Bowdoin College Catalogue and Academic Handbook

Sociology (SOC)

SOC 1010  (b, FYS)   Deconstructing Racism  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

Examines the social, political, and historical evolution of racism as a system and the challenges to studying and eradicating racism in contemporary American society. Investigates the construction of race, the various logics used to justify racial thinking, and the visible and invisible forces that perpetuate racial stratification and inequality in American life. Understands the various political and social debates that complicate and undermine how racism is defined and identified. Explores its impact on individuals, institutions, and cultures in the United States, and the various formal and subversive strategies deployed by individuals and collectives for challenging and combatting it. Emphasis on developing a language for discussing, debating, and writing about race and racism sociologically for public and academic audiences. (Same as: AFRS 1010)

Previous terms offered: Fall 2019, Fall 2017, Fall 2016.

SOC 1028  (b, FYS)   Sociology of Campus Life: Race, Class, and Inequality at Elite Colleges  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

Explores higher education in the contemporary United States through a sociological lens, highlighting the ways that elite colleges and universities both promote social mobility and perpetuate inequality. Examines the functions of higher education for students and society; issues of inequality in college access, financing, campus experiences, and outcomes later in life; the history and consequences of affirmative action; how and why historically white colleges and universities have diversified their student bodies; the challenges and benefits of diversity and inclusion on campus; and other topics. Emphasis on writing sociologically for public and academic audiences (Same as: EDUC 1028)

Previous terms offered: Fall 2018.

SOC 1101  (b)   Introduction to Sociology  

Every Semester. Enrollment limit: 50.  

The major perspectives of sociology. Application of the scientific method to sociological theory and to current social issues. Theories ranging from social determinism to free will are considered, including the work of Durkheim, Marx, Merton, Weber, and others. Attention is given to such concepts as role, status, society, culture, institution, personality, social organization, the dynamics of change, the social roots of behavior and attitudes, social control, deviance, socialization, and the dialectical relationship between individual and society.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2020, Fall 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016.

SOC 2010  (b)   Introduction to Social Research  

Every Spring. Enrollment limit: 35.  

Provides firsthand experience with the specific procedures through which social science knowledge is developed. Emphasizes the interaction between theory and research and examines the ethics of social research and the uses and abuses of research in policy making. Reading and methodological analysis of a variety of case studies from the sociological literature. Field and laboratory exercises that include observation, interviewing, use of available data (e.g., historical documents, statistical archives, computerized data banks, cultural artifacts), sampling, coding, use of computer, elementary data analysis, and interpretation. Lectures, laboratory sessions, and small-group conferences.

Prerequisites: SOC 1101.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2020, Spring 2019, Spring 2018, Spring 2017.

SOC 2020  (b, MCSR)   Quantitative Analysis in Sociology  

Every Other Year. Enrollment limit: 24.  

Introduces the uses of quantitative methods in the study of our social world, with emphasis on descriptive and inferential statistics. Applies quantitative methods to answer sociological questions, focusing on secondary analysis of national survey data. Employs statistical computing software as a research tool.

Prerequisites: Two of: SOC 1101 and SOC 2010.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2019, Fall 2017, Fall 2016.

SOC 2030  (b)   Classics of Sociological Theory  

Every Fall. Enrollment limit: 35.  

An analysis of selected works by the founders of modern sociology. Particular emphasis is given to understanding differing approaches to sociological analysis through detailed textual interpretation. Works by Durkheim, Marx, Weber, and selected others are read.

Prerequisites: SOC 1101.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2019, Fall 2018, Fall 2017, Fall 2016.

SOC 2202  (b, ESD)   Cities and Society  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

Investigates the political, economic, and sociocultural development of cities and metropolitan areas with a focus on American cities and a spotlight on neighborhoods and local communities. Traces major theories of urbanization and considers how cities also represent contested sites where diverse citizens use urban space to challenge, enact, and resist social change on the local, state, and national levels. Topics include economic and racial/ethnic stratification; the rise and fall of suburban and rural areas; the production and maintenance of real and imagined communities; the production and consumption of culture; crime; immigration; sexuality and gender; and urban citizenship in the global city.

Prerequisites: SOC 1101 or ANTH 1101.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2019, Fall 2017.

SOC 2204  (b, ESD, IP)   Families: A Comparative Perspective  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

Examines families in different societies. Issues addressed include definition and concept of the “family”; different types of family systems; the interaction of family change and other social, economic, and political change; the relationships between families and other social institutions; the role of gender and age in family relationships; and sources and outcomes of stability, conflict, and dissolution within families. (Same as: GSWS 2204)

Prerequisites: SOC 1101 or ANTH 1101.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2017.

SOC 2205  (b)   Collective Memory and Storytelling  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

Explores how to make sense of the past by constructing stories about it in the present. Examines memory and storytelling as social processes. Questions who determines when and how stories are told, who participates in their interpretation, and how emotions are conveyed or hidden. Draws on case studies, which may include the Jewish Holocaust, Palestinian Nakba, Partition of the Indian subcontinent, Korean War, Rwandan genocide, and/or Berlin Wall. Uses the lenses of gender, nationality, race, ethnicity, and religion to explore the impact of trauma and the power of remembrance. Brings attention to intergenerational and transnational aspects of memory and relationships between media and memory.

Prerequisites: SOC 1101 or ANTH 1101.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2019, Spring 2018.

SOC 2206  (b, ESD)   Sociology of Education  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

Examines the ways that formal schooling influences individuals and the ways that social structures and processes affect educational institutions. Explores the manifest and latent functions of education in modern society; the role education plays in stratification and social reproduction; the relationship between education and cultural capital; the dynamics of race, class, and gender in education; and other topics. (Same as: EDUC 2206)

Prerequisites: Two of: SOC 1101 and SOC 2000 - 2969.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2018.

SOC 2208  (b)   Race and Ethnicity  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

The social and cultural meaning of race and ethnicity, with emphasis on the politics of events and processes in contemporary America. Analysis of the causes and consequences of prejudice and discrimination. Examination of the relationships between race and class. Comparisons among racial and ethnic minorities in the United States. (Same as: AFRS 2208, LAS 2708)

Prerequisites: SOC 1101 or AFRS 1101 or ANTH 1101.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2018, Fall 2016.

SOC 2212  (b, ESD)   Sociology of Sexuality  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

Examines the theoretical and methodological approaches used in the sociological study of sex and sexuality. Explores how people construct meanings around sex, how people use and question notions of sexuality, and why sexuality is socially and politically regulated. Links sexuality to broader sociological questions pertaining to culture and morality, social interaction, social and economic stratification, social movements, urbanization and community, science, health, and public policy. Topics also include the historical and legal construction of heterosexuality, sexual fluidity, gay identity, masculinities and femininities, the queer dilemma, and the “post-gay” phenomenon. (Same as: GSWS 2212)

Prerequisites: SOC 1101 or ANTH 1101.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2020, Spring 2017.

SOC 2214  (b, ESD)   Criminology  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

Introduces major theoretical and substantive debates in the sociology of crime and punishment. Uses classic and contemporary sociological theories and concepts including anomie, conflict, labelling, control, and socialization. Focuses on such issues as mass incarceration, racial profiling, gun control, drug enforcement, and corporate crime through the lenses of race, gender, and class.

Prerequisites: SOC 1101 or ANTH 1101.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2017.

SOC 2215  (b)   Sociology of Deviant Behavior  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

This course aims to provide building blocks for studying deviant behavior from a sociological perspective. We will explore some important questions related to the nature and meaning of deviance, its social construction and control, and processes shaping deviant behavior. We will examine and contrast major sociological theories of deviant behavior, including anomie/social strain, social control, conflict, labeling, and social learning. In-depth examination of some of the many forms of deviance will allow students to apply the theories and perspectives they learn to specific cases. Emphasizing the changing nature of deviance, we will also look at recent forms of deviance.

Prerequisites: SOC 1101.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2019.

SOC 2219  (b, ESD)   Deconstructing Masculinities  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

An introduction to the sociological study of men and masculinities. Investigates debates about the historical, structural, cultural, and personal meanings constructed around masculinity. Explores how masculinity varies historically and across the life span; how it intersects with race, class, gender, sexuality, age, and ability; and how these constructions map onto male and female bodies. Examines how masculinities construct and reproduce power and inequality among men and between men and women. Topics also include, but are not limited to, the production and maintenance of masculinity, the male body, masculine cultures of sports, technology, violence and incarceration, female and queer masculinities. (Same as: GSWS 2219)

Prerequisites: ANTH 1101 or SOC 1101 or GSWS 1101 or GWS 1101.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2017.

SOC 2225  (b, ESD, IP)   Global Politics of Work  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

Globally, a large portion of life is devoted to work. The type of work that people perform reflects global inequalities. Introduces the history of wage-labor and theoretical concepts used to understand the shifting dimensions of work and its implication for the global workforce. Particular focus on labor in the United States, Latin America, and Asia; manufacturing and service work; migration and labor trafficking; the body as the site for transforming labor into wage-labor; and forms of labor resistance. (Same as: LAS 2725)

Prerequisites: SOC 1101 or ANTH 1101.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2018.

SOC 2250  (b, ESD)   Social Epidemiology  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

Introduces epidemiology, the study of the patterns and influences of disease (and health) in populations and communities. Focusing on the social, political, and economic influences and consequences of patterns of disease and death, considers how these patterns reflect and affect the demographics, social structure, economy, and culture of societies and how societies mobilize to combat disease and promote health. Focuses particularly on the role of socioeconomic inequality--both within and between countries--in how diseases spread and are managed.

Prerequisites: SOC 1101.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2018.

SOC 2260  (b, IP)   Capitalism, Modernity, and Religion in Turkey  

Every Other Year. Enrollment limit: 35.  

Investigates classical and contemporary sociological accounts of secularism, modernity, and capitalism by examining the social and political history of Turkey. Analyzes the emergence of modern Turkey, a successor state of the Ottoman Empire, which spanned three continents and was dismantled at the end of World War I. Maps out Turkey's social, political, and economic landscape from the late nineteenth century until the present. Covers themes such as state violence, religion, hegemony, gender and sexuality, nationalism, and neoliberalism.

Prerequisites: SOC 1101 or ANTH 1101.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2019, Fall 2018.

SOC 2268  (b, ESD)   Asian American Experience  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

Explores the experience of Asian Americans in contemporary US society. Focusing on the present but drawing from historical experience, we look at important elements and issues for Asian Americans today: the role of immigration and immigration policy; the advantages and disadvantages of the promotion of a pan-Asian culture; the particular experiences of different Asian cultures in the US; the “myth of the model minority”; and the role of gender in these experiences. Also discusses what an understanding of Asian American experience adds to our understanding of race and ethnicity in the US today. (Same as: ASNS 2910)

Prerequisites: SOC 1101 or ANTH 1101.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2019.

SOC 2272  (b)   Media, Society, and Culture in Global Contexts  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

Draws on case studies from various contexts to examine ways in which media construct as well as reflect society and culture. Focuses on digital and social media while considering traditional media genres including film, TV, and music. Explores mediated communication and representation in relation to several sociological concerns including self, social interaction, and community; gender, sexuality, race, nation, social class, and religion; generations, family, and intimate relations; culture industry and commercialization; emotions; collective memory and trauma; and social movements and social change.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2017.

SOC 2310  (b, ESD, IP)   Sociology of Emotions  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

Challenges the conventional view that emotions are simply private experiences by engaging with various sociological concepts including but not limited to emotion work, emotional labor, feeling rules, and affect. Explores how emotions are socially and politically shaped, learned, regulated, and controlled in societies. Understands emotions as lived experiences in the daily lives of individuals within work environments, intimate relationships, and communities. Discusses how sociologists investigate such feelings as depression, loss, grief, love, and fear through the lenses of gender, class, and race.

Prerequisites: SOC 1101 or ANTH 1101.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2020, Spring 2019, Spring 2018, Spring 2017.

SOC 2320  (b, ESD)   Latinx in the United States  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

Latinas/os are the largest minority group in the United States. Analyzes the Latina/o experience in the United States with special focus on migration, incorporation, and strategies for economic and social empowerment. Explores diversity within the U.S. Latina/o community by drawing on comparative lessons from Cuban-American, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Chicano/Mexican, and Central American patterns of economic participation, political mobilization, and cultural integration. (Same as: AFRS 2720, LAS 2720)

Prerequisites: SOC 1101 or AFRS 1101 or LAS 2000 or higher.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2017.

SOC 2365  (b, ESD, IP)   Transnational Families  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

Offers a timely reflection on changes in family in the face of global migration and restrictive immigration policies. Challenges ideas of families living under one roof as nuclear, heterosexual, and biological. Examines social, economic, political, and legal conditions for emergence and development of transnational families. Studies international migration flows from countries of the Global South—including but not limited to the Philippines, Mexico, India, and China—to countries of the Global North, including the US, UK, and Italy, among others. Topics may include international division of care work; disparities within families shaped by global inequalities; the use of technology to create/enhance transnational communication varying by gender, sexuality, class, and rural/urban locations; and multiracial and multiethnic families through adoption and marriage.

Prerequisites: SOC 1101 or ANTH 1101.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2018.

SOC 2370  (b, IP)   Immigration and the Politics of Exclusion  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

Looks at comparative lessons in global immigration to understand the political, economic, and social causes of migration--the politics of immigrant inclusion/exclusion--and the making of diaspora communities. Specific topics will include: the politics of citizenship and the condition of illegality; the global migrant workforce; and how class, gender, race, and sexuality influence the migrant experience. (Same as: LAS 2746)

Prerequisites: SOC 1101 or ANTH 1101.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2019, Spring 2018.

SOC 2380  (b, IP)   Gender in the Middle East  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

Explores the contemporary debates on the construction and organization of gender and sexuality in the Middle East. Provides a critical lens on the colonial and orientalist legacies that mediate the dominant representations and discourses on the region. Questions the normative assumptions behind “modernity,” “religion,” and “tradition” by covering a variety of issues including veiling, honor killings, female circumcision, and military masculinities. Examines the emergence of new femininities, masculinities, sexual identifications, and feminist and queer struggles in the Middle East. (Same as: GSWS 2380)

Prerequisites: SOC 1101 or ANTH 1101.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2018, Fall 2016.

SOC 2395  (b, ESD, IP)   Global Social Movements  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

Offers a study of social movements by looking at empirical cases from various global contexts and transnational politics. Addresses questions of what constitutes a social movement; how ideologies, cultural frames, narratives, and emotions shape them; relationship with institutions such as state and media; and how and why movements succeed or fail in achieving social change. Empirical studies include but are not limited to the US civil rights movement, LGBTQ movements in the US and India, the Arab Spring, the Iranian revolution, women’s movements in India, right-wing politics, and transnational activism around issues such as immigration.

Prerequisites: SOC 1101.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2020.

SOC 2430  (b, ESD)   Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

This course will draw on insights from sociology and other social science disciplines to explore the complex and multifaceted nature of racial/ethnic health disparity issues in the United States. We will examine societal, environmental, economic, behavioral, and institutional factors that contribute to racial/ethnic health disparities. Continuing health disparities experienced by African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, and Asian Americans will be scrutinized through the analysis of specific health issues faced by these groups rooted in the effect of race/ethnicity on health outcomes and access to healthcare. Students will also explore policies and interventions for reducing health inequities and promoting minority health.

Prerequisites: SOC 1101.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2019.

SOC 2445  (b)   Sociology of Mental Health and Illness  

Every Other Spring. Enrollment limit: 35.  

Examines mental health and illness as both a set of subjective experiences and as embedded in social and cultural processes. Considers the causes and consequences of mental health problems and examines mental health and illness as objects of knowledge and intervention. Develops understanding of the ways social inequalities, power, and privilege shape understandings of mental health. Draws on classic and contemporary sociological theories to explore the complex relationships between psychiatrists’ professional accounts of mental illnesses and patients’ experience of them. Discusses patients’ role in healing through innovative non-psychiatric and non-individualized approaches toward mental health problems.

Prerequisites: Two of: SOC 1101 or ANTH 1101 and SOC 2000 - 2969 or ANTH 2000 - 2969.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2018.

SOC 2460  (b)   Sociology of Medicine  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

Examines the main sociological perspectives (functionalism, the political economy approach, and social constructionism) on medicine, health, and illness. Covers such topics as the social production and distribution of illness; medicalization and social control; political economy of health care; the role of medicine in regulating our racial, sexualized, and gendered bodies; and power relationships between health care actors (doctors, nurses, insurance companies, hospitals, and patients).

Prerequisites: SOC 1101 or ANTH 1101.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2020, Spring 2019, Fall 2017, Fall 2016.

SOC 2520  (b, ESD, IP)   Sociological Perspectives on Asia(ns) and Media  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

Explores Asian national and diasporic/transnational social contexts through the lens of various media, including print, film, television, advertising, music, and digital media. Helps understand how media construct societies and cultures and, in turn, how social institutions, interactions, and identities get reflected in media. Focuses on South Asia to explore questions of ideology and power; political economy of media; construction and representations of gender, sexuality, race, social class, nation, and religion; generations; and social movements and change. (Same as: ASNS 2620)

Prerequisites: SOC 1101.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2019.

SOC 3010  (b)   Advanced Seminar: Current Controversies in Sociology  

Every Spring. Enrollment limit: 16.  

Draws together different theoretical and substantive issues in sociology in the United States, primarily since 1950. Discusses current controversies in the discipline, e.g., quantitative versus qualitative methodologies, micro versus macro perspectives, and pure versus applied work.

Prerequisites: SOC 2030.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2020, Spring 2019, Spring 2018, Spring 2017.

SOC 3300  (b)   Reproductive Health and Politics  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

Taking account of the interrelationship of health and politics, examines how community, national, and international policies and social structures (such as gender, race, economy, or health care) link local and global politics to influence practices, beliefs, meaning, and outcomes related to reproduction. Topics include birth planning and contraception, new reproductive technologies, fertility and infertility, AIDS, abortion, issues of parenthood, and stratified reproduction.

Prerequisites: Two of: SOC 1101 or ANTH 1101 and SOC 2000 - 2969.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2018.

SOC 3310  (b)   Urban Ethnography  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

An in-depth exploration into the evolution and practice of urban ethnography within sociological research. Examines various questions and topics of interest to urban ethnographers, including community, race, class, ethnicity, families, crime and violence, (im)migration, culture, gender and sexuality, and community organizing. Attends to methodological and ethical issues pertaining to how to do fieldwork and ethnographic writing. Considers the strengths and limitations of ethnography in developing social theory and illuminating social phenomena. Students also develop their “ethnographic lens” by conducting, sharing, and providing feedback on original ethnographic research.

Prerequisites: Two of: SOC 1101 or ANTH 1101 and SOC 2010 or ANTH 2010.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2016.

SOC 3320  (b)   Diversity in Higher Education  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

Explores higher education in the contemporary United States through a sociological lens, highlighting the ways that colleges and universities both promote social mobility and perpetuate inequality. Examines the functions of higher education for students and society; issues of inequality in college access, financing, campus experiences, and outcomes later in life; the challenges and benefits of diversity and inclusion; and other topics, with special attention across all topics to the case of African Americans. (Same as: AFRS 3320, EDUC 3320)

Prerequisites: SOC 2010 or ANTH 2010.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2017.

SOC 3410  (b, ESD)   Migrant Imaginaries  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

Examines how immigrants view and transform the world around them in the United States. While normative approaches to the study of immigration construct migrants as objects of inquiry, this course instead will draw primarily on migrant perspectives and experiences in the diaspora that originate from Latin America, Asia, and Africa. (Same as: LAS 3712)

Prerequisites: Two of: SOC 1101 and SOC 2000 - 2969.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2019.