Social Sciences

The distinguished American sociologist, David Riesman, who played a major role in the creation of the general education program in the social sciences at Chicago, once observed that it was only with a "marvelous hubris" that students were encouraged to range over such "large territory" in the social sciences. Indeed, since the 1940s, yearlong sequences designed to introduce students to different types of social scientific data and different forms of social sciences inquiry have become a permanent feature of the Chicago curriculum. Although considerable variety manifests itself in the way the social sciences courses in general education are organized, most of the sequences are informed, as Robert Redfield once suggested, by an attempt "to communicate the historical development of contemporary society" and by an effort "to convey some understanding of the scientific spirit as applied to social problems and the capacity to address oneself in that spirit to such a problem." By training students in the analysis of social phenomena through the development and use of interdisciplinary and comparative concepts, the courses also try to determine the characteristics common among many societies, thus enabling the individual to use both reason and special knowledge to confront rapid social change in the global world of the late twentieth century.

The Social Sciences Collegiate Division offers several social science and civilization sequences in the general education program. It also offers specialized courses on the concentration level that provide a particularly interdisciplinary or comparative theoretical perspective and may be of interest to students in a variety of concentration programs. The latter set of courses should also be considered as attractive possibilities for non-concentration electives.


For a description of the numbering guidelines for the following courses, consult the section on reading the catalog on page 15.

General Education Sequences

11100-11200-11300. Power, Identity, and Resistance. PQ: Must be taken in sequence. G. Herrigel, Staff. Autumn, Winter, Spring.

11100. This quarter examines the contested relationship between individual choices and collective outcomes, in both markets and politics. Under scrutiny is the degree to which individual desires, wants, or preferences are satisfied, constrained, or created by such historically evolving institutions as the free market, state bureaucracy, and organizations of civil society. Also considered are the roles of values and culture in economic process, as well as the historical and cultural variability of the boundaries between the economy, society, and politics. Readings include classic works in political economy and its critique by Adam Smith, Schumpeter, Durkheim, Weber, Hayek, Marx, and Engels.

11200. PQ: SOSC 11100. In this quarter, we further probe the ideals and realities of modern liberal democratic societies by critically investigating the classical liberal emphasis on individuals and individualism, and the personal versus the political. Critics on both the Right and the Left have challenged the liberal conception of the self, and the Enlightenment visions of a progressive society of free, reasonable, or self-interested or self-determining citizens. By considering how the forces of authority, tradition, power, ideology, and repression variously function in such modern social institutions as constitutional parliamentary government, the educational system, and the criminal justice system, we explore how one's personal and political identity is constituted, and the challenges this poses to the liberal democratic system. Readings include texts by Hobbes, Locke, Bentham, Mill, Burke, Freud, Foucault, Virginia Woolf, John Dewey, Angela Davis, and Malcolm X.

11300. PQ: SOSC 11200. Spring quarter further explores the problems of power and identity in modern liberal societies via an extended critical consideration of some of the most significant and provocative demands for a more egalitarian society, demands that remain relevant today. The tactics of protest and resistance at work in the movement for Black Liberation, Women's Liberation, and even Animal Liberation illuminate the complexities, contingencies, and uncertainties of both the ideal of equality and the construction of one's personal and political identity, of self and other. Readings include texts by Rousseau, Marx, Engels, Nietzsche, Simone de Beauvoir, W. E. B. DuBois, George Chauncey, Angela Davis, and Peter Singer.

12100-12200-12300. Self, Culture, and Society. PQ: Must be taken in sequence. M. Postone, B. Cohler, W. Sewell. Autumn, Winter, Spring.

12100. In this quarter we explore the nature and development of modern society through an examination of theories of capitalism. The classic social theories of Smith, Marx, and Weber, along with contemporary ethnographic and historical works, serve as points of departure for considering the characterizing features of the modern world, with particular emphasis on its social-economic structure and issues of work, the texture of time, and economic globalization.

12200. PQ: SOSC 12100. In this quarter we focus on the relation of culture and social life. On the basis of readings from Durkheim, Lévi-Strauss, Todorov, Foucault, and other anthropologists and cultural theorists, we investigate how systems of meaning expressed through metaphors, symbols, rituals, and narratives constitute and articulate individual and social experience across a range of societies, including our own.

12300. PQ: SOSC 12200. In this quarter, we consider the questions of the social and cultural constitution of the person, with particular emphasis on issues of gender, through the study of psychoanalytic, historical, and anthropological approaches found in the works of Freud, Boddy, Hacking, Fanon, and others.

13100-13200-13300. Democracy and Social Science. PQ: Must be taken in sequence. How does the democratic process work in practice? What role can social scientific knowledge play in public policy and decisionmaking? How does the democratic process know "what the public wants?" This course explores these questions by examining classic and contemporary points of view on democracy, equality, public opinion, and representation. The course's aim is to understand the democratic process from a social scientific point of view, as well as to show the role of social science in that process. The course involves work of three kinds, taken up in the three quarters seriatim. In the fall we read classic works on democracy and its functioning. Readings come from Rousseau, Dewey, Tocqueville, Engels, the Federalist papers, Michael Young, and empirical studies of American voting. In the winter, students examine major social policy issues, both through reading classic analyses and through gaining hands-on practice at empirical analysis of social issues using the General Social Survey, the National Voting Studies, and other data sets. A central focus of the winter quarter is on the practice of empirical social analysis, from the philosophy of science to techniques of empirical analysis. In the spring, students study a particular policy area (the course in the past has used education and medicine, but may choose new areas as faculty interest dictates) and prepare an empirical research paper on a topic they choose. A. Abbott, M. Dawson, J. Brehm, J. M. Hansen, K. Weeden, L. Hedges, Staff. Autumn, Winter, Spring.

14100-14200-14300. Mind. PQ: Must be taken in sequence. This sequence presents an introduction to the study of how people think and understand. We examine mental processes such as perception, memory, and judgment, and the relationship between language and thought. This course focuses on the issue of what is innate versus what is learned, the development of thought in children, and the logic of causal, functional, and evolutionary explanations. One theme of the course is the problem of rationality vis-à-vis the canons that govern the language and thought of the "ideal scientist" and how those canons compare to the canons that govern ordinary language and thought, the language and thought of other cultures, and the language and thought of actual scientists. B. Keysar. Autumn, Winter, Spring.

15100-15200-15300. Classics of Social and Political Thought. PQ: Must be taken in sequence. What is justice? What makes a good society? This sequence examines such problems as the conflicts between individual interest and common good; between morality, religion, and politics; and between liberty and equality. We read classic writings from Plato, Aristotle, and Augustine to such great founders and critics of modernity as Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, The Federalist, Tocqueville, Mill, Marx, Nietzsche, and Weber. Writing before our departmentalization of disciplines, they were at the same time sociologists, psychologists, political scientists, economists, and moralists; they offer contrasting alternative conceptions of society and politics that underlie continuing controversies in the social sciences and in contemporary political life. D. Allen, R. Boyd, C. Fasolt, J. Levy, M. Lilla, E. MacGilvray, P. Markell, R. Pippin, E. Putterman, W. Schweiker, N. Tarcov, I. Young. Autumn, Winter, Spring.

Collegiate Courses

20200/30900. Overview of Survey Methods (=SOCI 25500/38500, SOSC 20200/30900). This single-quarter course is offered each autumn and winter quarter. The goal for each student is to find a good research question and use this question to guide his or her overall research design. The course walks students through the steps involved in survey research: finding a funder, writing a grant proposal, sampling, questionnaire design, coding, cleaning, and data analysis. Students who are interested in survey research will find this course to be a good place to start because it provides the big picture of what should be considered when designing survey research and how to approach the different tasks involved in a survey project. M. Van Haitsma, V. Bartot. Autumn, Winter.

20400. International Relations: Perspectives on Conflict and Cooperation (=INST 29400/37400, PLSC 29400/37400, SOSC 20400). Recommended for International Studies concentrators in their second year. This course examines a number of competing approaches to the study of conflict and cooperation in the international system. Lectures by University faculty introduce key analytic concepts from several intellectual traditions (e.g., realism, liberalism, cultural theory, modernization theory, and social constructivism) and discuss their ability to explain war, alliances, revolutions, nationalism, cooperation, ethnic conflict, and other important international phenomena. P. Kapur. Autumn.

20500. International Relations: Transnationalism in a Post-Colonial World (=INST 29500/39700, PLSC 29500/39700, SOSC 20500). PQ: SOSC 20400 strongly recommended. Recommended for International Studies concentrators in their second year. Dominant conceptions in international relations privilege states by treating them as natural and exclusive actors in international relations; privilege the Western world by treating it as the center; and privilege the balance of power and deterrence by treating military force as the primary means of self-help in allegedly anarchical space beyond state frontiers. This course focuses on national and transnational civil society as the arena of action. We address a variety of topics such as nationalism, transnational identities generated by migration and refugee flows, environmentalism, human rights, cyber space, and religious and internal wars. R. Khalidi. Winter.

20600. Qualitative Methods in the Social Sciences (=HUDV 39300, PSYC 24300, SOSC 20600). This seminar explores the variety of qualitative methods used in social science study. Perspectives include field study, including the Chicago studies of social disorganization, "Grounded Theory," ethnography and study of culture, and narrative and life-story approaches to study of person and social life. Attention is devoted to issues of method such as reliability and validity, implications for philosophy of social science study, portrayal of both person and context or setting, and to both the complex interplay of observer and observed and "reflexivity" in human sciences. B. Cohler. Winter.

20700. Augustine's Confessions: Ancient Autobiography and Contemporary Biography (=FNDL 21100, HUMA 22700, RELH 22700, SOSC 20700). This is a seminar class in which Augustine's Confessions and parts of Peter Brown's biography are read and discussed in depth. There are a few brief lectures, but our emphasis is on discussion of the readings. A. Carr. Winter.

21700-21800-21900. Introduction to Linguistics I, II, III (=ANTH 27001-27002-27003/37001-37001-37003, LING 20100-20200-20300/30100-30200-30300, SOSC 21700-21800-21900). Must be taken in sequence. This course is an introductory survey of methods, findings, and problems in areas of major interest within linguistics and of the relationship of linguistics to other disciplines. Topics include the biological basis of language, basic notions of syntax, semantics, pragmatics, basic syntactic typology of language, phonetics, phonology, morphology, language acquisition, linguistic variation, and linguistic change. Staff. Autumn, Winter, Spring.

22000-22100. Introduction to Islamic Civilization I, II (=NECV 22000-22100, SOSC 22000-22100). This sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies. This two-quarter sequence surveys the social, religious, and cultural institutions of the Islamic world, from Spain to India, and from the rise of Islam to early modern times.

22000. Introduction to Islamic Civilization I. The first quarter (roughly 600 to 1100) concentrates on the career of the Prophet Muhammad; Qur'an and Hadith; the Caliphate; the development of Islamic legal, theological, philosophical, and mystical discourses; sectarian movements; and Arabic literature. W. Kadi, Staff. Autumn.

22100. Introduction to Islamic Civilization II. The second quarter (roughly 1100 to 1800) surveys Islamic political, social, and cultural developments in the eras of the Crusades, the Mongol invasions and the "gunpowder empires" of the Ottomans, the Safavids and the Mughals as represented in works of Arabic, Persian, and Turkish literature (in translation) and the art and architecture of selected regions. We look at representations in works of Arabic, Persian, and Turkish literature; and in the art and architecture of selected regions. Texts in English. R. Dankoff. Winter.

22400. Rhetorical Theories of Legal and Political Reasoning (=GSHU 22300/32300, HUMA 21400, LLSO 22400, SOSC 22400). This course uses Plato's Gorgias to raise the question of whether practical thinking is possible and considers responses to this question by such writers as Aristotle, Cicero, and Machiavelli. We study the methods and concepts that each writer uses to defend the cogency of legal, deliberative, or, more generally, political prudence against explicit or implicit charges that practical thinking is merely a knack or form of cleverness. W. Olmsted. Autumn.

22500-22600-22700. Introduction to African Civilization I, II, III (=ANTH 20700-20800-20900, SOSC 22500-22600-22700; ANTH 20800=ENGL 26300, GSHU 23000, SOCI 38300, SOSC 22600). This sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies. General education social science sequence recommended. This course presents the development of sub-Saharan African communities and states from a variety of points from the precolonial past up to the present. Part I begins by introducing the continent and its critical study in the West; goes on to interrogate the construction of eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth century images of Africa; and, then, on the basis of a series of case studies, explores precolonial and colonial social organization, political systems, economic orders, and legal cultures. The winter quarter focuses on indigenous forms of knowledge, ritual, and religious experience in relation to colonial photography and cartography. In the spring quarter we approach the study of African society and history by way of an examination of ritual, aesthetics, and the meaningful production of the everyday world. Beginning with a consideration of various accounts of "traditional" magico-religious and moral systems described in the classical anthropological literature, we then turn to more critical and dynamic perspectives, seeking to capture the inherent creativity of African societies and their complex engagement with forces of colonialism and commodification. We explore the impact of the civilizing mission and the rise of new, hybrid cultural schemes as local communities encountered a range of colonizing forces. This encounter also gave birth to new religious movements and modes of resistance against colonial oppression. We conclude by examining the advent of a post-colonial era, in which popular culture, ritual, and aesthetics give shape to a distinctive African modernity. J. L. Comaroff, Autumn; A. Apter, Winter; J. Comaroff, Spring.

22800. Reading the Holocaust: From Anne Frank to Schindler's List (=FNDL 23300, GSHU 29400, PSYC 22900, SOSC 22800). Using the complete, unabridged, unedited text of the Anne Frank diary and the film Schindler's List, this course explores the interplay of historical and social change in the study of both lives and texts. The course focuses primarily on a careful reading of the Anne Frank diary, concerned both with the problems of life-writing and changing construction of this icon of Shoah. The course concludes with a review of the Keneally book and the Spielberg film, Schindler's List, in exploring further the interplay of both writing and reading in the context of social-historical time. B. Cohler. Spring.

23000-23100. Introduction to the Civilization of South Asia I, II. (=ANTH 24101-24102, HIST 10800-10900, SALC 20100-20200, SASC 20000-20100, SOSC 23000-23100). PQ: Must be taken in sequence. This course fulfills the general education requirement in civilization studies. Using a variety of disciplinary approaches, this sequence seeks to familiarize students with some of the important textual, institutional, and historical ideas and experiences that have constituted "civilization" in South Asia. Topics in the autumn quarter include European and American representations of South Asia, its place in world history as a "third world" or "underdeveloped" country; Gandhi and Nehru's visions of modernity; India's recent repositioning in the global economy as a consumer society; and its popular movements (i.e., women's, rural, tribal, urban slum, and Dalit). Topics in the winter quarter include urban and rural ways of life and the place of film and television in cultural life. R. Inden, Staff. Autumn, Winter.

23500-23600-23700. Introduction to the Civilizations of East Asia I, II, III (=EALC 10800-10900-11000, HIST 15100-15200-15300, SOSC 23500-23600-23700). PQ: May be taken in sequence or individually. This sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies. This is a three-quarter sequence on the civilizations of China, Japan, and Korea, with emphasis on major transformation in these cultures and societies from the Middle Ages to the present. This year's sequence focuses on Japan from 1600 to the present, China from the eighteenth to the twentieth century, and Korea from the eighteenth to the twentieth century. G. Alitto, Autumn; G. Golley, Winter; Staff, Spring.

24000-24100-24200. Introduction to Russian Civilization I, II, III (=HIST 13900-14000-14100, SOSC 24000-24100-24200). May be taken in sequence or individually. This sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies. This three-quarter, interdisciplinary course studies geography, history, literature, economics, law, fine arts, religion, sociology, and agriculture, among other fields, to see how the civilization of Russia has developed and functioned since the ninth century. The first quarter covers the period up to 1700; the second, to 1917; and the third, since 1917. The course has a common lecture by a specialist in the field, usually on a topic about which little is written in English. Two weekly seminar meetings are devoted to discussions of the readings, which integrate the materials from a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives. The course attempts to inculcate an understanding of the separate elements of Russian civilization. Emphasis is placed on discovering indigenous elements of Russian civilization and how they have reacted to the pressures and impact of other civilizations, particularly Byzantine, Mongol-Tataric, and Western. The course also considers problems of the social sciences, such as the way in which the state has dominated society, stratification, patterns of legitimization of the social order, symbols of collective social and cultural identity, the degrees of pluralism in society, and the autonomy an individual has vis-à-vis the social order. Also examined are such problems as the role of the center in directing the periphery and its cultural, political, and economic order; the mechanisms of control over the flow of resources and the social surplus; and processes of innovation and modernization. This course is offered in alternate years. R. Hellie. Autumn, Winter, Spring.

25000/35000. Anthropology of Olympic Sport (=ANTH 20400/30400, SOSC 25000/35000). This is a course in the anthropology of international organizations, pluricultural performances, intercultural negotiations, and globalization processes, using the Olympic Movement and Olympic Games as the primary examples. The main goal of the course is to provide a grasp of the institutions, political economies, and performance forms of the Olympics and related IGO, NGO, governmental, corporate, cultural, and scientific actors. Our main analytical purpose is to explore fieldwork methodologies and research programs for the "new" anthropology of global processes and transnational actors. J. MacAloon. Summer.

25100. Urban Structure and Process (=GEOG 22700/32700, SOCI 22700/36100, SOSC 25100). This course reviews competing theories of urban development, especially their ability to explain the changing nature of cities under the impact of advanced industrialism. Analysis includes a consideration of emerging metropolitan regions, the microstructure of local neighborhoods, and the limitations of the past American experience as a way of developing urban policy both in this country and elsewhere. O. McRoberts. Winter.

25300. Social Welfare in the United States (=PBPL 25300, SOSC 25300). This course examines the evolution of social welfare provisions in American society. Special emphasis is placed on who is helped and who is not, in what forms, under what auspices, and with what goals. The changing nature of helping is analyzed with particular attention to the changing role of the state. Readings and discussion focus on provisions for the poor, for children and families, and for the mentally ill. Some comparisons are made with other industrialized countries. H. Richman. Spring.

25600. Intensive Study of a Culture: Hindu (=ANTH 21212/32100, SOSC 25600). PQ: Third-year standing. India's peasants and natural philosophers (astrologers, physicians, and moralists) commonly assume that people are made of ether, air, fire, water, and earth; that they therefore seek esoteric knowledge, advantage, attachment, coherence, release, and the contraries of these. Students experiment with these assumptions through a simulation-game, testing its results against ethnographies of actual Indian institutions and behavior, aiming to design a Hindu social science capable of perceiving and understanding such a world. M. Marriott. Not offered 2001-02; will be offered 2002-03.

25800. Family and Life Course (=HUDV 33800, PSYC 23700, SOSC 25800). Founded on Burgess' portrayal of the family as a "unity of interacting personalities" and recognizing the importance of life-time and historical time in the study of social life, this course provides an overview regarding the place of the family in contemporary society. Starting with discussion of the American family in historical time, readings and class discussion concern major roles within the family, marriage, divorce, adoption, and the reconstituted family; relations between generations; the place of both work and school in family life; and family and caregiving. The course concludes with a discussion of family and social change, including family and an aging society, changing roles of men and women within the family society, and the significance of families of choice. B. Cohler. Autumn.

26100-26200-26300. Introduction to Latin American Civilization I, II, III (=ANTH 23100-23200-23300, HIST 16100-16200-16300, LTAM 16100-16200-16300/34600-34700-34800, SOSC 26100-26200-26300). This sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies. This three-quarter sequence introduces students to the history and cultures of Latin America, including Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean Islands. The first quarter examines the origins of civilizations in Latin America with a focus on the political, social, and cultural features of the major pre-Columbian civilizations of the Maya, Inca, and Aztec. The second quarter concludes with consideration of the Spanish and Portuguese conquest and the construction of colonial societies in Latin America. The third quarter addresses the evolution of colonial societies, the wars of independence, and the emergence of Latin American nation-states in the changing international context of the nineteenth century. It focuses on the twentieth century, with a special emphasis on the challenges of economic, political, and social development in the region. This course is offered in alternate years. Not offered 2001-02; will be offered 2002-03.

26400. The Russian Law Code (Ulozhenie) of 1649 (=FNDL 25400, HIST 23600/33600, LLSO 25400, SOSC 26400). This course involves a close reading of the text and deliberation about its sources. R. Hellie. Not offered 2001-02; will be offered 2002-03.

26500. The Black Book of Communism (=HIST 26400/36400, SOSC 26500). This course involves a close reading of the recent Harvard Press translation of the collective French publication on the history of communist regimes throughout the world. R. Hellie. Not offered 2001-02; will be offered 2002-03.

27400. Fantasy and Frame in a Mass Society (=DVSR 27400, SOSC 27400). PQ: Completion of the general education requirement in social sciences. This is a course on the psychology of popular or mass culture, but instead of the usual applied psychology approach, it builds upon the interplay between cultural and psychological factors. The particular focus is fantasy processes, taken as the locus of personal uniqueness and identity in one's emotional life, and their relation to the frames and screens within and upon which culture represents and mediates typical and shared forms of social reality to the individual. We use psychology of fantasy and sociology of art and culture in analyses of selected examples of mass culture, taking theory and interpretation together. P. Homans. Not offered 2001-02; will be offered 2002-03.

28200-28300. Problems in Gender Studies (=ENGL 10200-10300, GNDR 10100-10200, HUMA 22800-22900, SOSC 28200-28300). PQ: Second-year standing or higher. Completion of the general education requirement in social sciences or humanities, or the equivalent. May be taken in sequence or individually. This two-quarter interdisciplinary sequence is designed as an introduction to theories and critical practices in the study of feminism, gender, and sexuality. Both classic texts and recent conceptualizations of these contested fields are examined. Problems and cases from a variety of cultures and historical periods are considered, and the course pursues their differing implications in local, national, and global contexts. Both quarters also engage questions of aesthetics and representation, asking how stereotypes, generic conventions, and other modes of circulated fantasy have contributed to constraining and emancipating people through their gender or sexuality.

28200. This course addresses the production of particularly gendered norms and practices. Using a variety of historical and theoretical materials, it addresses how sexual difference operates in the contexts of nation, race, and class formation, for example, and/or work, the family, migration, imperialism, and postcolonial relations. S. Michaels, Autumn; L. Salzinger, Winter. 28300. This course focuses on histories and theories of sexuality: gay, lesbian, heterosexual, and otherwise. This exploration involves looking at a range of materials from anthropology to the law, and from practices of sex to practices of science. M. Miller, Autumn; S. Michaels, Winter.

28600. Media and Identity in Modern India: From Colonial Collectors to Global "Netizens" (=SASC 28500, SOSC 28600). How have particular media (broadly conceived to include photography, clothing, film, television, the press, and the Internet) enabled and constrained the construction of "India" and "Indianness" in the colonial and postcolonial periods? Through a series of in-depth studies, we consider the complex and often contradictory public cultural roles of each of these forms of mediation in modern India. W. Mazzarella. Spring.

29000. History and the Russian Novel. Monday lectures present the historical, intellectual, and literary setting of each work. On Fridays the class discusses the novel of the week in the context of the Monday lectures. Depending upon availability, ten novels are chosen from Radischev, Journey; Gogol, Dead Souls; Turgenev, Fathers and Sons; Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment; Tolstoy, Ana Karenina; Belyi, Petersburg; Gladkov, Cement; Fadeev, The Rout; Sholohov, Virgin Soil Upturned; Erenburg, The Thaw; Solzhenitsyn, The First Circle; and Rybakov, Children of the Arbat. R. Hellie. Spring.

29500. Readings in Social Sciences in a Foreign Language. PQ: At least one year of language. Students must individually make arrangements with appropriate instructors. Consent of instructor and senior adviser. Students are required to submit the College Reading and Research Course Form. Staff. Autumn, Winter, Spring.

29700. Independent Study in the Social Sciences. PQ: Consent of instructor and senior adviser. Students are required to submit the College Reading and Research Course Form. Staff. Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring.

29900. B.A. Paper in Russian Civilization. PQ: Consent of instructor and concentration chair. Students are required to submit the College Reading and Research Course Form. This is a reading and research course for independent study related to B.A. research and B.A. paper preparation. Staff. Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring.