The Changing American Family

The American family, its composition, functions, organization and perceived importance in the lives of people and in society. Changes—especially the separation of marriage, child-bearing, and child rearing—examined with a view toward understanding the social forces behind them and the personal and social problems that arise in conjunction with the changes. Comparisons across social classes and ethnic and racial groups at different historic periods to show variations in their susceptibility to forces of change. One course.

Sexuality and Society

Sociocultural factors affecting sexual behavior. Changing beliefs about sex; how sexual knowledge is socially learned and sexual identities formed; the relation between power and sex; control over sexual expression. Required participation in service learning. One course.

Nations, Regions, and the Global Economy

The changing configuration of global capitalism, with emphasis on comparing global regions of North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. The internal dynamics of these regions, including the development strategies of selected nations, interregional comparisons (for example, regional divisions of labor, state-society relationships, the nature of their business systems, quality of life issues). Research paper required. One course.

Technology and Organizational Environments

How organizations (governments, private corporations, and non-profit organizations) are affected by the social, technological, and cultural environments in which they operate. Emphasis on how United States and Japanese cultures generate different modes of organization and differing environmental facilitators and obstacles. Competitive strategies (for example, mergers and takeovers) and the impact of technology on organizational structures (for example, the rapid diffusion of information technology). Research paper required, using either quantitative evidence or a case study approach.

Organizations and Global Competitiveness

Competition among national economies as understood in the context of social factors such as ethnicity, kinship, gender, and education, with a special emphasis on how technological change is reshaping the social, political, and economic bases of international competitiveness. Global industries in various regions of the world. Two research papers required, at least one of which involves the analysis of international trade data. One course.

The United States and the Asian Pacific Region

Asian Pacific region is major engine of economic growth in the 21st century likely causing major shift of power and wealth in the world. Study relationships between U.S. and various Asian Pacific nations from the end of World War II to present. Focus on impact of wars, technological development and economic development. Examine differences in various issues such as trade, human rights, environment, territory disputes between U.S. and a variety of Asian Pacific nations. One course.

Theory and Society

Selective survey of major classical and modern social theorists from the Enlightenment to the present. Attention to theories seeking to follow models of the natural sciences and those seeking a more critical and interpretive understanding of modern society. Sociological theory in relation to other modern currents, such as conservatism, socialism, existentialism, anti-colonialism, feminism, post-modernism. One course.