Social Sciences Core Courses
This course is designed to introduce students to the basic purposes, methods and themes of sociology. The study of sociology helps us understand the complex inter-relationships between individuals and the organizations and institutions that make up society. It also helps us to recognize patterns of inequality and social change, and how these vary over time and in different places. Students will survey the key concepts and theories that define the field of sociology, including culture, structure, social interaction, stratification, and deviance, and the tools of social scientific research that sociologists use to study them.
This course will introduce students to historiography and historical methods of research and analysis. The course will emphasize how historians frame their explorations of the past; investigate issues and debates in current historical practice; articulate questions about conventional periodization; and distinguish between oral, artifactual, and written evidence, between objective and subjective narratives, and between private and public histories.
This course introduces students to the study of both macroeconomics and microeconomics. Lectures and discussions will investigate market mechanisms through the behaviors and processes of decision making engaged in by individuals and firms: how and where goods and services are bought and sold; how supply and demand affect price structures; resource allocation; market equilibrium and asymmetry; product elasticity; the structure, behavior and performance of national and global economies; and the effect of macroeconomic policies on decision-making practices.
This course serves as an introduction to the study of social and cultural development, and of diversity in human societies. Lectures and discussions will focus on: 1. Questions of anthropological heterogeneity, and on how varying social and cultural forces define and describe these regional, national, and local differences; 2. Case studies offered by major figures in the field that help illuminate how anthropologists conduct research, synthesize evidence, and arrive at provisional analyses of the social groups they study; 3. Theoretical and historical readings on the major subjects anthropologists address: kinship and family, gender, religion, race and ethnicity, language and communication, magic, ritual and symbolism, human and animal evolution, social transformation, and economic exchange.
An introduction to the history, formation, planning, economics, social structures, and cultures of urban environments, this course will help students understand how urbanization, inner-city migrations, industrialization, available housing, economic, ethnic and racial segregation, environment, crime, municipal efficiency, telecommunications, and political governance affect the development and growth of cities.
An introduction to the fundamental properties of languages, their morphology, phonology, and syntax, their semantic and pragmatic functions, their historical development, and the ways in which they are shaped by different cultural and social contexts.
This course serves as a theoretical and historical introduction to the pervasive impact of mass media on global culture and society. This course defines the media broadly as facilitators of human and social communication (print, broadcast, visual, promotional, and digital forms of cultural and social practice), and will help students become critically self-conscious consumers and producers of media texts.
An introduction to the study of political institutions, processes, and behaviors, of the relationship among political ideologies, state practices, and systems of governance; international relations among states; processes of political decision-making; and individual and social behavior within political contexts. The course should acquaint students with major political thinkers, and with the three major forms of governance that have emerged in the modern era: democracy, fascism, and communism.
This survey will introduce students to the history, concepts, major theories, and methods of research that contribute to our understanding of both human and animal behavior. Students will engage with historical and contemporary debates about cognitive processes and neurological disorders, identity formation, human and animal interaction, individual and social development, perception and sensation, learning and memory, and biological and evolutionary perspectives on human and animal development.
The purpose of this seminar is to familiarize students with multiple disciplinary approaches to a single topic, for instance Development, Secularism, the Family, etc. This gives students an opportunity to connect and compare the various disciplines in which they have been taking courses, such as Political Science, Sociology, Psychology, Anthropology, Philosophy, History and others, within one field of inquiry. They also have to produce a research paper at the end of the seminar.