Society, the Self, and the Natural World

Exploration of changing and/or contrasting perceptions, studying how our perceptions are conditioned by the times we live in and reigning assumptions of our societies. Three course components taught by faculty in each discipline including: exploration of perceptions of the self through the arts, the changing role of women in society; and examination of science and society conflicts. Open only to Baldwin Scholars. Consent of instructor required. One course.

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

The primary goal of this course is not to furnish answers to contemporary social problems, because there are no easy answers. Rather we will examine the process by which social issues become social problems. This is a dynamic, often reciprocal, process. A process that involves delving into the history of the social problem, examining the roles various groups play in the creation and challenging of various social problems, and the policies aimed at addressing such problems. 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.