Sociology



SOC 014B ~ Deviance and Social Control
CRN: 93502

How do we define "deviance" in our everyday lives? How do sociologists define, measure, or otherwise understand deviance? In this introductory-level course, students will learn about the central sociological concepts in the study of deviant behavior and social control. Students will become aware of the pivotal role that rules, rule-makers, and rule-enforcers play in our lives. To better understand the ways in which definitions of and responses to deviance penetrate our lives, we will question the assumptions behind notions of "deviant" and normative behaviors. Students will become acquainted with how a sociological approach to deviance differs from the individualistic perspective that most people rely on to understand social life. We will look at societal trends, as well as everyday processes. We will also explore formal and informal mechanisms of social control (both subtle and overt), which function to monitor and induce conformity; some examples include stigma and shaming, incarceration, and capital punishment.

Requirements Satisfied: one Social Science course
Meets: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11:45am-12:35pm
Contact: 802-656-2170, kathy.fox@uvm.edu

Kathy Fox: Associate Professor of Sociology, was stunned and thrilled to realize there was a sub-field in a social science that contemplated deviance and reactions to deviance; she has pondered these questions most of her life. She has studied (first wave) punks, an AIDS prevention project with injection drug users, and prison therapy programs. Currently she is doing research on programs that help formerly incarcerated individuals reenter society. Her other enthusiasms include running/walking/snowshoeing, novels, and good strong coffee.


SOC 049A ~ Science Fiction and Society
CRN: 94219

"What social science is properly about is the human variety, which consists of all the social worlds in which men have lived, are living, and might live." -- C. Wright Mills, The Sociological Imagination (1959)

"Science Fiction is really sociological studies of the future, things that the writer believes are going to happen by putting two and two together." -- Ray Bradbury (1950s)

"I found that it was all right to have Martians saying things Democrats and Republicans could never say." -- Rod Serling

Science fiction is often about imagining alternative social possibilities as well as technological ones. This course will explore science fiction stories as ways of exploring core sociological questions: Does our society have to be the way it is? How does social life work? What would happen if relations between rich and poor, males and females, or ethnic groups were dramatically changed? What happens when societies modernize? Is modernization a good thing? Why do societies sometimes change and sometimes stay the same? What is the relation between self and society? What should it be?

Requirements Satisfied: one Social Science course
Meets: Tuesday, Thursday 11:30am-12:45pm
Contact: 802-656-2167, Thomas.Streeter@uvm.edu

Thomas Streeter: Associate Professor of Sociology, has taught at UVM and studied media, technology, law, and culture for more than 15 years. One might say that he studies the soft side of hard issues, that is, the role of cultural beliefs in shaping things like institutions, property, legal regulation, and technology. His favorite sci-fi TV show is Battlestar Galactica; his favorite sci-fi movie is Blade Runner (though some days he likes Brazil better).