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Academic Initiatives

Spring 2020 Themes

SSC 200 33/89: MWF 2:30-3:20 p.m.

Millions of people around the world seek to find out more about themselves through DNA mapping with companies like 23&Me and What happens to a family when those results run contrary to the stories and legends passed down from generation to generation?  Family narratives impact not only how the family sees themselves, but also their place in society. This class will seek to understand how communication strategies play a role in helping individuals and families move forward after getting these conflicting results.

SSC 200 04/54: TR 12:30-1:45 p.m.
SSC 200 5/55: TR 3:35-4:50 p.m.

This course will introduce students to the social sciences through the theme of Activism in the 21st Century.  Using examples from contemporary activism such as Occupy Movement, Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, Standing Rock, Women's March, and Sunrise Movement, students will examine questions such as: How does one become an activist? What are the potential rewards and consequences of being an activist? How are laws and criminal justice policies being used to limit activism? This course will address the theme primarily through the social science disciplines of Sociology, Psychology, and Communication.

SSC 200 11/60: TR 8-9:15 a.m.
SSC 200 12/61: TR 3:35-4:50 p.m.
SSC 200 13/62: TR 5:05-6:20 p.m.

This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to exploring issues involved in criminal investigation and prosecution, with particular emphasis on the implications of these legal procedures for those who are actually innocent of the suspected crimes.  Specific topics to be addressed include deception detection, interrogations and confessions, eyewitness identifications, confirmation bias in the forensic examination of evidence, plea bargaining, and jury decision-making.


SSC 200 H2: MWF 10:10-11 a.m.

This course examines the multidimensional phenomenon of globalization. We will explore the political, economic, and social/cultural dimensions of globalization.  In addition, the origins and causes of globalization and its effects will be examined.

SSC 200 22: MWF 11:15-12:05 p.m. 
SSC 200 H4: MWF 12:20-1:10 p.m.

This course explores the development of the media in the United States and its influence in shaping the choices we make in our lives.  Students will examine the media using perspectives from political science, sociology, and communication.

SSC 200 28: MWF 9:05-9:55 a.m.
SSC 200 29: MWF 10:10-11 a.m.

In this course we will explore how law is used as more than just a system to punish, but as a way to shape society so that we can all live productive lives. Specifically, some of the topics will include crimes without victims, such as gambling, prostitution and drug addiction (we will also address how these crimes are not victimless when addressed from different perspectives), discuss the reason social controls must be applied to these issues, and examine administrative social controls such as licensing, inspections and the threat of publicity. Last, we will discuss white-collar crimes and social control of dissent.

SSC 200 14/63: TR 2-3:15 p.m.

This course considers 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 society impacts our eating choices.  For example, do those with easy access to grocery stores eat differently from those without? 

SSC 200 21: MWF 11:15-12:05 p.m.
SSC 200 25: MWF 1:25-2:15 p.m.

This course critically examines the historical process of globalization and highlights how global disparities in political and economic power have influenced that process.


SSC 200 30/86: MWF 11:15-12:05 p.m.

This course invites students into a contemporary discussion of an issue affecting a significant portion of the world’s population. Drawing upon research in sociology, criminal justice, and communication, this course will define gender violence; explore the reasons it occurs; examine its impact on individual, community, societal, and global levels; and analyze current systems and strategies are being used to respond to and end gender violence in the United States.

SSC 200 15/64: MWF 11:15-12:05 p.m.

For most children, compulsory education does not begin until around five years of age. However, children have remarkable abilities to learn from their environments very early in their lives. In this interdisciplinary course, we will explore social science research that addresses learning in children from birth to age five. We will investigate children’s learning in a variety of contexts (e.g., informal social interactions with families, caregivers, and peers, playing with toys and games, learning in group childcare and preschool settings).

SSC 200 16/65: TR 12:30-1:45 p.m.
SSC 200 17/66: TR 2-3:15 p.m.

In this course we explore how social scientists have conceptualized and investigated the determinants and effects of parents’ child-rearing strategies and behaviors. We also explore how parenting interventions are used to prevent and treat behavioral and psychological disorders of childhood and adolescence.

SSC 200 06/56: TR 3:35-4:50

This section will introduce students to the theories and methodologies of the social sciences by showing them how scholars in psychology, anthropology, and sociology analyze identity and its impact on politics and community-building. Once we have explored the theoretical frameworks and methods these disciplines use to study identity, we will examine how the politics of identity have shaped the development of the social sciences and how the knowledge its disciplines produce can be applied to contemporary political events and social movements.

SSC 200 A3/A4: TR 3:35-4:50

Mapping Cityscapes in Media uses the disciplines of communication, economics, and sociology to understand how the American cities have appeared in the media around us, particularly narrative film and television. Particular attention will be given to the practice of mapping these media texts, identifying their relationship to their real-life analogues, and what these relationships and representations reveal about the text’s relationship to power and reality. This focus will culminate in each student analyzing a film or TV text set in an American city and considering how that media’s production and representation of that city reinforces or challenges existing political ideologies.

SSC 200 02/52: MWF 10:10-11 a.m.
SSC 200 3/53: MWF 11:15-12:05 p.m.

This course introduces students to the social scientific study of law with specific attention to the myriad of ways that law intersects with and underlies urban life. Students will explore the relationship of law and cities through the interdisciplinary Law and Society perspective, with an emphasis on social science methodologies and perspectives from sociology, criminal justice studies, and political science.

SSC 200 31/87: MWF 12:20-1:10 p.m.
SSC 200 32/88: MWF 2:30-3:20 p.m.
SSC 200 98/99: MWF 12:20-1:10 p.m.

Media, Money and Politics will study the dynamics and issues involved in choosing candidates for elective office. Voter interaction with the news media and candidates, as well as the economic factors driving all of their messages, will be major ingredients of examination using perspectives from communication, economics and political science.

SSC 200 H9: TR 9:30-10:45 a.m.
SSC 200 P1: TR 11-12:15 p.m.

Learn social science by exploring people’s beliefs in gods and the spirit world (or NOT, in the case of a-theism).   We’ll emphasize how religious groups and spiritual persons work for the common good and social justice.  Topics include: 1) how religions and spiritualities are socially constructed through human interaction and power relations, 2) how religions and spiritualities are defined and viewed somewhat differently by anthropologists, psychologists, and sociologists, 3) how religion and spirituality (and atheistic perspectives) influence daily life explicitly and implicitly, 4) how religious groups organize and work for the common good and social justice.  The course includes a case study approach exemplifying different understandings and approaches.

SSC 200 35/91: TR 12:30-1:45 p.m.
SSC 200 A1/A2: TR 11-12:15 p.m.

With special missions to be accomplished, students will play board games to explore basic social science concepts from the disciplines such as Economics, Psychology, and Communication. What is the best strategy to win in a board game like Zombie in my Pocket? An iterative prisoner’s dilemma of a game theory may be the key! Students will enhance the knowledge of basic game terminologies and understand the gaming experience through various theories. This course also provides opportunities to design, develop, and thoroughly test games.  The class will allow students to improve their social science research skills.

SSC 200 24: MWF 1:25-2:15 p.m.
SSC 200 27: MWF 9:05-9:55 a.m.
SSC 200 79: MWF 11:15-12:05 p.m.

Since the United States dropped two atomic bombs on Japan in 1945, nuclear technology, whether for weapons or energy has remained highly controversial. Despite a number of international regimes to control the spread of nuclear weapons and stringent inspections by international bodies, nuclear crises continue to occur. While some countries are disavowing clean-burning nuclear power others are in the midst of building a nuclear arsenal. This course will explore social science research on the politics, economics, and psychology of nuclear technology. Asking questions like why do we continue to use nuclear energy after disasters like Chernobyl and Fukushima? And why do countries want nuclear weapons when nuclear war would most certainly wipe out human civilization?

SSC 200 C1: MWF 10:10-11 a.m.
SSC 200 1/51: MWF 9:05-9:55 a.m.

This course introduces us to sociological, economic and human rights perspectives on health disparities in the U.S. We will explore the theoretical approaches and methods of inquiry used by social scientists to understand the causes, consequences, and solutions for health disparities. By the end of the course, students will demonstrate knowledge of the sociological and economic frameworks used to understand health disparities, an understanding of the historical, structural, and institutional factors that contribute to disparate health outcomes, and an ability to connect opportunities in addressing health disparities to health-related human rights doctrines.

SSC 200 36/92: TR 2-3:15 p.m.

“There are three things you’re not supposed to discuss in polite company; religion, politics and money,” is a phrase many of us might have heard, especially as it pertains to dinnertime conversations.  Have you ever asked yourself the question why?  This course examines how people define and navigate “challenging conversations,” in addition to describing their outcomes through the lenses of Psychology, Sociology, and Communication.


College of Arts and Sciences

O'Reilly Hall
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 0800