Fall 2016 Teacher-Advisor Program (TAP) Seminars

Fine Arts
Social Sciences
Natural Sciences & Mathematics


SOC 019 C - Race Relations in the US

Instructor: Nikki Khanna

The main purpose of this course is to introduce students to the sociological analysis of race and ethnic relations. We will examine patterns of ethnic/racial relations and apply these patterns to ethnic/racial groups within the United States. Once we have investigated race relations in the U.S., we will then turn to examining cases outside the U.S. as a basis for comparison. The basic outline of the course is: I. Perspectives on Race and Ethnic Relations II. Major Race and Ethnic Groups in the United States Today III. Comparative Perspectives:  South Africa and Brazil

Requirements Satisfied: Social Sciences, Writing and Information Literacy, and (D1) Race Relations and Ethnicity in the U.S.

SOC 049 A - Science Fiction & Society

Instructor: Thomas Streeter

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? Readings include classic sociological analyses and a range of classic and contemporary science fiction, including some films. More information can be found at http://www.uvm.edu/~tstreete/Courses/scifisoc/

Requirements Satisfied: Social Sciences and Writing and Information Literacy

SOC 054 A - Health Care in America

Instructor: Dale Jaffe

Who cares about health care in America? Apparently millions of people do, given the role this issue played in the 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns, the attention paid to the 2013 Supreme Court decision on President Obama's Affordable Care Act, and the recent widespread dismay at the inadequacy of the technological support for prospective health insurance enrollees. Why does health care inspire such debate? Doesn't the U.S. have the best health care system ever constructed by humankind? With the current health care reform debate as a point of departure, this course will provide an introduction to the social, political, historical, and economic perspectives necessary to understand the workings of one of America's most interesting and contested social institutions. Designed for students who have an intellectual or professional interest in health care or medicine or who are considering pursuing majors in the social sciences, the course will explore the following questions: Who or what is responsible for health and illness? Why do disparities in health and medical care exist between groups? How is health care organized and financed in the U.S.? How should health care be distributed in our society? Why has health policy taken the form it has? What can the U.S. learn from studying health care delivery systems in other nations? In addition, students will be encouraged to examine their own roles as engaged citizens in shaping the reform of health care in America.

Requirements Satisfied: Social Sciences and Writing and Information Literacy

SOC 095 A - Reproductive Rights

Instructor: Jennifer Strickler

Reproductive rights have been controversial in public policy for many decades, with debates over topics such as abortion and population control occurring in social media, street protests, the U.S. Supreme Court and the United Nations. In this course we will take a rigorous look at these issues from a sociological perspective.  What is the basis of reproductive rights? What role does the state play in shaping the reproductive experiences of its population? How do race/class/gender influence people’s beliefs and experiences? In this class, students will gain knowledge about the controversies over reproduction that have occurred in the last 50 years, as well as learn how to identify the underlying causes of the problems. This course is intended for students interested in learning about how reproduction is connected to sociological issues such as public health, gender, and social class.

Requirements Satisfied: Social Sciences and Writing and Information Literacy