialized in its construction and in its enforcement¿over the last 150 years.nn*Undergraduates are encouraged to enroll in the course for three units. Graduate students are encouraged to enroll in the course for four units. Those enrolling in the course for four units will be expected to complete additional reading and writing assignments that are aligned with their status as either undergraduate or graduate students.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-4 | UG Reqs: WAY-ED, WAY-SI
Instructors: Asad, A. (PI)
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