In the classroom

SSC 200 Sections for Spring 2018


Animals and Society (SOC, POL, PSY)

  • SSC 200 01: TTh 2pm-3:15pm
  • SSC 200 03: TTh 3:35pm-4:50pm
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)

Global Gods and the Common Good (ANT, PSY, SOC)

  • SSC 200 02: TTh 9:30am-10:45am
  • SSC 200 P1: TTh 11am-12:15pm

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.


The Death Penalty (SOC, POL, PSY)

  • SSC 200 05: TTh 11am-12:15pm
  • SSC 200 C1: TTh 9:30am-10:45am

This course will examine the death penalty in a global and historical context looking particularly at the wide variation in the legal status and use of the death penalty across space and time. We will examine research in the social sciences that helps us to understand the factors that shape a state’s decision to maintain, use, or abolish the death penalty. Particular attention will be given to the status of the death penalty in the US.


Sexual Violence (SOC, PSY, CJS)

  • SSC 200 06: TTh 3:35pm-4:50pm

Sexual violence is one of the most pressing social problems of our times. The substantive purpose of this course is twofold. First, students will learn about different types of sexual violence (e.g., sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual trafficking, and child sexual abuse); empirical patterns of sexual violence; effects on survivors and motivations of perpetrators; and the social conditions that perpetuate this crime. Second, students will learn about the opportunities, pitfalls, and complexities of the public response to sexual violence. By examining specific cases of mobilization – like recent youth activism against campus sexual assault – students will develop a sophisticated analysis of sexuality, violence, and ethics.


Childhood Studies (ANT, PSY, SOC)

  • SSC 200 07 TTh 8am-9:15am
What are some of the key issues facing children today? In this class we will explore sociological, anthropological, and psychological perspectives on children and how these disciplines influence how we think about key issues related to children. Child workers, orphans and vulnerable children, bullying, abuse, diagnoses such as ADHD or RAD, and consumerism are examples of topics that we will cover.

Understanding Concussions (PSY, SOC, CMM)

  • SSC 200 11: TTh 8am-9:15am
  • SSC 200 12: TTh 9:30am-10:45am
  • SSC 200 13: MWF 1:25pm-2:15pm
  • SSC 200 14: MWF 2:30pm-3:20pm

Concussions have currently become a major topic of discussion throughout our culture. We will investigate the effects of this injury on a personal level, how it has shaped behaviors and policies throughout society, and the way this injury has been portrayed in the media. By looking at this injury through the perspectives of psychology, sociology, and communications, students will be able to better analyze evidence presented to them about a very complex societal issue.


Deconstructing Dinner: How and Why we Eat as we do. (PSY, SOC, ANT)

  • SSC 200 15: MWF 10:10am-11am

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


Forensic Social Sciences: Understanding & Preventing Wrongful Convictions (PSY, SOC, CJS)

  • SSC 200 16: MWF 8am-8:50am
  • SSC 200 17: MWF 9:05am-9:55am

In this course we will explore 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.


Wrongful Conviction (PSY, SOC, CJS)

  • SSC 200 18: MWF 12:20pm-1:10pm

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.


Engaged Scholarship for Homelessness: A Service-Learning Course (PSY, SOC, HRS)

  • SSC 200 19: TTh 5:05pm-6:20pm

Homelessness is examined from the perspectives of different social science disciplines, especially psychology, sociology, and human rights studies. Within an integrative framework, interdisciplinary connections are explored, with theoretical concepts, research methodologies, and practical applications from different disciplines viewed as complementary in explaining and addressing homelessness. A service-learning requirement provides students with experiential learning beyond the classroom; that is, students work approximately 4 hours per week (beyond class periods) to assist in implementing a participatory community action research project at a homeless shelter.


Media and American Life (POL, SOC, CMM)

  • SSC 200 22: MWF 1:25pm-2:15pm
  • SSC 200 H3: MWF 12:20pm-1:10pm

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


Ending Gender Violence (SOC, CJS, CMM)

  • SSC 200 30: MWF 9:05am-9:55am

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.


Public Memory: Monuments and Memorials (ANT, CMM, HRS)

  • SSC 200 31: MWF 9:05am-9:55am

Memory is something both private and public. As individuals, we cherish, share, and learn from our memories. As memories of a variety of cultural and social groups, we engage in similar acts for both connection and identity development. Some public memory becomes material in textual visual, oral, and physical forms. These artifacts of public memory are subject to the force of hegemony and institutional discourses. In this class, we will begin with an in-depth exploration of issues complicating public memory in order to more richly critique forms of memory artifact, such as monuments and memorials, and examine the importance of place and space.


Politics and Media (POL, COM, PSY)

  • SSC 200 32: MWF 11:15 am-12:05 pm

In Politics and Media, students explore the development of news media and its influence, through “news framing,” in shaping audience choices and opinions. Students will examine the news media using perspectives from political science, communication, psychology and journalism.


Media, Money and Politics (COM, ECO, POL)

  • SSC 200 33: MWF 1:25pm-2:15pm
  • SSC 200 34: MWF 2:30pm-3:20pm

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.


Challenging Conversations (CMM, PSY, SOC)

  • SSC 200 35: MWF 2:30pm-3:20pm

“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? The purpose of this course is to examine how people define and navigate “challenging conversations,” in addition to describing their outcomes through the lenses of Psychology, Sociology, and Communication.


Body Image in the Media (CMM, PSY, SOC)

  • SSC 200 36: TTh 12:30pm-1:45pm

This course will take the theme of body image and will utilize social science methods and theory to examine various aspects of our obsession with our physical appearance from the perspectives of psychology, sociology and communication.


Play Smart: Games & Design Thinking (CMM, PSY, ECO)

  • SSC 200 37: TTh 2pm-3:15pm
  • SSC 200 38: TTh 3:35pm-4:50pm

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.


International Street Smarts: Working with the Economic Superpowers (CMM, ECO, SOC)

  • SSC 200 39: MWF 12:20pm-1:10pm

This course will utilize social science methods and theory to examine and understand various aspects of cross-cultural interactions. In the interest of time, we will be concentrating on the cultures of China, Japan, and the United Kingdom. We explore these economic superpowers by comparing them to the United States, showing that through an understanding of cultural differences, American individuals and companies can better compete in the international business arena.


Parent-Child Relations (PSY, SOC, ECO)

  • SSC 200 40: MWF 12:20pm-1:10pm
  • SSC 200 41: MWF 1:25pm-2:15pm

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.


Globalization (POL, ECO, SOC)

  • SSC 200 H2: MWF 10:10am-11am

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.


Globalization (POL, ECO, HRS)

  • SSC 200 H5: Th 11am-12:15pm

We live in a time of great transformation: the world feels small, information travels more quickly, capital flows more readily, and our politics are more intertwined. “Globalization” is a concept that captures these shifts and directs us to think about the forces and processes that impact the world around us. In this course, we address topics like free trade, inequality, borders, refugees, transnational advocacy, and climate change from multiple perspectives that include economics, political science, and human rights studies.


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

  • SSC 200 H6: TTh 9:30am-10:45am

Chances are you will live and work in cities-places offering promise but also many problems. Why do people band together in these dense diverse mixes of homes, offices, and factories? What does the future hold for cities in America and around the globe? And what can we do to make the futures of our greatest invention brighter?