Sociology & Social Work
W41 Sociology of the Future. People have been imagining the future since ancient times. However, what these images look like, how they have been represented, and the purposes for representation are always changing. Some visions are bleak, others are blissful; some are fanciful, others are realistic; some warn or inform, others entertain. This course explores dominant themes and contrasts across multiple genres of social forecasting, including but not limited to utopian and dystopian fiction of the late 19th and early 20th centuries; “sci-fi” film, radio, and television since 1900; and nonfiction trend studies produced by “futurologists” since 1970. Course participants not only consider the content of these works, but also the works in relation to the society in (and for) which they were produced. The course concludes with student presentations of their own social forecasts. This course may fulfill an elective in the Sociology major and minor. M. Hughes. 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
W42 The Sociology of Law and Order. This course examines a variety of contemporary sociological debates as introduced by the television show Law & Order. The medicalization of behavior, race and gender bias in capital punishment, as well as the culpability of structural factors in the lives of career criminals, are a few of the topics that will be explored. Students will consider the roles of structure, culture, and human agency amongst the stakeholders involved in each topic to better understand the social aspects and implications of human behavior. Student learning includes: A command of fundamental sociological concepts; An understanding of the interaction between structure, culture, and human agency in social life; The ability to locate, analyze, and synthesize scientifically sound social research; The ability to make a fact-based argument orally and through writing; and a familiarity with contemporary social issues and debates. Methods of evaluation include daily homework assignments, one quantitative test, one major research paper, one debate presentation, daily debate contribution assessments, and a final qualitative and quantitative exam. This course may fulfill an elective in the Sociology major and minor. E. Marr. 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
SOWK W80 Development in Liberia. Liberia is a country struggling to emerge from the shadow of a lengthy civil war that ended in 2003. This course examines community development as one way to bring healing to a broken situation. Students will listen and learn alongside some of the first social work students in Liberian history, at the Mother Patern College of Health Science in the capital of Monrovia. Together, this cohort will spend time in the classroom and in the community, learning theory and witnessing it being put into practice at agencies throughout the capital and in villages in the interior. The course covers a variety of approaches to the problems of poverty and sustainable development, and focuses on cross-cultural and participatory learning. Students will learn to describe various ways in which Liberian history (particularly as related to the United States), politics, economics and ecology influence past, present and future development efforts in Liberia, explain why knowledge about these factors is crucial to planning appropriate and effective sustainable development for a nation or community, define community development and describe several of the major theories, outline the most common components of contemporary development models, particularly those used by the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee, practice mapping the assets in a community and learn more about Liberian culture and practices. Evaluation will be based on a mid-term, final exam and group project/presentation. This course may fulfill an elective in the International Development Studies major or minor. This course will fulfill the CCE requirement. Course dates: January 3 to 25. Fee: $3500. J. Kuilema. Off campus.
IDIS W47 The Jamaican Journey. L. Schwander, T. Vanden Berg.
IDIS W51 The Politics of Development in Africa. M. Ntarangwi.
IDIS W80 Practicing Development. K. VerBeek.