Courses

This page displays the schedule of Bryn Mawr courses in this department for this academic year. It also displays descriptions of courses offered by the department during the last four academic years.

For information about courses offered by other Bryn Mawr departments and programs or about courses offered by Haverford and Swarthmore Colleges, please consult the Course Guides page.

For information about the Academic Calendar, including the dates of first and second quarter courses, please visit the College's calendars page.

Fall 2024 SOCL

Course Title Schedule/Units Meeting Type Times/Days Location Instr(s)
SOCL B102-001 Society, Culture, and the Individual Semester / 1 Lecture: 10:10 AM-11:30 AM TTH Dept. staff, TBA
SOCL B225-001 Women in Society Semester / 1 Lecture: 2:40 PM-4:00 PM TTH Taylor Hall E
Montes,V.
SOCL B231-001 Punishment and Social Order Semester / 1 Lecture: 10:10 AM-11:30 AM TTH Sorge,D.
SOCL B265-001 Quantitative Methods Semester / 1 Lecture: 11:40 AM-1:00 PM MW Dalton Hall 119
Wright,N.
SOCL B302-001 Social Theory Semester / 1 Lecture: 10:10 AM-11:30 AM MW Dalton Hall 119
Sorge,D.
SOCL B303-001 Junior Conference: Discipline-Based Intensive Writing Semester / 1 Lecture: 1:10 PM-4:00 PM F Dalton Hall 119
Montes,V.
SOCL B332-001 Sociology of Popular Culture Semester / 1 Lecture: 7:10 PM-10:00 PM M Dalton Hall 119
Wright,N.
SOCL B333-001 Varieties of Sociological Imagination: Voices from the Major Semester / 1 Lecture: 1:10 PM-4:00 PM W Dalton Hall 2
Sorge,D.
SOCL B398-001 Senior Conference Semester / 1 Lecture: 1:10 PM-3:30 PM T Dalton Hall 25
Dept. staff, TBA
SOCL B403-001 Supervised Work 1 Dept. staff, TBA

Spring 2025 SOCL

Course Title Schedule/Units Meeting Type Times/Days Location Instr(s)
SOCL B102-001 Society, Culture, and the Individual Semester / 1 Lecture: 10:10 AM-11:30 AM TTH Dept. staff, TBA
SOCL B205-001 Social Inequality Semester / 1 Lecture: 1:10 PM-2:30 PM MW Cox,A.
SOCL B216-001 Social Dynamics of Violence Semester / 1 Lecture: 11:40 AM-1:00 PM TTH Sorge,D.
SOCL B221-001 The Social Life of Emotions Semester / 1 Lecture: 11:40 AM-1:00 PM MW Sorge,D.
SOCL B235-001 Mexican-American Communities Semester / 1 Lecture: 11:40 AM-1:00 PM TTH Montes,V.
SOCL B239-001 Sociology of Social Media Semester / 1 Lecture: 10:10 AM-11:30 AM TTH Taplin-Kaguru,N.
SOCL B260-001 A City of Homes: Housing Issues in Philadelphia 1 Taplin-Kaguru,N.
SOCL B276-001 Making Sense of Race Semester / 1 Lecture: 1:10 PM-2:30 PM TTH Taplin-Kaguru,N.
SOCL B302-001 Social Theory Semester / 1 Lecture: 10:10 AM-11:30 AM MW Sorge,D.
SOCL B303-001 Junior Conference: Discipline-Based Intensive Writing Semester / 1 Lecture: 7:10 PM-10:00 PM M Dept. staff, TBA
SOCL B309-001 Sociology of Religion Semester / 1 Lecture: 1:10 PM-4:00 PM W Wright,N.
SOCL B327-001 Capital & Connections:A Network Approach to Social Structure Semester / 1 LEC: 11:40 AM-1:00 PM MW Cox,A.
SOCL B398-001 Senior Conference Semester / 1 Lecture: 1:10 PM-3:30 PM F Dept. staff, TBA
SOCL B403-001 Supervised Work 1 Dept. staff, TBA
SOCL B420-001 Praxis Fieldwork Seminar: Social Justice Semester / 1 LEC: 9:10 AM-11:00 AM W Karen,D.
EDUC B266-001 Geographies of School and Learning: Urban Education Reconsidered Semester / 1 Lecture: 10:10 AM-11:30 AM TTH Bettws Y Coed 127
Zuckerman,K.

Fall 2025 SOCL

(Class schedules for this semester will be posted at a later date.)

2024-25 Catalog Data: SOCL

SOCL B102 Society, Culture, and the Individual

Fall 2024, Spring 2025

Sociology is the systematic study of society and social interaction. It involves what C. Wright Mills called the "sociological imagination," a way of seeing the relationship between individuals and the larger forces of society and history. In this course, we will practice using our sociological imaginations to think about the world around us. We will examine how social norms and structures are created and maintained, and we will analyze how these structures shape people's behavior and choices, often without their realizing it. After learning to think sociologically, we will examine the centrality of inequality in society, focusing specifically on the intersecting dimensions of race and ethnicity, gender, and class, and the role of social structures and institutions (such as the family and education) in society. Overall, this course draws our attention toward our own presuppositions-the things we take for granted in our everyday lives-and provides us with a systematic framework within which we can analyze those presuppositions and identify their effects..

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Power, Inequity, and Justice (PIJ)

Counts Toward Gender Sexuality Studies

Counts Toward International Studies

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SOCL B110 From Conversation to Society: Microsociological Perspective

Not offered 2024-25

When we talk about society, we often imagine classes, networks, organizations, and interlocking systems. When we look for them, we find people talking, gesturing, smiling, frowning-in short, interacting. How do we make sense of these interactions as observers? How do the participants make sense of each other? What happens when interactions fail? Or succeed for that matter? How do some of these interactions come to constitute medical consultations, congressional hearings, job interviews, family dinners, or prayer meetings? What do the boundary-making practices of race, class, and gender look like in practice? In other words, how can an understanding of conversation help us understand what society is where and when it happens? In this course, we will explore these and other questions using readings from a range of microsociological traditions and a variety of audio and video materials.

Course does not meet an Approach

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SOCL B200 Urban Sociology

Not offered 2024-25

How do social forces shape the places we live? What makes a place urban? What is a suburb and why do we have them? What's environmental racism? Why are cities in the US still highly racially segregated? We will take on these questions and more in this introduction to urban sociology. Classic and contemporary urban social theories will inform our investigations of empirical research on pressing urban issues such as housing segregation, the environment, suburbanization, transportation and inequality. The course has a special focus on the social, economic and political forces that shape in urban space in ways that perpetuate inequality for African Americans.

Course does not meet an Approach

Counts Toward Africana Studies

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SOCL B205 Social Inequality

Spring 2025

In this course, we will explore the extent, causes, and consequences of social and economic inequality in the U.S. We will begin by discussing key theories and the intersecting dimensions of inequality along lines of income and wealth, race and ethnicity, and gender. We will then follow a life-course perspective to trace the institutions through which inequality is structured, experienced, and reproduced through the family, neighborhoods, the educational system, labor markets and workplaces, and the criminal justice system.

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Counts Toward Child and Family Studies

Counts Toward Gender Sexuality Studies

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SOCL B209 Memoir as Sociology

Not offered 2024-25

This course will use memoirs as a medium for learning about society. Memoirs are personal narratives based on true events, as reconstructed by memory, that portray in detail a period in the author's life or a particular series of events. Memoirs used to be written by famous people, but in the past three decades there has been an explosion of these publications, both as books and essays. Using these works in a course allows me to highlight the essential sociological principle as outlined by C. Wright Mills: the personal is situated within larger historical, social, economic, and political contexts. People's live are shaped by history and by the particular time and place in which they live.

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SOCL B214 The Sociology of Mental Health and Illness

Not offered 2024-25

The sociological perspective can make a unique contribution to our understanding of mental illness and social responses to it. Biological and genetic understandings of mental illness are ascendant, and yet there is increasing awareness that they are scientifically unsatisfying and that purely biomedical treatment has not delivered promised improvements in outcomes. On the other hand, more purely de-constructionist approaches deny the real suffering mental illnesses can cause and offer a one-sidedly critical view of pharmaceuticals and healthcare professionals. In this course, we will try to cut a middle ground, showing how mental illness is both socially and biologically determined; very real yet socially constructed and culturally specific. We will see how institutions of mental health treatment both cure and control, and how a better response to mental illness requires medical and social interventions.

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SOCL B216 Social Dynamics of Violence

Spring 2025

How do we make sense of violence in society? Why do people act to hurt, injure, or kill each other? How do we account for the diversity and similarity of violent acts and actors? How do we understand the role of violence in social change and social order? In this course, we will examine violence from a sociological perspective. We will consider a variety of different kinds of violence, from bullying and corporal punishment to riots and wartime massacres, using comparative analysis to probe the patterns and causes of violence, and its embeddedness in our social relationships.

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Power, Inequity, and Justice (PIJ)

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SOCL B217 The Family in Social Context

Not offered 2024-25

The family represents a fundamental and ubiquitous institution in the social world, providing norms and conveying values. This course focuses on current sociological research, seeking to understand how modern American families have transformed due to complex structural and cultural forces. We will examine family change from historical, social, and demographic perspectives. After examining the images, ideals, and myths concerning families, we will address the central theme of diversity and change. In what ways can sociology explain and document these shifts? What influences do law, technology, and medicine have on the family? What are the results of evolving views of work, gender, and parenting on family structure and stability? Prerequisite of one Social Science Course

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SOCL B221 The Social Life of Emotions

Spring 2025

How do our emotions reflect and affect our social relationships, roles, and structures? How do we feel, manage, express, and share our emotions with others? How do social factors like culture, power, status, and ritual shape our emotional lives? The sociology of emotions contends that emotions are not just personal and psychological experiences, but are at the heart of social life. In this course, we will explore emotions from a variety of sociological perspectives, and apply these perspectives to a variety of sociological phenomena including family formation, job interviews, religious experiences and political movements.

Power, Inequity, and Justice (PIJ)

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SOCL B225 Women in Society

Fall 2024

In 2015, the world's female population was 49.6 percent of the total global population of 7.3 billion. According to the United Nations, in absolute terms, there were 61,591,853 more men than women. Yet, at the global scale, 124 countries have more women than men. A great majority of these countries are located in what scholars have recently been referring to as the Global South - those countries known previously as developing countries. Although women outnumber their male counterparts in many Global South countries, however, these women endure difficulties that have worsened rather than improving. What social structures determine this gender inequality in general and that of women of color in particular? What are the main challenges women in the Global South face? How do these challenges differ based on nationality, class, ethnicity, skin color, gender identity, and other axes of oppression? What strategies have these women developed to cope with the wide variety of challenges they contend with on a daily basis? These are some of the major questions that we will explore together in this class. In this course, the Global South does not refer exclusively to a geographical location, but rather to a set of institutional structures that generate disadvantages for all individuals and particularly for women and other minorities, regardless their geographical location in the world. In other words, a significant segment of the Global North's population lives under the same precarious conditions that are commonly believed as exclusive to the Global South. Simultaneously, there is a Global North embedded in the Global South as well. In this context, we will see that the geographical division between the North and the South becomes futile when we seek to understand the dynamics of the "Western-centric/Christian-centric capitalist/patriarchal modern/colonial world-system" (Grosfoguel, 2012). In the first part of the course, we will establish the theoretical foundations that will guide us throughout the rest of the semester. We will then turn to a wide variety of case studies where we will examine, for instance, the contemporary global division of labor, gendered violence in the form of feminicides, international migration, and global tourism. The course's final thematic section will be devoted to learning from the different feminisms (e.g. community feminism) emerging out of the Global South as well as the research done in that region and its contribution to the development of a broader gender studies scholarship. In particular, we will pay close attention to resistance, solidarity, and social movements led by women. Examples will be drawn from Latin America, the Caribbean, the US, Asia, and Africa.

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Counts Toward Africana Studies

Counts Toward Child and Family Studies

Counts Toward Gender Sexuality Studies

Counts Toward Latin American Iberian Latinx

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SOCL B231 Punishment and Social Order

Fall 2024

An examination of the American criminal justice system and punishment in its social context. The course addresses theoretical approaches to crime control and examines the current system of mass incarceration in cross cultural comparison and relative to alternative approaches including restorative and transformative justice.

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SOCL B232 A Sociological Journey to Immigrant Communities in Philly

Not offered 2024-25

This course will use the lenses of sociology to critically and comparatively examine various immigrant communities living in greater Philadelphia. It will expose students to the complex historical, economic, political, and social factors influencing (im)migration, as well as how migrants and the children of immigrants develop their sense of belonging and their homemaking practices in the new host society. In this course, we will probe questions of belonging, identity, homemaking, citizenship, transnationalism, and ethnic entrepreneurship and how individuals, families, and communities are transformed locally and across borders through the process of migration. This course also seeks to interrogate how once in a new country, immigrant communities not only develop a sense of belonging but also how they reconfigure their own identities while they transform the social, physical, and cultural milieus of their new communities of arrival. To achieve these ends, this course will engage in a multidisciplinary approach consisting of materials drawn from such disciplines as cultural studies, anthropology, history, migration studies, and sociology to examine distinct immigrant communities that have arrived in Philadelphia over the past 100 years. Although this course will also cover the histories of migrant communities arriving in the area in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a greater part of the course will focus on recent migrant communities, mainly from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean and arriving in the area of South Philadelphia. A special focus will be on the Mexican American migrant community that stands out among those newly arrived migrant communities.

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SOCL B235 Mexican-American Communities

Spring 2025

For its unique history, the number of migrants, and the two countries' proximity, Mexican migration to the United States represents an exceptional case in world migration. There is no other example of migration with more than 100 years of history. The copious presence of migrants concentrated in a host country, such as we have in the case of the 11.7 million Mexican migrants residing in the United States, along with another 15 million Mexican descendants, is unparalleled. The 1,933-mile-long border shared by the two countries makes it one of the longest boundary lines in the world and, unfortunately, also one of the most dangerous frontiers in the world today. We will examine the different economic, political, social and cultural forces that have shaped this centenarian migration influx and undertake a macro-, meso-, and micro-levels of analysis. At the macro-level of political economy, we will investigate the economic interdependency that has developed between Mexico and the U.S. over different economic development periods of these countries, particularly, the role the Mexican labor force has played to boosting and sustaining both the Mexican and the American economies. At the meso-level, we will examine different institutions both in Mexico and the U.S. that have determined the ways in which millions of Mexican migrate to this country. Last, but certainly not least, we will explore the impacts that both the macro-and meso-processes have had on the micro-level by considering the imperatives, aspirations, and dreams that have prompted millions of people to leave their homes and communities behind in search of better opportunities. This major life decision of migration brings with it a series of social transformations in family and community networks, this will look into the cultural impacts in both the sending and receiving migrant communities. In sum, we will come to understand how these three levels of analysis work together.

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Counts Toward Gender Sexuality Studies

Counts Toward Latin American Iberian Latinx

Counts Toward Praxis Program

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SOCL B239 Sociology of Social Media

Spring 2025

This course will introduce students to a range of debates on the nature and effects of online social networks. How are virtual communities like in-person communities and how are they different? How do people's online and offline social worlds relate? What are the consequences of social media for politics and social relations? Students will learn the theories and methods that sociologists use to approach these questions.

Course does not meet an Approach

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SOCL B246 Sociology of Migration: A Cross-Cultural Overview of Contemporary Challenges

Not offered 2024-25

The twenty-first century began much as the twentieth century did for the United States with high levels of immigration. This has affected not only the nation, but the discipline of sociology. Just as early twentieth century Chicago School sociology focused on immigration and settlement issues, so too the first decade of the twenty-first century shows a flurry of sociological imagination devoted to immigration scholarship. This course will center on the key texts, issues, and approaches coming out of this renovated sociology of immigration, but we will also include approaches to the study of immigration from history, anthropology, and ethnic studies. While we will consider comparative and historical approaches, our focus will be on the late twentieth century through the present, and we will spend a good deal of time focusing on the longest running labor migration in the world, Mexican immigration to the U.S., as well as on Central American migrant communities in the U.S. Students with an interest in contemporary U.S. immigration will be exposed to a survey of key theoretical approaches and relevant issues in immigration studies in the social sciences. Current themes, such as globalization, transnationalism, gendered migration, immigrant labor markets, militarization of the U.S.-Mexican border, U.S. migration policy, the new second generation and segmented assimilation, and citizenship will be included.

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

Counts Toward Latin American Iberian Latinx

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SOCL B251 Queering Utopia

Not offered 2024-25

What if? This question is at the heart of both social theory and speculative fiction. Theory and fiction both serve as ways through which to make sense of social life and to imagine alternatives. Within the traditions of feminist and queer thought, utopian and dystopian fiction have been utilized as a means by which to imagine the outcomes of various social processes and alternative gender/sexuality systems. This medium is also useful for exploring the ways in which gender and sexuality are not only integral to individual identity but also to the structure of social life itself. In this course we will analyze the challenges to the status quo asserted by feminist theorists and queer theorists alongside a comparison with indigenous systems of gender. We will also consider the various implications for everyday life of these theories as presented through the lens of speculative fiction. We will compare works of fiction with works of social theory to think through the ways in which gender and sexuality structure social life as well as the ways in which we do, undo, and resist gender in everyday life. Over the course of the semester, we will contemplate work by Samuel R. Delany; Michael Warner; Margaret Atwood; Ursula Le Guin; Nikki Sullivan; Sara Ahmed, José Esteban Muñoz, Laura Mamo, and more.

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SOCL B258 Sociology of Education

Not offered 2024-25

Major sociological theories of the relationships between education and society, focusing on the effects of education on inequality in the United States and the historical development of primary, secondary, and post-secondary education in the United States. Other topics include education and social selection, testing and tracking, and micro- and macro-explanations of differences in educational outcomes. This is a Praxis II course; placements are in local schools.

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Counts Toward Child and Family Studies

Counts Toward Praxis Program

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SOCL B260 A City of Homes: Housing Issues in Philadelphia

Spring 2025

In the late 19th century, Philadelphia's boosters described the city as the "City of Homes" to celebrate its success compared to other major cities in the US in providing housing and opportunities for homeownership for its growing population of workers. This class investigates the unique history of housing in Philadelphia. We will cover the problems the city has faced and still faces in providing affordable housing, fair access to housing and creating diverse and vibrant neighborhoods and its great legacy of innovation in this area. We will use Philadelphia as a case for investigating the relationship between housing, the economy, locational resources, and neighborhood development. We will see how racial capitalism shapes what housing is built, where it is built and who has access to it. Through the Tri-Co Philly program students will engage with this literature as part of an immersive experience in the city and gain a deeper understanding of the practice of engaging with housing issues for professionals and political actors.

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SOCL B262 Public Opinion

Not offered 2024-25

This course will assess public opinion in American politics: what it is, how it is measured, how it is shaped, how it relates to public policy, and how it changes over time. It includes both questions central to political scientists (what is the public, how do they exercise their voice, does the government listen and how do they respond?) and to sociologists (where do ideas come from, how do they gain societal influence, and how do they change over time?). It will pay close attention to the role of electoral politics throughout, both historically and in the current election. It is focused primarily on the United States, but seeks to place the US in global context. If this course is taken to fulfill an elective in the Data Science minor, students will conduct hands-on analyses with real data as a key component to both their Midterm and Final Essays.

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

Counts Toward Gender Sexuality Studies

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SOCL B264 Sociology of Childhood

Not offered 2024-25

In this course, we will examine childhood from a sociological perspective focusing on how children shape and are shaped by their social worlds. We will begin by considering childhood as an historically constructed category that has changed over time and place. We will next focus on three institutions that are key agents of childhood socialization: the family, the school, and peers. Finally, we will study topics that may be considered problems of childhood: commercialization, the medicalization of aspects of children's life experiences, and school discipline. Throughout the course, we will consider how children's lives are shaped by broader systems of inequality based on race, class, and gender.

Course does not meet an Approach

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SOCL B265 Quantitative Methods

Fall 2024

An introduction to the conduct of empirical, especially quantitative, social science inquiry. In consultation with the instructor, students may select research problems to which they apply the research procedures and statistical techniques introduced during the course. Using SPSS, a statistical computer package, students learn techniques such as cross-tabular analysis, ANOVA, and multiple regression. Required of Bryn Mawr Sociology majors and minors. Non-sociology majors and minors with permission of instructor.

Quantitative Methods (QM)

Quantitative Readiness Required (QR)

Counts Toward Data Science

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SOCL B276 Making Sense of Race

Spring 2025

What is the meaning of race in contemporary US and global society? How are these meanings (re)produced, resisted, and refused? What meanings might we desire or imagine as alternatives? In this course, we will approach these questions through an array of sources while tracking our own thinking about and experiences of raced-ness. Course material will survey sociological notions of the social construction of race, empirical studies of lived experiences of race, and creative fiction and non-fiction material intended to catalyze thinking about alternative possibilities.

Course does not meet an Approach

Counts Toward Africana Studies

Counts Toward Gender Sexuality Studies

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SOCL B291 Jews and Racialization

Not offered 2024-25

This course focuses on the racialization of the immigrant groups who arrived in the U.S, beginning in the early days of New Amsterdam and moving through the early twenty first century. Our particular focus will be on Jews; although we will examine Jewish inclusion and exclusion in the context of the marginalization of other ethnic groups. The WhiteThe dominant group assigned district physical, moral and personality characteristics to the various immigrant communities; but each of these stereotypes nevertheless was the basis for marginalizing all members of these groups. rical approach to understanding the various characterizations given to these distinct groups how these outsiders were discriminated against. U.S. history is often defined in the categories of "black" and "white;" but the racial and ethnic status of "other" immigrants was problematic from the point of view of the dominant group, the White Anglo Saxon Protestant. Immigrants from different ill interrogate how their perspective came to be socially constructed as "natural" and thereby hegemonic and how this dominant, privileged group defined and controlled social institutions, policies and even individual consciousness.

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Power, Inequity, and Justice (PIJ)

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SOCL B302 Social Theory

Fall 2024, Spring 2025

This course focuses primarily on the works of classical social theorists. The theorists include: George Herbert Meade, Emile Durkheim, Karl Marx, and Max Weber; and secondarily their influences on the works of more contemporary theorists: C. Wright Mills, Shulamith Firestone, Antonio Gramsci, Erving Goffman, Randall Collins, Robert Bellah, Howard Becker, and Pierre Bourdieu. Among the theoretical conceptions examined: culture, religion, the sacred, power, authority, modernization, deviance, bureaucracy, social stratification, social class, status groups, social conflict, and social conceptions of the self.

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SOCL B303 Junior Conference: Discipline-Based Intensive Writing

Fall 2024, Spring 2025

This course will introduce students to a range of qualitative methods in the discipline and will require students to engage, through reading and writing, a wide range of sociological issues. The emphasis of the course will be to develop a clear, concise writing style, while maintaining a sociological focus. Substantive areas of the course will vary depending on the instructor. Prerequisite: Required of and limited to Bryn Mawr Sociology Major, Junior Standing

Writing Intensive

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SOCL B309 Sociology of Religion

Spring 2025

This course will investigate what sociology offers to an historical and contemporary understanding of religion. Most broadly, the course explores how religion has fared under the conditions of modernity given widespread predictions of secularization yet remarkably resilient and resurgent religious movements the world over. The course is structured to alternate theoretical approaches to religion with specific empirical cases that illustrate, test, or contradict the particular theories at hand. It focuses primarily on the West, but situated within a global context.

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SOCL B317 Comparative Social Policy: Cuba, China, US, Scandinavia

Not offered 2024-25

This course will examine different countries' policy choices to address different societal challenges. Four societal types - socialist (Cuba), post-socialist (China), capitalist (US), and social-democratic (Scandinavia) - will be studies to help us understand how these different kinds of societies conceive of social problems and propose and implement attempted solutions. We will examine particular problems/solutions in four domains: health/sports; education; environment; technological development. As we explore these domains, we will attend to methodological issues involved in making historical and institutional comparisons

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SOCL B323 Communes, Co-ops, and Collectives: Alternative Organizations

Not offered 2024-25

From schools to hospitals to grocery stores, most of the organizations we encounter and participate in throughout our lives are based on a hierarchical, bureaucratic form of organization. How did this form of organization come to be so common in U.S. society? And what are the alternatives? In this course, we will begin by exploring the origins, form, and proliferation of what Max Weber famously referred to as the "iron cage" of bureaucracy. Then we will focus on alternative forms of organization, such as communes, cooperatives, and collectives. How do these types of collectivist-democratic organizations differ from the rational-bureaucratic organizations with which we are most familiar? How are these alternative organizations structured? What makes them work-or not? From the Burning Man (anti)organization to mutual aid societies, democratic schools, farmer cooperatives, and feminist collectives, we will explore the ways in which alternative organizations can enforce the status quo or serve as catalysts for social change. Prerequisite: At least one social science course or permission of instructor.

Course does not meet an Approach

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SOCL B324 Du Bois and Sociology: The Racialized Self in Modernity

Not offered 2024-25

W.E.B. Du Bois pioneered a liberatory sociology of emancipation grounded in rigorous empirical investigation of social problems and a theory of the racialized self in modernity. In this course, we will examine the Du Boisian roots of American sociology, studying some of his most influential texts for insights into how sociology can address important current public conversations about dismantling racist and exploitative structures of oppression.

Course does not meet an Approach

Counts Toward Africana Studies

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SOCL B326 Feminist Perspectives on Hlth

Not offered 2024-25

Increasingly, an individual's sense of self and worth as a citizen turns on their health identity. In this course we will draw on theories of gender, race, sexuality, medicalization, and biocitizenship to unravel the ways in which gender structures and medical institutions are mutually constitutive and to explore how this relationship, in turn, impacts individual identity. The course will take a global approach to feminist engagement with health issues with an emphasis on human rights and bodily autonomy.

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SOCL B327 Capital & Connections:A Network Approach to Social Structure

Spring 2025

Is it better to have a tightly knit circle of friends or several compartmentalized groups? And better for what--social support, academic achievement, finding a job, coming up with a new idea, sparking a social movement? How might we study questions like these? In this course, we will explore the various ways of understanding social connections as a resource--as a form of capital--and we will learn how to collect and analyze data about networks to investigate the structure of social networks. In particular, we will learn how to think about advantages and disadvantages as resulting from the structure and composition of our social networks. Prerequisite: At least one social science course or permission of instructor.

Course does not meet an Approach

Counts Toward Data Science

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SOCL B328 The Black Middle Class

Not offered 2024-25

The Black Middle Class has often been used rhetorically and empirically to make claims about the intersection of race and class in the US. We will examine the evolving debate about significance of race and class with the Black Middle class at its center.

Course does not meet an Approach

Power, Inequity, and Justice (PIJ)

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SOCL B329 Race, Class & Gender: Intersectionality & the Social World

Not offered 2024-25

This course takes an in-depth look into how racism, classism, and sexism perpetuate inequality as well as scholarly debates and engagements with intersectionality theory. We will critically engage with intersectionality theory and explore scholarship that applies intersectionality theory to a variety of social arenas including families, activism, education, sexuality, politics, health, work, and more. By the end of the course, you should be able to identify contemporary scholarly debates surrounding intersectionality theory and evaluate its applications across sociological works. Throughout the semester we will practice synthesizing readings, crafting original arguments, and critical writing skills.

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SOCL B331 Global Sociology: Capital, Power, and Protest in World-Historical Perspective

Not offered 2024-25

The last decades of the 20th century brought about a series of social, political, economic, and cultural changes that have reshaped our ways of understanding and thereby relating to the world. Globalization as a conceptual paradigm has assisted us in comprehending those changes and most importantly the impacts that those changes have brought to our lives individually and collectively. In this sense, globalization has not only stirred up a series of debates within the social sciences about its novelty, but has also become one of the most contested concepts, meaning that there are different and competing understandings of what the term means and how to assess the process. With this in mind, the objective of this course is to explore the distinct themes that make up what is referred to as the sociology of globalization. These include: globalization studies and theories of globalization; the global economy; political globalization; globalization and culture; transnational civil society/transnational social movements; globalization and gender/race/ethnicity; transnational migration; new global division of labor; and human consequences of globalization in the form of the so-called wasted lives (Bauman), to mention just a few. Linkages between social, political, and economic forces that play a role in shaping trends and problems will be analyzed through lectures, readings, discussions, case studies, and films shown in class. An intersectional perspective of race, class, nationality, and gender (among other social axes of oppression) will be used to demonstrate how various historically marginalized groups experience the impact of globalization. Finally, this course adopts a social justice framework with the intent to cultivate students as active agents of change. Prerequisite: Previous course in social science; permission of instructor.

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SOCL B332 Sociology of Popular Culture

Fall 2024

"Culture" is one of those words that is used constantly by nearly everyone, but rarely is it made clear what exactly is meant by the term or what precisely it is contributing as either cause or effect. This course seeks to provide clarity and precision in what is meant by the term "culture" and how it can be a useful analytical concept, focusing explicitly on those cultural objects deemed "popular." It will explore how popular culture is produced, reproduced, received, challenged, disseminated, resisted, and transformed. Special attention will be given to how popular culture interacts with other social institutions, social movements, power relationships, and intersectional identities.

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SOCL B333 Varieties of Sociological Imagination: Voices from the Major

Fall 2024

In this course, we will explore works of sociological theory and imagination from thinkers outside the US and Europe, classic and contemporary. We will read and discuss texts from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East addressing a variety of sociological themes, including race, gender, caste, and colonialism. We will also discuss how these works can inform and inspire our own sociological research and practice.

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Power, Inequity, and Justice (PIJ)

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SOCL B338 The Black Diaspora in the US: African and Caribbean Communities.

Not offered 2024-25

An examination of the socioeconomic experiences of immigrants who arrived in the United States since the landmark legislation of 1965. After exploring issues of development and globalization at "home" leading to migration, the course proceeds with the study of immigration theories. Major attention is given to the emergence of transnational identities and the transformation of communities, particularly in the northeastern United States.

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SOCL B350 Movements for Social Justice

Not offered 2024-25

Throughout human history, powerless groups of people have organized social movements to improve their lives and their societies. Powerful groups and institutions have resisted these efforts in order to maintain their own privilege. Some periods of history have been more likely than others to spawn protest movements. What factors seem most likely to lead to social movements? What determines their success/failure? We will examine 20th and 21st-century social movements to answer these questions. Prerequisite: At least one prior social science course or permission of the instructor.

Power, Inequity, and Justice (PIJ)

Counts Toward Gender Sexuality Studies

Counts Toward Peace Justice and Human Rights

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SOCL B398 Senior Conference

This capstone course for the sociology major focuses on major concepts or areas in sociology and requires students to develop their analytical and synthetic skills as they confront both theoretical and empirical materials. The Key emphasis in the course will be on students' writing. Through a variety of assignments (of different lengths and purposes), students will practice the process (drafts) and elements (clarity and concision) of good writing. Specific topical content will vary by semester according to the expertise of the instructor and the interests of students. Writing Attentive.

Writing Attentive

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SOCL B403 Supervised Work

Students have the opportunity to do individual research projects under the supervision of a faculty member.

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SOCL B420 Praxis Fieldwork Seminar

Section 001 (Spring 2024): Social Justice
Section 001 (Spring 2025): Social Justice

Counts Toward Praxis Program

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EDUC B266 Geographies of School and Learning: Urban Education Reconsidered

Spring 2025

This course examines issues, challenges, and possibilities of urban education in contemporary America. We use as critical lenses issues of race, class, and culture; urban learners, teachers, and school systems; and restructuring and reform. While we look at urban education nationally over several decades, we use Philadelphia as a focal "case" that students investigate through documents and school placements. Weekly fieldwork in a school required.

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Power, Inequity, and Justice (PIJ)

Counts Toward Africana Studies

Counts Toward Child and Family Studies

Counts Toward Praxis Program

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HLTH B302 Survey Methods for Health Research

Not offered 2024-25

Surveys are widely used to measure the population prevalence of various health conditions; to better understand the scope and impact of exposure to social and economic stressors on population health; to monitor health-related knowledge, attitudes and practices; and to inform health systems strengthening efforts. Through course material and hands-on experience, students will master the basic elements of survey design, including, operationalizing constructs and formulating research questions, choosing a mode of survey implementation, pretesting the survey instrument, designing a sampling plan, managing field operations, and analyzing and interpreting survey data. Prerequisites: Completion of a 200-level course in the social sciences or permission of the instructor.

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Contact Us

Department of Sociology

Dalton Hall
Bryn Mawr College
101 N. Merion Avenue
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010-2899
Phone: 610-526-5030 or 610-526-5331