St. Joes with bicycle

SSC 200 Themes, Fall 2014

Mass Incarceration (CJS, POL, SOC)

Jamie Longazel
  • SSC 200 01: MWF, 10:00-10:50 AM
  • SSC 200 02: MWF, 11:00-11:50 AM

The United States incarcerates more of its people than any other country in the world. More than 2.2 million people are behind bars in America today. This course uses the disciplines of Sociology, Criminal Justice Studies, and Political Science to examine the political forces that led to this incarceration binge, the conditions of confinement that prisoners confront, and the impact incarcerating so many people has on communities, particularly those that have been historically marginalized.

Animals & Society (ANT, ECO, POL)

Paul Becker
  • SSC 200 04: MW, 3:00-4:15 PM

This course will explore various types of human-animal interaction and the roles that animals play in our lives by focusing on research and theories from sociology, political science and economics (though during the semester we will also address perspectives from psychology, social work, criminal justice studies, and communications). The course will be divided up into four sections: Overview of Animal Studies, Dogs and Cats (including pets and human health, shelters and pet over-crowding, and service animals), Animals and Agriculture, and Exotic and Wild animals (including issues related to zoos, circuses, wildlife management, and the debate over exotic pets).

Criminal Investigation & Prosecution (CJS, PSY, SOC)

Dario Rodriguez
  • SSC 200 10: MW, 3:00-4:15 PM

We will examine evidentiary issues and error-prone tactics used in the investigation and prosecution of suspects from the perspectives of psychology, sociology, and criminal justice. Some topics we will cover include: deception detection, interrogations and confessions, eyewitness identifications, forensic analysis of physical evidence, plea bargaining, and jury decision-making.

Deconstructing Dinner (ANT, ECO, PSY)

Marianne Engle
  • SSC 200 11: MWF, 11:00-11:50 AM

In this course we will consider questions relevant to Psychology like "How could you eat dessert after that huge meal?" and Anthropological questions like "Why would anyone eat that ever?" We will also consider how economic factors affect not only what we can afford to eat, but also what foods are available for purchase.

Come Out & Play (ANT, PSY, SOC)

Melissa Layman-Guadalupe
  • SSC 200 12: TR, 9:00-10:15 AM

Students will explore various aspects of play in our lives through the lenses of Psychology, Sociology, and Anthropology. Topics to be covered include the developmental importance of play in childhood, sociological trends in play in the United States, cross-cultural similarities and differences in children's play, the role of play and recreation in adulthood, and play therapy.  Students will improve their ability to locate and use primary source literature, as well as their skill in creating and delivering a class presentation.  Students will conduct an observation of children at play and apply psychological concepts to their findings, as well as reflect on the role of play in their own lives.

Poverty & Child Development (ECO, PSY, SOC)

Mary Fuhs
  • SSC 200 13: TR, 3:00-4:15 PM

The purpose of this course is to critically examine the consequences of poverty for child development among children in the United States. As an interdisciplinary course, discussion topics will include psychological, sociological, and economic perspectives on the underlying difficulties for children in poverty and the potential benefits of various interventions (e.g., educational, financial, and public policy interventions). Over the course of the semester, we will address three primary questions. First, what are psychological, social, and economic risk and resiliency factors facing children growing up in poverty? Second, how are these factors addressed through prevention and intervention programs? Third, are these prevention and intervention programs effective?

The Connection Between Government & Citizens: Is it all just a "House of Cards?" (ECO, POL, PSY)

Nancy Miller
  • SSC 200 20: MWF, 10:00-10:50 AM

What does it mean to be represented? Must a representative possess shared characteristics with those they represent?  Or can representation be more symbolic?  Must a representative act at the direction of those represented?  Or should a representative act in the representeds best interests? This course will explores these questions focusing on both individual and institutional explorations of the concept of representation via the lenses of Political Science, Economics and Psychology.

Media & American Life (CMM, POL, SOC)

Daniel Birdsong
  • SSC 200 21: MWF, 2:00-2:50 PM

In Media and American Life students explore the development of media and its influence in shaping the choices they make in their lives.  Students will examine the news media, television, cinema, and the Internet using perspectives from political science, sociology, and communication.

Understanding Inequality (ECO, POL, SOC)

David Watkins
  • SSC 200 22: TR, 9:00-10:15 AM

Since the late 1970s, the level of inequality - the gap in earnings, wealth, and life-chances - between the rich and poor has been steadily increasing. The reasons for this trend are a source of considerable controversy across the social science disciplines, as it defied the predictions and expectations of development economics. In this class, we will explore how different social science disciplines, including political science, economics, sociology and anthropology, have sought to explain recent trends in the economic inequality. We will also examine and evaluate a number of policy proposals to address this trend emerging from this research.

Globalization (HRS, POL, SOC)

Anthony Talbott
  • SSC 200 23: TR, 10:30-11:45 AM
  • SSC 200 24: TR, 3:00-4:15 PM

This course explores some of the profound changes taking place in the 21st century world and looks at how individuals fit into the "big picture." Mass transportation, telecommunications, mobile devices, the environment, international law, world trade, international crime and terrorism, and other forces and topics are examined from multiple perspectives, including: political science, human rights studies, and sociology.

Cities: Our Past, Our Future (POL, SOC, ECO)

Joshua Ambrosius
  • SSC 200 25: TR 10:30-11:45

Since the early twentieth century work of the Chicago School of Sociology, the American city has been a laboratory for social scientists to observe human relations, power structures, and economic activities, formal and informal. This course will build on that tradition as students study the city from three social science perspectives: sociology, political science, and economics.