Through its focus on the structure of society and social groups, the Sociology minor helps students develop an understanding of their changing social world and the analytical skills for successful careers and futures.
An introduction to the basic concepts, perspectives, and methodology of sociology. The course examines the influence of social relations on human behavior, social structures, and society. Topics include: culture and society, social interaction, socialization, social control and deviance, inequality, minority groups, the family, and policies and the economy as social institutions.
This course offers a critical examination of major social problems in the contemporary United States, within the context of wider global issues. Theoretical and practical approaches to solutions to problems will be explored. Topics include: poverty and inequality, racism and sexism, hunger, violence, crime and justice, and health.
This course studies aspects of children’s lives with a particular focus on cultures in Africa, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East. Through a variety of lenses, the course eamines the patterns of family structures and roles, definitions of childhood, childrearing, and the links of all of these issues with political and economic realities.
This course focuses on the sociological impact and consequences of being female. It examines variations among women due to the influences of cross-cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic conditions. Through an interdisciplinary approach, students explore women’s changing roles in work, relationships and family, as well as the societal image of women and patriarchy.
This course focuses on the study of relations between racial and ethnic minority groups and the dominant groups that oppress them. Topics include: oppression, prejudice, discrimination, economic exploitation, resistance and assimilation. Students will study major groups in U.S. and several other societies, e.g., South Africa, Northern Ireland, Brazil, and Palestine.
This course focuses on family as a social institution in contemporary North American society. Through sociological and psychological frameworks, students explore family forms and relationships, race/ethnic and class diversity, gendered division of labor and immigrant family experiences.
This course is a cross-cultural analysis of health care and society designed for students interested in health and illness from a sociological perspective. The effect of age, race, class and gender on access to health care systems is examined, as well as a comparison of American health care practices with other countries’ systems. Special attention will be given to current health care issues in global perspective: AIDS, ethics, quality of care, and rationing.
This course analyzes the social organization of work in the United States, with a particular focus on the similarities and differences between men and women with regard to work and expectations. Topics include: historical changes in men and women’s work in the U.S., the relationship between work inside and outside the family, affirmative action, comparable worth, unionization and sexual harassment. A comparative analysis of work across nations is also undertaken.
This course provides an overview of the U.S. healthcare system, with an emphasis on structure and administration. Health care delivery and a comparison with other countries’ delivery systems is also explored. Topics include: access to health care, epidemiological factors, quality of care, long term care, mental health care, and technology and the health care system.
This course introduces students to the peoples, cultures and identities in the region broadly defined as the Middle East, and the way those issues have been studied. The course will focus on elements of social structure and organization in urban and rural life. Identity and place in society will be explored in depth. Other topics include: Occidentalism, orientalism, secularism, modernity, religion, democracy, terrorism, war and the status of women, among others.
This course examines cities, urbanization, and selected issues of urban life in contemporary societies with a focus on the United States and Boston. The course also engages in cross-cultural analysis of city/urban development and urban policy and planning.
This course is an investigation of race, class and gender inequality in modern society. Students examine the causes of race, class, and gender divisions as well as the social structures that give rise to and maintain such divisions. Students also examine the effects of these differences on the daily lives of individuals in the effected groups.
This course introduces students to the emerging discipline of girls’ studies. We focus on the social and cultural construction of girlhood and how social categories of race, class, ethnicity, and education, in conjunction with the media, shape girls’ lives in U.S. society. Students apply theory to practice in a seven-week service-learning project for middle-school girls in Cambridge. Students will research, design, implement, and evaluate a girls’ group focused on the intersection of identity, body image, and media literacy.
This course introduces students to the major theorists in sociology and their respective impact on the development of sociological thinking. Students will read and analyze selections from the major foundational theorists whose work have shaped the discipline in its early stages in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, focusing on theories of Karl Marx, Max Weber, Emile Durkheim, Georg Simmel, with a particular focus on their explanations of social change. We will place these theorists’ contributions into their historical and social contexts and consider their explanations of economic, social, political and cultural changes of the 19th and 20th centuries.Impact of these “classical” thinkers on contemporary sociological thinkers and schools of thought will be a culminating part of the course.
This course studies women in non-Western cultures in Africa, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East. Focus will be on women’s daily social lives, especially their family roles and experiences and work roles. The course will draw on traditional sociological sources, as well as films, fiction, interviews with women, and autobiography.
This course examines diverse issues in American education. Topics include: class, racial and gender inequity, school choice, vouchers, charter schools, ESL/bilingualism, high-stakes testing and segregation and inclusion. Students analyze issues through a combination of field-based experiences and research of the social and historical forces that shape the character of schooling in the U.S. today.
Professor of Sociology and Social Policy
Assistant Professor of Sociology and Child Studies
Undergraduate Study Abroad
Foreign Languages at Lesley
News from 29 Mellen
Child Homelessness Initiative
College of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies
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