INDIVIDUALS AND SOCIETIES (INDV)
101. Mind, Self and Language (3) I II S Explores the central questions about the nature of human beings, focusing on the individual experience. Course topics may include basic human thought processes (e.g. conceptual systems, symbolic representation of the world, judgement and decision making), personal identity, individual freedom and social control, ethical and moral principles, and others.
Language. Survey of linguistic concepts and methods: communication among animals, physiology of human speech, elementary phonetics, syntax, language and thought, language change, language and the brain.
Philosophical Perspectives on the Individual. Philosophical perspectives on the Individual addresses the individual person construed as a cognitive agent.
The Politics of Difference. This course will examine the politics (understood broadly as differential access to material and symbolic resources) of difference (understood as institutionalized social hierarchies that oppress individuals). We will focus on three key structures of difference and their interaction: ethnicity/race, class, and gender.
Problem Solving for Daily Life. A study of the manner in which structured knowledge, and structured approaches to decision making, is brought to bear on problems of daily life.
The Structure of Mind and Behavior. An introduction to mind and behavior. Broad coverage of wide-ranging issues including how minds reflect social influence and how neural systems underlie thoughts and conscious awareness.
102. Social Interactions and Relationships (3) I II Explores the central questions about the nature of human beings in social context. Course topics may include group identity; family and kinship structures; religious, political, economic, and legal institutions; individual freedom and social control; ideas of social justice, and others.
American Design on the Land. This course is broad exploration of individuals from diverse backgrounds who have helped shape the American landscape. Examination of original writings, and built environments including cities, parks, gardens, vernacular expressions, and preserves of wild, scenic, and cultural landscapes will provide the framework for discussion about landscape design as a comprehensive art form and dialog between man and nature.
Black and White: The Causes and Consequences. Race remains, as Thomas Jefferson feared and Alexis de Tocqueville predicted, the most incendiary and intractable issue in American politics. It was a divisive issue when the Constitution was drafted in 1787; it was the central issue in a series of compromises that ultimately failed to hold the nation together in 1860; it was the most visible issue in both the Civil War and the worst riots in the nation's history that followed in the present century. In his Second Inaugural speech on January 20, 1997, President Bill Clinton correctly described racism as America's "constant curse." The purpose of this course is to identify and explain why this is so.
Business in Modern Society. This course examines the place of business in the larger context of a society's multiple endeavors with an emphasis on three major roles: the creation of society's wealth, the creation of goods and services society needs to support an acceptable standard of living, and the creation of jobs that permit the society's members to claim a share of its wealth in order to partake of that standard of living. We will evaluate the extent to which business has achieved each of these goals throughout history, with special emphasis on present day America.
Gender and Contemporary Society. This course will encourage students to consider the ways in which gender influences issues of self-identity, social differences, and social status. It will provide students with an understanding of the connections between the individual and institutions such as mass media, the disciplines of science, and political and economic systems.
Human Geography and Global Systems. This course introduces students to fundamental issues and concepts pertinent to the study of individuals and societies. In focusing on models and explanations of how things are interrelated in earth space. Students are given a clearer understanding of the economic, social, and political systems with which individuals live and operate.
Many Ways of Being Human: Anthropological Perspective. This course introduces the student to anthropological perspectives on cultural diversity. the course focuses on gender, race, ethnicity and class through readings by and about peoples of the non-western world.
Modern Latin America: A Social Science Perspective. An interdisciplinary introduction to the people, place and cultures of Latin America and to the political, economic and social institutions and conditions of the region. The course examines how and why environmental quality, economic development, living conditions, democracy, migration, trade, religion and US policy vary across different countries and social sectors.
Understanding Contemporary Social Problems in America. The primary objective of the course is to provide students with an opportunity to become conversant with and think critically about various contemporary social problems that bear directly on aspects of their lives and futures and that are relevant to their communities and the nation more broadly.
103. Societal and Institutional Systems (3) I II Explores the nature of human beings and their individual experiences in a social context. Course topics may include personal identification within a social identity, personal ethics and morality versus social standard, and others.
An Economic Perspective. The study of the interactions of individuals and societies from the viewpoint of economics. The Course examines a series of important social problems that lie on the intersections of economics and disciplines such as law, history, anthropology, political science, psychology, and so forth.
Environment and Society. This course introduces students to the study of relationships between people and the environment from a social science perspective, and provides a context for thinking about the social causes and consequences of environmental changes in different parts of the world. It focuses on how and why the human use of the environment has varied over time and space; analyzes different approaches to decision-making about environment issues and examines the relative roles of population growth, energy consumption, technology, culture and institutions in causing and resolving contemporary environmental problems around the world.
Europe in the Modern World. Europe in the Modern World 1600-1989 presents student with the opportunity to inquire into the origins and development of the modern Western world. The goal is to instill a sense of the past as a viable part of any student's heritage, with all its diverse problems and rewards, and allow them to enrich their understanding of European culture through critical interaction with history.
History of the U.S. Since 1877. This course examines and analyzes the social, political, and economic transformations of American Society since Reconstruction. It focuses on multiple levels of society as well as the groups and individuals who comprised it.
Modern Latin America. An interdisciplinary introduction to Latin American societies from the 1820s to the present that gives special emphasis to diversity within Latin America and to dynamic and, hence, historical processes of social, political, cultural, and economic change over time.
Philosophical Perspectives on Society. This course addresses the fundamental moral questions regarding society.
What is Politics? Issues in contemporary political analysis, human values and political goals, how governments differ and why they change, how nations differ from on another.
World Food Issues. This course will describe the prominent characteristics of the world food system in terms of the utilization of land, water and energy resources, the role of different technologies in world agricultural production, and the nutritional requirements of consumers. The primary focus of the course is on developing countries, however, important interactions between wealthy and poor countries will be emphasized. The course will include foundational knowledge about individuals and societies.
World History, 1600-2000. Survey of world history, 1600-2000, emphasizing cross-societal encounters.
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Page last updated: May 20, 2013