Sociology and Anthropology Courses

Spring 2022

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Field Methods in Archaeology

SOAN 210 - Gaylord, Donald A.

Additional special fees may apply. If necessary, some financial aid may be available through departmental funds. This course introduces students to archaeological field methods through hands-on experience, readings, and fieldtrips. Students study the cultural and natural processes that lead to the patterns we see in the archaeological record. Using the scientific method and current theoretical motivations in anthropological archaeology, students learn how to develop a research design and to implement it with actual field excavation. We visit several field excavation sites in order to experience, first hand, the range of archaeological field methods and research interests currently undertaken by leading archaeologists. Students use the archaeological data to test hypotheses about the sites under consideration and produce a report of their research, which may take the form of a standard archaeological report, an academic poster, or a conference-style presented paper.

Laboratory Methods in Archaeology

SOAN 211 - Bell, Alison K.

Additional special fees may apply. If necessary, some financial aid may be available through departmental funds. This course introduces students to archaeological lab methods through hands-on experience, readings, and fieldtrips. Students process and catalogue archaeological finds ensuring they maintain the archaeological provenience of these materials. Using the scientific method and current theoretical motivations in anthropological archaeology, students learn how to develop and test hypotheses about the site under consideration by analyzing the artifacts they themselves have processed. We visit several archaeology labs in order to experience, first hand, the range of projects and methods currently undertaken by leading archaeologists. Students then use the archaeological data to test their hypotheses and produce a report of their research, which may take the form of a standard archaeological report, an academic poster, or a conference-style presented paper.

Laboratory Methods in Archaeology

SOAN 211 - McCarty, Sue A. (Sue Ann)

Additional special fees may apply. If necessary, some financial aid may be available through departmental funds. This course introduces students to archaeological lab methods through hands-on experience, readings, and fieldtrips. Students process and catalogue archaeological finds ensuring they maintain the archaeological provenience of these materials. Using the scientific method and current theoretical motivations in anthropological archaeology, students learn how to develop and test hypotheses about the site under consideration by analyzing the artifacts they themselves have processed. We visit several archaeology labs in order to experience, first hand, the range of projects and methods currently undertaken by leading archaeologists. Students then use the archaeological data to test their hypotheses and produce a report of their research, which may take the form of a standard archaeological report, an academic poster, or a conference-style presented paper.

A World of Data: Baseball and Statistics

SOAN 220 - Eastwood, Jonathan R. (Jon) / Kosky, Jeffrey L.

An introduction to the world of data and data analysis, emphasizing Bayesian methods. Taking the case of contemporary sports, with a particular focus on baseball, it teaches students how to build models of player performance while also asking important questions about the limitations of such approaches to human activities. What is gained and lost in the world made by measuring human actions in reliable ways? How is our experience in the world--in this case as athletes playing and spectators living sports--affected when we see it in terms of statistics and predictive models? What interests and what concerns make up our lives when we engage the world in this way? What interests and concerns may be obscured? The course offers a rare opportunity to acquire some expertise in producing data-driven knowledge and decisions while also reflecting on what it is like to be a non-expert living in the world shaped by such expertise.

Special Topics in Sociology

SOAN 290A - Perez, Marcos E.

A discussion of a series of topics of sociological concern. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Spring 2022, SOAN 290A-01: Special Topics in Sociology: Global Urban Sociology (3).  The course will explore the complexities of city life in an increasingly globalized world, focusing on three broad topics. First, we will examine the challenges caused by urbanization in both developed and developing societies: how to provide basic services for urban residents, avoid environmental degradation, and mitigate poverty, inequality, and violence. Second, we will discuss the economic role that cities have played during different historical periods. Third, we will consider how urban life may change in the future, looking especially at technology and climate change. Pérez. 

Special Topics in Sociology

SOAN 290B - Cataldi, John

A discussion of a series of topics of sociological concern. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Spring 2022, SOAN 290B-01: Special Topics in Sociology: Introduction to Criminology: Crime Holistically Viewed as a Social Event of Interactions (3).  This mutually engaging class introduces the fundamentals of criminology via a holistic perspective. As a social event of interactions, every crime has a unique set of causes, consequences, and participants. However, patterns emerge allowing for potential generalized themes for us to analyze, scrutinize and learn.  Crime affects all of us directly and indirectly.  It has a significant impact on those who are direct participants in the immediate social event itself such as offenders, victims, police officers, and witnesses.  Yet, crime also has a powerful but indirect effect on society as a whole. We will laterally study crime from the varied perspectives of direct and indirect participants in an attempt to derive productive holistic understandings. Cataldi.

Special Topics in Anthropology

SOAN 291A - Rainville, Lynn

A discussion of a series of topics of anthropological concern. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Spring 2022, SOAN 291A-01: Special Topics in Anthropology: Ethnohistory of W&L's Past (3).  In this course we will apply interdisciplinary methods to study four centuries of W&L material culture and historic records. These items will be used to uncover overlooked stories about W&L founders, its evolving curriculum, and the historic campus. During the term we will visit multiple collections of art, ceramics, artifacts, and documents on campus. We will also explore on and off-campus historic landscapes, including local graveyards. Students will synthesize this material and produce several deliverables: (1) three essays (worth 10% each), (2) a poster for the Spring Term Showcase that analyzes the past social networks of our community (worth 20%), and (3) ten assignments (worth a total of 30%) on a range of ethno-historic topics. The final 20% of your grade will be based on participatory activities during class. Rainville.

Special Topics in Anthropology

SOAN 291B - Dogan, Hulya

A discussion of a series of topics of anthropological concern. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Spring 2022, SOAN 291B-02: Special Topics in Anthropology: Social Media Analytics (3).  In this course, students will learn a number of analytics tools that can be used to leverage social media data, with an emphasis on using these data to examine anthropological questions.  In particular, the course will introduce tools such as sentiment analysis, topic modeling, and social network analysis, implementing these in Python, and will include a number of hands-on exercises.  No previous exposure to Python is assumed.  We will use these tools to explore questions about topics like public opinion about migration, pandemics, and politics of race and gender. Dogan.

Special Topics in Anthropology

SOAN 291C - Markowitz, Harvey J.

A discussion of a series of topics of anthropological concern. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Spring 2022, SOAN 291C-01: Special Topics in Anthropology: Indigenous Healing Systems and the Lakotas (3).  Despite radical differences in theory and procedure, the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses are human cultural universals. In this seminar we will first overview the various types of medical anthropology that describe and analyze the cross-cultural healing systems found throughout the world. We will next investigate the variations in beliefs that different human communities hold concerning the causation (etiology) of illnesses. With this as our background we will begin our examination of the Lakotas' (Western "Sioux") medical system, commencing with the spiritual foundations upon which its ideas and practices of curing rest. The traditional ceremonies through which Lakotas have sought and continue to seek curing will be our next subject, and will entail descriptions of how these rites are performed and the types of healers who carry them out. The seminar will close by probing the complicated history of biomedicine among the Lakotas and some of the reasons behind these difficulties. Markowitz .

Winter 2022

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Introduction to Anthropology: Investigating Humanity

SOAN 101 - Bell, Alison K.

This course is an introduction to the four subfields of anthropology: physical/biological anthropology, archaeology, linguistics, and cultural anthropology. The course explores how we humans understand each other, what we do, and how we got to where we are today. Topics include human evolution; cultural remains in prehistorical and historical contexts; connections among language and social categories like gender, class, race, and region; and social organization in past and present contexts. Concepts such as culture, cultural relativism, ethnocentrism, and global and local inequalities are discussed.

Introduction to Anthropology: Investigating Humanity

SOAN 101 - McCarty, Sue A. (Sue Ann)

This course is an introduction to the four subfields of anthropology: physical/biological anthropology, archaeology, linguistics, and cultural anthropology. The course explores how we humans understand each other, what we do, and how we got to where we are today. Topics include human evolution; cultural remains in prehistorical and historical contexts; connections among language and social categories like gender, class, race, and region; and social organization in past and present contexts. Concepts such as culture, cultural relativism, ethnocentrism, and global and local inequalities are discussed.

Introduction to Sociology: Investigating Society

SOAN 102 - Perez, Marcos E.

An introduction to the field of sociology including both micro and macro perspectives, this course exposes students to key topical areas in the discipline and includes readings that show the range of research methodologies in the field today. The sociological meaning of concepts such as social group, nation, state, class, race, and gender, among others, are discussed. Topics may include social inequalities, group processes, collective action, social networks, and the relationship between social organization and the environment.

SOAN Works

SOAN 150 - Eastwood, Jonathan R. (Jon) / Olan, Lorriann T. (Lorri)

This course prepares students considering Sociology and Anthropology majors to find internships and jobs. It assesses students' abilities and skills, provides resources about a variety of industries that majors pursue, helps students develop professional development tools, coaches them through mock interviews and networking, and showcases how to search and apply for internships and post-graduate opportunities.

FS: First-Year Seminar in Sociology

SOAN 180 - Cataldi, John

First-year seminar.

Winter 2022, SOAN 180-01: FS: First-Year Seminar in Sociology: The Sociology of Conflict (3). Prerequisite: First-year class standing only.  This interactive class provides an introduction to social conflict with an emphasis on striving for objectivity while exploring the perspectives of various groups.  Concepts of group culture, collective identity, collective memory, and commemoration are closely interrelated with each other and are used as investigative tools when studying social conflict.  We are surrounded by diverse elements in our community and beyond, each with unique and sometimes opposing sentiments.  We will explore groups that have been on the forefront of controversy such as the police, the military and various ideological groups, with clinical rather than normative intent so as to expand our understanding of the world around us. Cataldi.

Theories of Social Psychology

SOAN 212 - Chin, Lynn G. (Lynny)

An introduction to three major paradigms present in the sociological tradition of social psychology. The course examines social structure and personality, structural social psychology and symbolic interactionist framework. The three paradigmatic approaches are used to understand how macro-level processes influence micro-level social interaction and vice versa.

Anthropology of Disability

SOAN 215 - Bell, Alison K.

To what extent is disability culturally defined? How do understandings of being "dis-" or "differently" abled vary across time and space? In what ways is impairment "not simply lodged in the body, but created by the social and material conditions that 'dis-able' the full participation of those considered atypical" (Ginsburg and Rapp)? This course explores these issues through a trio of lenses: Virginia (c. 1830-1980); the contemporary United States; and case studies from diverse cultures around the world. Virginia offers powerful insight into cultural constructions of disability because it was an epicenter of the eugenics movement. How are perceptions of disability currently changing in the United States and abroad? How do people around the world conceptualize relationships between different abilities, race, gender, sexuality, and spirituality?

Data Science Tools for Social Policy

SOAN 222 - Eastwood, Jonathan R. (Jon)

Students learn about how we think about and estimate causal effects, and practice important contemporary techniques with real data, culminating in reports analyzing the effects of a policy intervention of their choice.  All work will be done in R.  No previous experience with R is required, but some basic previous exposure to linear regression will be helpful.

European Politics and Society

SOAN 245 - Jasiewicz, Krzysztof

A comparative analysis of European political systems and social institutions. The course covers the established democracies of western and northern Europe, the new democracies of southern and east-central Europe, and the post-Communist regimes in eastern and southeastern Europe. Mechanisms of European integration are also discussed with attention focused on institutions such as European Union, NATO, OSCE, and Council of Europe.

Special Topics in Sociology

SOAN 290A - Perez, Marcos E.

A discussion of a series of topics of sociological concern. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Special Topics in Anthropology

SOAN 291A - Dogan, Hulya

A discussion of a series of topics of anthropological concern. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Senior Seminar in Social Analysis

SOAN 395 - Chin, Lynn G. (Lynny)

This course is designed as a capstone experience for majors with the sociology emphasis. Students, utilizing their knowledge of sociological theory and research methods, design and execute independent research projects, typically involving secondary analysis of survey data. Working on a subject of their choice, students learn how to present research questions and arguments, formulate research hypotheses, test hypotheses through univariate, bivariate, and multivariate analyses (utilizing appropriate statistical packages such as SPSS), and write research reports.

Directed Individual Study

SOAN 401 - Eastwood, Jonathan R. (Jon)

A course for selected students, typically with junior or senior standing, who are preparing papers for presentation to professional meetings or for publication. May be repeated for degree credit with permission and if the topics are different.

Directed Individual Study

SOAN 401 - Chin, Lynn G. (Lynny)

A course for selected students, typically with junior or senior standing, who are preparing papers for presentation to professional meetings or for publication. May be repeated for degree credit with permission and if the topics are different.

Directed Individual Study

SOAN 401A - Rainville, Lynn

A course for selected students, typically with junior or senior standing, who are preparing papers for presentation to professional meetings or for publication. May be repeated for degree credit with permission and if the topics are different.

Directed Individual Study

SOAN 403 - Eastwood, Jonathan R. (Jon)

A course for selected students with junior and senior standing, especially for honors students, with direction by different members of the department. May be repeated for degree credit with permission and if the topics are different.

Directed Individual Study

SOAN 403 - Bell, Alison K.

A course for selected students with junior and senior standing, especially for honors students, with direction by different members of the department. May be repeated for degree credit with permission and if the topics are different.

Directed Individual Study

SOAN 403 - Rainville, Lynn

A course for selected students with junior and senior standing, especially for honors students, with direction by different members of the department. May be repeated for degree credit with permission and if the topics are different.

Directed Individual Research

SOAN 423 - Jasiewicz, Krzysztof

Graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory. A course for selected students with direction by different members of the department. May be repeated for degree credit with department consent and if the topics are different.

Honors Thesis

SOAN 493 - Eastwood, Jonathan R. (Jon)

Honors Thesis.

Honors Thesis

SOAN 493 - Perez, Marcos E.

Honors Thesis.

Fall 2021

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Introduction to Anthropology: Investigating Humanity

SOAN 101 - Dogan, Hulya

This course is an introduction to the four subfields of anthropology: physical/biological anthropology, archaeology, linguistics, and cultural anthropology. The course explores how we humans understand each other, what we do, and how we got to where we are today. Topics include human evolution; cultural remains in prehistorical and historical contexts; connections among language and social categories like gender, class, race, and region; and social organization in past and present contexts. Concepts such as culture, cultural relativism, ethnocentrism, and global and local inequalities are discussed.

Introduction to Sociology: Investigating Society

SOAN 102 - Chin, Lynn G. (Lynny)

An introduction to the field of sociology including both micro and macro perspectives, this course exposes students to key topical areas in the discipline and includes readings that show the range of research methodologies in the field today. The sociological meaning of concepts such as social group, nation, state, class, race, and gender, among others, are discussed. Topics may include social inequalities, group processes, collective action, social networks, and the relationship between social organization and the environment.

FS: First-Year Seminar in Sociology

SOAN 180 - Cataldi, John

First-year seminar.

Fall 2021, SOAN 180-01: FS: First-Year Seminar in Sociology: The Sociology of Conflict (3). Prerequisite: First-year class standing only.  This interactive class provides an introduction to social conflict with an emphasis on striving for objectivity while exploring the perspectives of various groups.  Concepts of group culture, collective identity, collective memory, and commemoration are closely interrelated with each other and are used as investigative tools when studying social conflict.  We are surrounded by diverse elements in our community and beyond, each with unique and sometimes opposing sentiments.  We will explore groups that have been on the forefront of controversy such as the police, the military and various ideological groups, with clinical rather than normative intent so as to expand our understanding of the world around us. Cataldi.

 

Biological Anthropology

SOAN 207 - Bell, Alison K.

This course considers the emergence and evolution of Homo sapiens from fossil, archaeological, and genetic evidence. The class focuses on evolutionary mechanisms; selective pressures for key human biological and behavioral patterns, such as bipedalism, intelligence, altruism, learned behavior, and expressive culture; relations among prehuman species; the human diaspora; and modern human diversity, particularly "racial" variation. The course also examines theories from sociobiology and evolutionary psychology about motivations for modern human behaviors.

Qualitative Methods

SOAN 208 - Perez, Marcos E.

Qualitative research methods are widely used to provide rich and detailed understandings of people's experiences, interactions, narratives, and practices within wider sociopolitical and economic contexts. Typical methods include oral histories, interviews, participant observation, and analysis of visual and textual culture. Students will engage in research aligned with community interests. Stages of the project will include topic identification, research design, ethical and legal considerations, choosing an appropriate methodology, data collection, analysis and write-up, and presentation and critique.

Discovering W&L's Origins Using Historical Archaeology

SOAN 230 - Gaylord, Donald A.

Not open to students who have taken SOAN 181 with the same description. This course introduces students to the practice of historical archaeology using W&L's Liberty Hall campus and ongoing excavations there as a case study. With archaeological excavation and documentary research as our primary sources of data. we use the methods of these two disciplines to analyze our data using tools from the digital humanities to present our findings. Critically, we explore the range of questions and answers that these data and methods of analysis make possible. Hands-on experience with data collection and analysis is the focus of this course, with students working together in groups deciding how to interpret their findings to a public audience about the university's early history. The final project varies by term but might include a short video documentary. a museum display, or a web page.

Post-Communism and New Democracies

SOAN 246 - Jasiewicz, Krzysztof

A comparative analysis of transition from Communism in the countries of the former Soviet bloc. Cases of successful and unsuccessful transitions to civil society, pluralist democracy, and market economy are examined. The comparative framework includes analysis of transition from non-Communist authoritarianism and democratic consolidation in selected countries of Latin America, the Mediterranean, Southeast Asia, and South Africa.

Poverty and Marginality in the Americas

SOAN 263 - Perez, Marcos E.

In recent decades, some global transformations have increased inequality and marginality in various regions of the world. Neoliberalism has generated both opportunities and challenges to human development In different countries. This course focuses on how the undermining of safety nets, the decline of models of economic growth centered on state intervention, and the internationalization of labor markets have affected societies in Latin America and the United States. Students analyze the structural causes of marginality and how the experience of poverty varies for people in both regions. We rely on anthropological and sociological studies to address key questions. How do disadvantaged individuals and families in the Americas deal with the challenges brought about by deindustrialization, violence, and environmental degradation? How do their communities struggle to sustain public life? What are the processes causing many people to migrate from one region to the other?

Health and Inequality: An Introduction to Medical Sociology

SOAN 278 - Chin, Lynn G. (Lynny)

This course introduces sociological perspectives of health and illness. Students examine topics such as social organization of medicine; the social construction of illness; class, race and gender inequalities in health; and health care reform. Some of the questions we address: How is the medical profession changing? What are the pros and cons of market-driven medicine? Does class have an enduring impact on health outcomes? Is it true that we are what our friends' eat? Can unconscious racial bias affect the quality of care for people of different ethnicities? What pitfalls have affected the way evidence-based medicine has been carried out?

Gender and Sexuality

SOAN 280 - Goluboff, Sascha

This class will investigate gender and sexuality cross-culturally. We will give special consideration to biology, cultural variation, intersectionality, and power. The class will be structured around a collaboration with Project Horizon, a local organization that provides education and programming to address the pervasive problem of domestic and sexual violence. Students will volunteer their time there, as well as produce programming ideas for healthy sexual culture on our campus. 

Theorizing Social Life: Classical Approaches

SOAN 370 - Jasiewicz, Krzysztof

Sociologists and anthropologists have traditionally approached their role as students of social and cultural phenomena from two different paradigmatic starting points: a so-called "Galilean" model and an "Aristotelian" model. Practitioners were thought that they could eventually arrive at covering laws as powerful as those of physics or, falling short of this ideal, arrive at significant generalizations about human phenomenon. This class explores the trajectory of this paradigmatic split among some of the founders of sociology and anthropology and how these theorists utilized their chosen paradigms to make sense of social and cultural life. We also explore the assumptions about human nature, society, and culture that informed each of these theorists approaches and the wider historical contexts influenced their thought.

Directed Individual Study

SOAN 401 - Eastwood, Jonathan R. (Jon)

A course for selected students, typically with junior or senior standing, who are preparing papers for presentation to professional meetings or for publication. May be repeated for degree credit with permission and if the topics are different.

Directed Individual Study

SOAN 403 - Jasiewicz, Krzysztof

A course for selected students with junior and senior standing, especially for honors students, with direction by different members of the department. May be repeated for degree credit with permission and if the topics are different.

Honors Thesis

SOAN 493 - Eastwood, Jonathan R. (Jon)

Honors Thesis.

Honors Thesis

SOAN 493 - Chin, Lynn G. (Lynny)

Honors Thesis.

Honors Thesis

SOAN 493 - Perez, Marcos E.

Honors Thesis.