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This section contains an overview of the college's history, the academic program, the campus and student body; information on admission, fees and financial aid; graduate programs; and a key for deciphering course listings. Select a section from the dropdown menu to start.


This catalog contains policies and program descriptions and should be used solely as an informational guide. The General Information section is accurate as of July. All announcements herein are subject to revision. Students are responsible for informing themselves of current policies and meeting all relevant requirements.

This section details instructors, requirements for the majors and minors, and course offerings for the year (the data is updated annually). The Search for Courses tab enables you to search for courses based on interests and criteria. This tab will enable you to identify if a course can count toward a major, minor, concentration or a certificate.

Select a department or program from the dropdown menu.

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Professors
Ginetta E. B. Candelario, Ph.D. (Sociology and Latin American & Latin@ Studies)
Rick Fantasia, Ph.D.
Leslie L. King, Ph.D. §1
Marc William Steinberg, Ph.D.
Nancy E. Whittier, Ph.D. **1

Associate Professors
Payal Banerjee, Ph.D., Chair
Tina Wildhagen, Ph.D. †2

Assistant Professor
Timothy Recuber, Ph.D.

Lecturers
Cory Albertson, Ph.D.

The Major

Advisers: Payal Banerjee, Ginetta Candelario, Rick Fantasia, Leslie King, Timothy Recuber, Marc Steinberg, Nancy Whittier, Tina Wildhagen

Basis: 101.

Requirements: 10 semester courses beyond the introductory course (SOC 101), including 203, 204, 250 four courses at the 200- or 300-level, two additional courses either in sociology or, with approval of the major adviser, in related fields, and one sociology seminar at Smith during the senior year—any 300-level SOC course. Majors should consult with their advisers about the list of recommended courses approved by the department before selecting courses in related fields for major credit.

Majors are strongly urged to take 203, 204 and 250 in their sophomore or junior year. Normally, majors may not take 203, 204, 250 or their senior seminar on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

The department will permit Introduction to Sociology and up to four upper-level transfer courses from outside the Five Colleges to be used for the completion of major requirements.

The Minor

Advisers: Payal Banerjee, Ginetta Candelario, Rick Fantasia, Leslie King, Timothy Recuber, Marc Steinberg, Nancy Whittier, Tina Wildhagen

Requirements: 101, 250, either 203 or 204, and three additional courses at the 200 or 300 level. Only two of the six courses required for the minor may be taken outside of Smith College.

Honors

Honors Director for 2019–20: Tina Wildhagen

Please consult the director of honors or the departmental website for specific requirements and application procedures.



SOC 430D Honors Project 
This is a full year course. 8 credits for the full-year course; 4 per semester.



Requirements
 
  1. 10 semester courses beyond the introductory course (SOC 101): 201, 203, 204, 250, four courses at the 200 or 300 level, and a senior seminar most appropriate to the thesis research.
  2. a thesis (430D) written during two semesters.
  3. an oral examination on the thesis.

The prerequisite for all sociology courses is 101, or permission of the instructor. All 300-level courses require the permission of the instructor.



SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology
For first-year students and sophomores; juniors and seniors with permission of the course director. Perspectives on society, culture and social interaction. Topics may include the self, emotions, culture, community, class, race and ethnicity, family, gender, and economy. Colloquium format. Enrollment limited to 30. {S} Credits: 4
Vanessa Mohr Adel, William Cory Albertson, Shabia Furkan, Kathleen E. Hulton, Nancy E. Whittier
Normally offered both fall and spring semesters

SOC 203 Qualitative Methods
Qualitative research methods offer a means of gaining insight and understanding into complex perspectives held by people about social practices and social phenomena. Whereas good quantitative research captures scale, good qualitative research reaches the depth of perceptions, views, experiences, behaviors and beliefs. Qualitative research deals with meanings; it seeks to understand not just what people do, but why they choose to do what they do. This course provides students with a theoretical as well as practical grounding in qualitative research including research ethics, research design, practicalities in research, research techniques, data analysis and theorizing and dissemination of research findings. Prerequisite: SOC 101. Enrollment limit of 35. {S} Credits: 4
Timothy Recuber
Normally offered each spring

SOC 204 Statistics and Quantitative Research Methods for Sociology
This project-based course covers the study of statistics for the analysis of sociological data and the study of methods for quantitative sociological research more generally. Topics in statistics include descriptive statistics, probability theory, correlation, deduction and induction, error and bias, confidence intervals, and simple linear regression. Topics in research methods will include positivism, research design, measurement, sampling methods, and survey design. All students will participate in a lab, which emphasizes the use of computer software to analyze real data. Students will design and complete a survey research project over the course of the semester. Prerequisite: SOC 101. Enrollment limit of 40. {M} {S} Credits: 5
Tina Wildhagen
Normally offered each fall

SOC 212 Class and Society
An introduction to classical and contemporary approaches to class relations, status and social inequality. Topics include contemporary Marxian and Weberian approaches to class; the practice of social mobility in ideology and in social reality, class-consciousness, the social reproduction of class structures and the ways that racial and gender divisions intersect with class relations. Particular attention to the class experience in cultural, social psychological and economic terms within contemporary U.S. society. Prerequisite: SOC 101. Enrollment limited to 35. {S} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Normally offered in alternate years

SOC 213 Race and National Identity in the United States
The sociology and history of a multiracial and ethnically stratified society. Comparative examinations of several U.S. racialized and ethnic groups. Prerequisite: SOC 101. Enrollment limited to 35. {S} Credits: 4
Vanessa Mohr Adel
Normally offered each academic year

SOC 214 Sociology of Hispanic Caribbean Communities in the United States
This community-based learning course surveys social science research, literary texts and film media on Cuban, Dominican and Puerto Rican communities in the United States. Historic and contemporary causes and contexts of (im)migration, settlement patterns, labor market experiences, demographic profiles, identity formations and cultural expressions are considered. Special attention is paid to both inter- and intra-group diversity, particularly along the lines of race, gender, sexuality and class. Students are required to dedicate four hours per week to a local community-based organization. Prerequisite: Soc 101. Enrollment limited to 20. Credits: 0-5
Members of the department
Normally offered in alternate years

SOC 216 Social Movements
This course provides an in-depth examination of major sociological theories of collective action and social movements. Emphasis is placed on the analysis of social movement dynamics including recruitment and mobilization, strategies and tactic, and movement outcomes. The empirical emphasis is on modern American social movements including student protest, feminist, civil rights and sexual identity movements. Prerequisite: SOC 101. Enrollment limited to 35. {S} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Normally offered each academic year

SOC 218 Urban Sociology
A study of the sociological dimensions of urban life. Main areas of inquiry: the processes of urban change; the city as a locus of various social relationships and cultural forms; urban poverty and social conflict; homelessness; and strategies for urban revitalization. Prerequisite: SOC 101. Enrollment limited to 35. {S} Credits: 4
Rick Fantasia
Normally offered in alternate years

SOC 220 The Sociology of Culture
Drawing upon a variety of sociological perspectives and analytical methods, this course considers the place of culture in social life and examines its socially constituted character. Culture, will be viewed along three dimensions: 1) as the customary practices of particular social groups; 2) the expression of symbolic representation in society, and 3) through the practice of artistic and creative expression. Cultural practices will be considered in a range of social, historical and institutional settings and in several forms, including high and popular culture, mass culture, counter culture, and cultures of opposition. The course will consider such matters as the relationship between culture and social inequality, culture and social change, the commoditization of cultural goods, the workings of global cultural markets, and the complex processes by which cultural forms may be used, appropriated and transformed by social groups. Prerequisite: SOC 101. Enrollment limited to 35. {S} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Normally offered in alternate years

SOC 222 Blackness in America
This course comparatively examines the African and Afro-descended experience in both Central and South American and Caribbean contexts, historically and contemporarily. A relative consideration of the impact of these various hemispheric race ideologies are undertaken. Prerequisites: SOC 101 required; LAS 150 or AAS 117 helpful. Enrollment limited to 35. {S} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Normally offered in alternate years

SOC 224 Family and Society
This course examines social structures and meanings that shape contemporary family life. Students look at the ways that race, class and gender shape the ways that family is organized and experienced. Topics include the social construction of family, family care networks, parenthood, family policy, globalization and work. Prerequisite: SOC 101. Enrollment limited to 35. {S} Credits: 4
William Cory Albertson
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

SOC 226 Sociological Perspectives on Power and Privilege in American Education
This course examines the institution of education from a sociological perspective, exploring issues of power and privilege, relationships between education and other social institutions, and the varying purposes of education in society. A recurring theme throughout the course is meritocracy. We consider how merit is defined in education, factors that affect who succeeds in the educational system and whether meritocratic education is a viable goal. Course readings include current empirical research in the sociology of education and both classical and contemporary sociological theories of education. Prerequisite: SOC 101. Enrollment limited to 35. {S} Credits: 4
Tina Wildhagen
Normally offered each academic year

SOC 229 Sex and Gender in American Society
An examination of the ways in which the social system creates, maintains and reproduces gender dichotomies with specific attention to the significance of gender in interaction, culture and a number of institutional contexts, including work, politics, families and sexuality. Prerequisite: SOC 101. Enrollment limited to 35. {S} Credits: 4
William Cory Albertson
Normally offered each academic year

SOC 230 Sociology of Food
Using theoretical frameworks from environmental sociology, political and economic sociology, and sociology of culture, this course will examine how social structures shape the way we produce, prepare and consume food. We will investigate political and environmental dynamics that structure food systems and practices and we will consider inequalities related to food at the local and global levels. Finally, we will explore food movements and investigate ideas for creating more equitable and sustainable practices. Prerequisite: SOC 101. Enrollment limited to 35. {S} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Normally offered in alternate years

SOC 232 World Population
This course introduces students to environmental, economic, feminist and nationalist perspectives on population growth and decline. We examine current population trends and processes (fertility, mortality and migration) and consider the social, political, economic and environmental implications of those trends. The course also provides an overview of various sources of demographic data as well as basic demographic methods. Prerequisite: SOC 101. Enrollment limited to 35. {S} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Normally offered in alternate years

SOC 233 Sociology of Climate Change
The effects of climate change put great strain on societies, testing the very structures that organize people’s lives and livelihoods. Using sociological frameworks and theories of globalization, inequality, intersectionality, science and technology, policy, migration, sustainability, environmental justice, social movements, and human rights, this course will examine the social, political, and economic impacts of climate change, as well as the ways that local and global groups prepare, mitigate, deny, adapt to, and organize in the face of climate change and its impacts. Prerequisite: SOC 101. Enrollment limited to 35. {S} Credits: 4
Vanessa Mohr Adel
Normally offered in alternate years

SOC 236 Beyond Borders: The New Global Political Economy
This course introduces students to the basic concepts and theories in global political economy. It covers the history of economic restructuring, global division of labor, development, North-South state relations, and modes of resistance from a transnational and feminist perspective. Issues central to migration, borders and security, health, and the environment are central to the course. Prerequisite: SOC 101. Enrollment limited to 35. {S} Credits: 4
Payal Banerjee
Normally offered each academic year

SOC 237 Gender and Globalization
This course engages with the various dimensions of globalization through the lens of gender, race and class relations. We study how gender and race intersect in global manufacturing and supply chains as well as in the transnational politics of representation and access in global media, culture, consumption, fashion, food, water, war and dissenting voices. Prerequisite: SOC 101. Enrollment limited to 35. {S} Credits: 4
Payal Banerjee
Normally offered each academic year

SOC 239 How Power Works
This course focuses on a series of perspectives that examine the workings of power. These include Bourdieu, critical race, feminist, Foucault, Marxist, and post-structuralist and queer theories. The course spans the very micro-bases of social life, starting with the body, to the very macro-ending with the nation-state and the world system. On the macro side specific attention is given to the neoliberal state, including welfare and incarceration. In addition, the course focuses on several key institutions and spheres of social life, including education, media and culture, and work. Prerequisite: SOC 101. Enrollment limited to 35 students.  {S} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Normally offered in alternate years

SOC 244 Feminisms and Women's Movements: Latin American Women's and Latinas' Pursuit of Social Justice
Same as LAS 244. This course is designed to familiarize students with the history of Latin American and Latina (primarily Chicana) feminist thought and activism. A central goal of the course is to provide an understanding of the relationship between feminist thought, women’s movements and local/national contexts and conditions. The writings of Latin American and Latina feminists will comprise the majority of the texts; thus we are limited to the work of those who write and/or publish in English. (Students who are proficient in Spanish or Portuguese will have an opportunity to read feminist materials in those languages for their written projects.) Prerequisites: SOC 101, LAS 100 or SWG 150. Enrollment limited to 35. {H} {S} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Normally offered in alternate years

SOC 246 The Sociological Imagination
According to C.W. Mills, the "sociological imagination" allows us "to grasp history and biography and the relations between the two within society." This course will help students develop their sociological imaginations by reading memoirs written by both U.S. and international authors who’ve published in English, and asking sociological questions of the stories being told. We will move beyond appreciation for the "troubles [that] occur within the character of the individual and within the range of [their] immediate relations with others" to a recognition and analysis of social facts, geo-political issues and social problems illuminated through these individual stories. Prerequisite: SOC 101. Enrollment limit of 20 (E) WI {H} {S} Credits: 4
Ginetta E. B. Candelario
Normally offered in alternate years

SOC 250 Theories of Society
This course introduces majors to widely used theoretical perspectives that inform the sociological imagination. It focuses on how these perspectives analyze core facets of social life, such as structure and stratification, power and inequality, culture, agency, self and identity. Each topic is surveyed from several major perspectives, providing a comparative view so that students can make assessments of the insights each theory offers. Prerequisite: SOC 101. Enrollment limited to 40 with majors and minors having priority. {S} Credits: 4
Rick Fantasia
Normally offered each fall

SOC 253 Sociology of Sexuality: Institutions, Identities and Cultures
This course examines sexuality from a sociological perspective, focusing on how sexuality is constructed by and structures major social institutions. We examine the social construction of individual and collective identities, norms and behaviors, discourses, institutional regulation, and the place of sexuality in the state, education, science and other institutions, and social movements. Consideration of gender, race, class, time and place are integrated throughout. Topics include the social construction of sexual desire and practice, sexuality and labor, reproduction, science, technology, sexuality and the state, sexuality education, globalization, commodification, and social movements for sexual purity, sexual freedom and against sexual violence. Prerequisite: SOC 101. Enrollment limited to 35. {S} Credits: 4
William Cory Albertson
Normally offered each academic year

SOC 270 Media, Technology and Sociology
The mass media are an important social institution that reflects and shapes norms and values.  But the processes governing media production and reception are often taken for granted, immersed as we are in a highly mediated social world where preconceived notions about "the media" and its effects hold sway.  This class will challenge conventional wisdom about how media and communication technologies work by critically exploring the history of media institutions, assessing the media's powers of persuasion, focusing on media as an occupation, and examining the struggles over media representation by marginalized groups across traditional media and new digital platform. Prerequisite: SOC 101. Enrollment limited to 35. {S} Credits: 4
Timothy Recuber
Normally offered each academic year

SOC 308 Practicum in Community Based Research
This community-based course trains students in identifying and researching social problems in Holyoke, MA, and collaborating as a research team. Weekly work with a community-based organization, utilization of quantitative and/or qualitative sociological methods, and a consideration of both primary and secondary sources on the community are expected. Prerequisites: SOC 101, SOC 203 or SOC 204. Enrollment limited to 14. SOC 309 must be taken concurrently. Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

SOC 309 Practicum in Community Based Research Lab
Laboratory course to be taken concurrently with SOC 214 or SOC 309. Prerequisite: SOC 101 and permission of the instructor. Credits: 1
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

SOC 314 Seminar in Latina/o Identity
Topics course.

Latina/o Racial Identities in the United States
This seminar explores theories of race and ethnicity, and the manner in which those theories have been confronted, challenged and/or assimilated by Latina/os in the United States. Special attention is paid to the relationship of Latina/os to the white/black dichotomy. A particular concern throughout the course is the theoretical and empirical relationship between Latina/o racial, national, class, gender and sexual identities. Students are expected to engage in extensive and intensive critical reading and discussion of course texts. Prerequisite: SOC 101 and permission of the instructor. Credits: 4
Members of the department
Normally offered in alternate years

SOC 317 Seminar: Inequality in Higher Education
This course applies a sociological lens to understanding inequality in American higher education. We examine how the conflicting purposes of higher education have led to a highly stratified system of colleges and universities. We also address the question of how students’ social class, race, ethnicity and gender affect their chances of successfully navigating this stratified system of higher education. Finally, we examine selected public policies aimed at minimizing inequality in students’ access to and success in college. Prerequisites: SOC 101 and permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 12. {S} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Normally offered in alternate years

SOC 320 Seminar: Special Topics in the Sociology of Culture
Topics course.

Sociology of the Arts
Sociological perspectives on the arts in society, with particular attention to the fine arts (primarily painting), to literature, and to theatre, among other forms of cultural expression. Theories of the place of art in society, the social context of artistic production and the social production of the artist, as well as sociological perspectives on the changing nature of arts institutions and audiences, and the social position and aesthetic disposition of the artist. Prerequisite: SOC 101 and permission of the instructor. {S} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Normally offered in alternate years

SOC 323 Seminar: Gender and Social Change
Topics course. This course can be repeated once for credit with a different topic. 

Gender, Sexuality and Social Movements in Conservative Times
This class focuses on challenges to and changes in gender and sexuality during conservative time periods.  Focusing on the U.S., we will primarily examine the 1980's and the contemporary period as case studies.  We will look how political and other institutions affect gender and sexuality, and at social movements addressing gender and sexuality from both the right and the left.  We will look at movements including queer, feminist, anti-racist, anti-interventionist movements on the left, and racial supremacist, pro-military intervention, anti-LGBT, and conservative evangelical movements on the right.  Theoretical frameworks are drawn from social movements, intersectional feminist and queer theories. Prerequisite: SOC 101 and permission of the instructor. {S} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

SOC 327 Seminar: Global Migration in the 21st Century
This 300-level seminar provides an in-depth engagement with global migration. It covers such areas as theories of migration, the significance of global political economy and state policies across the world in shaping migration patterns and immigrant identities. Questions about imperialism, post-colonial conditions, nation-building/national borders, citizenship, and the gendered racialization of immigration intersect as critical contexts for our discussions. Prerequisite: SOC 101 and permission of instructor. Enrollment limited to 12. {S} Credits: 4
Payal Banerjee
Normally offered in alternate years

SOC 333 Seminar: Social Justice, the Environment and the Corporation
Over the last century, the reach of corporations has gradually extended into all facets of our lives, yet most of us rarely stop to think about the corporation as a social entity. This course focuses on the social, economic and legal foundations that both shape its power and provide a dominant logic for its actions. We examine the implications of corporate power and processes for communities, workers and the environment. We also focus on the ways that governments and various social groups have sought to change corporate assumptions and behaviors concerning their social and environmental responsibilities. Prerequisite: SOC 101 and permission of instructor. Enrollment limited to 12. Credits: 4
Members of the department
Normally offered in alternate years

SOC 340 Inequality and Social Protest, Calderwood Seminar in Public Writing
Have you ever struggled to explain inequality or student protest to a seatmate on a plane or your well-meaning uncle? Sociology gives us a unique perspective on this moment of increasing inequality and mass protest on both the right and the left. Pull together what you have learned in your sociology classes and learn to communicate your knowledge about the inequalities and politics of race, class, and gender. Working collaboratively, students in this Calderwood Seminar will write a variety of pieces that bring sociological expertise to the public, such as summaries of research and data, book reviews, opinion pieces, blog posts, and magazine articles. This course is designed as a capstone course for sociology majors; students in related majors (other social sciences, SWG, AFR, etc.) are also welcome. Prerequisite: SOC 101 and permission of instructor. Enrollment limited to 12. WI {S} Credits: 4
Nancy E. Whittier
Normally offered in alternate years

General Courses



SOC 400 Special Studies
By permission of the department, for junior and senior majors. Credits: 1-4
Normally offered each academic year

SOC 408D Special Studies
This is a full-year course. Credits: 8
Normally offered each academic year

Cross-listed Courses



CCX 320 Capstone Seminar for the CESC Concentration
The CCX 320 seminar provides a forum for Community Engagement and Social Change concentration students to develop research projects that synthesize their prior coursework and practical experiences. In a typical capstone project, a small group of students focus on a particular social justice issue, research past and present community-based efforts around the issue, and develop a community action plan in collaboration with an off-campus community partner. Students are provided with readings, discussions, mentoring and other support to complete capstone projects. Enrollment limited to 15; priority is given to seniors and juniors. (E) Credits: 4
Denys Candy

All majors offered at Smith (through departments and programs) have requirements and a curriculum that students must complete. However, it is also important to identify what a student will know or be able to do at the completion of the major.

Departments and programs have articulated the learning goals for their disciplines, and they are all listed on the Departmental Learning Goals page.

 


The information contained in the Courses of Study documents is accurate as of July. Smith College reserves the right to make changes to the Courses of Study, including changes in its course offerings, instructors, requirements for the majors and minors, and degree requirements. Course information contained herein is compiled by the Office of the Provost/Dean of the Faculty from data submitted by departments and programs. All data listed are as officially and formally approved by the Office of the Provost/Dean of the Faculty, the Committee on Academic Priorities, and the faculty-at-large. Additional information may be available on the individual Web sites of departments and programs.

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