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Brandeis SOC 104A - SYLLABUS

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Midterm essays due Oct 6, in class (on first two topics)Prof. Sirianni, Soc 1a: Order and Change, Fall 2008 - 1 Soc 1a Order and Change in Society Fall 2008 M, W, Th 10:10-11am Prof. Carmen Sirianni Pearlman 210, x62652; [email protected] Office Hours: M, W 3:30-5pm and by appointment This course analyzes patterns of social organization and change in a variety of different arenas of social and institutional life: work, family, gender, community, poverty, wealth, race, environment, social movements, politics. It focuses on the United States over the past several decades, though it also examines longer patterns over the course of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. Broad normative questions of democracy and equality run throughout all topics. The required reading will be discussed most intensively in your discussion sections, and everyone is required to attend these and do all of the readings beforehand. Assigned sections will be developed within the first 2 weeks or so of the course. Two sets of take-home essays, plus participation in section, will determine final grades: 1. Midterm take home essays (35 percent of grade): DUE OCT 6 (in class) 2. Final take home essays (50 percent of grade): due: DUE DEC 15 3. Participation/preparation in section: 15 percent of grade 4. Service Learning Option: Students engaged in community service, social action, or campus leadership projects may opt to write one of their essays for the final on their experiences. This may require supplemental reading appropriate to the nature of the student’s active engagement. Students wishing to choose this option should discuss it with their TAs and/or the instructor as early in the semester as possible, and must receive formal approval by October 15. Disabled students requiring specific arrangements in completing course work should see their TA and/or instructor. Required readings (at Bookstore and on reserve, all in paperback): Rachel Sherman, Class Acts: Service and Inequality in Luxury Hotels (University of California Press, 2007). Arlie Hochschild, The Second Shift (Penguin, 2003 edition). Mindy Fried, Taking Time (Temple University Press, 1998). Aldon Morris, Origins of the Civil Rights Movement (Free Press, 1984). Richard Wood, Faith in Action: Religion, Race, and Democratic Organizing in America (University of Chicago Press, 2002). Barack Obama, The Audacity of Hope (New York: Crown Publishers, 2006). Thomas Shapiro, The Hidden Cost of Being African American: How Wealth Perpetuates Inequality (Oxford University Press, 2005). Juliet Schor, The Overspent American (Basic Books, 1998). Freeman House, Totem Salmon: Life Lessons from Another Species (Beacon Press, 1999).Prof. Sirianni, Soc 1a: Order and Change, Fall 2008 - 2 Aug 28: Introduction: Overview of course topics, readings, assignments. Sept 3-18: The Changing Nature of Work: From Industrial to Postindustrial Society The organization and meaning of work; scientific management and industrial work; recognition and power in service workplaces, gender, race; postindustrialism and computer technologies. Readings: Sherman, Class Acts Sept 22-Oct 2: Family, Gender, and Work Inequality and gender at the intersection of work and family. Negotiating equity and flexibility. The challenges of work-family policy. Reading: Arlie Hochschild, The Second Shift Mindy Fried, Taking Time Sept 29: Brandeis Tuesday (no class) Midterm essays due Oct 6, in class (on first two topics) Oct 6-13: Social Movements How do social movements bring about change? How do they transform identities, values and institutions? Why do people mobilize? How do movements sustain themselves? The civil rights movement will be used as a case study. Reading: Aldon Morris, Origins of the Civil Rights Movement Film: A Force More Powerful (Nashville segment) Oct 9: Brandeis holiday, no class Oct 15-23: Community, Religion, and Urban Politics How do people act through religious congregations and civic associations to build social capital and revitalize their communities? Faith-based and race-based community organizing in urban regimes. Readings: Richard Wood, Faith in Action Oct 27-Nov 3: Political Sociology and Democratic Governance How do political leaders and parties “frame” issues of policy and democratic governance? Some enduring frames in the Democratic and Republican parties. A (nonpartisan) case study of the 2008 presidential election.Prof. Sirianni, Soc 1a: Order and Change, Fall 2008 - 3 Reading: Obama, Audacity of Hope. Nov 5-13: Racial Inequality: Income and Wealth What are the dynamics of race, wealth, and income in the U.S., and what might these entail for public policy? Readings: Shapiro, The Hidden Cost of Being African American Nov 17-26: Affluence, Consumption, and the American Dream How has the American dream changed over the years? Leisure, work, and consumption. Affluence amid poverty, inequality, time famine. Readings: Schor, The Overspent American Nov 27: Thanksgiving Dec 1-4: Ecology and Civic Environmentalism Ecological systems and civic action; the strengths and limits of command-and-control regulation; new forms of collaboration and consensus building to restore ecosystems; watershed associations and the watershed movement. Readings: Freeman House, Totem Salmon Dec 8: last class/review Final Essays Due: December


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