Refugees, Rights, and Resettlement

35 million refugees and internally displaced persons in the world. A comparative historical overview of international refugee policy and law dealing with this growing population. Students will grapple with the ethical challenges posed by humanitarian intervention on behalf of refugees and the often unintended consequences of such policies. Students examine case studies to determine how different models for dealing with refugee resettlement affect the life chances of refugees. Service learning course. Students will work with refugees from Bhutan, Burma and Iraq recently resettled in Durham.

Identity, Action, and Emotion

Uses mathematical models to describe how people import cultural meanings into social interactions. Explains how people maintain identities in role relationships and group interactions. Explores a theory of how people perform normal institutional roles, respond to odd situations, and try to feel good about themselves. Uses computer simulations to model self, identity and emotional processes. Involves reading academic literature, collecting evidence, giving research presentations, and writing a research proposal.

Contemporary Social Problems

Comparative analysis of social problems across historical periods, nations, and social groups by gender, race/ethnicity, social class, and culture. Major topics: deviant behavior, social conflict and inequality, human progress and social change. Emphasis on research issues, especially how and to what degree the understanding of social problems is a direct result of the inductive processes used to define social problems and the research methods and procedures used to investigate them. One course.

Sociological Inquiry

Introduction to social networks, groups, organizations and institutions with a focus on the contemporary U.S. The impact of technology on social interaction and cultural change. Investigation of cultural and social construction of individual characteristics (e.g., race, gender) as well as of scientific and professional standards. Ethical controversies surrounding health care, education, income inequality, and related topics. Course will help prepare students for the social and behavioral science portion of the MCAT exam. One course.