Skip to main content


Information on this website is posted for historical reference only. Please visit the Office of the Registrar for current requirements.



1. Introductory Sociology

11F, 12S, 12F: 9L

What is Society? How have societies developed historically? How do they distribute wealth, income and other resources? How do they organize political authority and economic power? How do they coordinate work? How do they socialize people to “fit in” with those around them? How do they produce popular culture? This course provides answers to these questions in ways that provide an introduction to the field of sociology. It focuses on a broad range of theory and research showing how sociologists think about and study these questions. In many cases, the topics covered in the course reflect the research interests and course offerings of faculty in the sociology department at Dartmouth. As a result, the course also provides an introduction to some of the curriculum offered in the department.

Open to all classes. Dist: SOC; WCult: W. Goodman (11F, 12S), Campbell (12F).

2. Social Problems

12W: 9L 13S: 11

Daily news reports direct much of our attention to social problems such as crime, poverty, prejudice and political corruption. Yet rarely are such reports accompanied by a discussion of the systematic causes of these problems. More often we become witness to an endless stream of media coverage reporting seemingly isolated incidents. Seldom are we informed of the decision-making process by which some social problems become selected for coverage, while others are ignored. The purpose of this course is to subject the coverage of modern social problems to an in-depth, critical analysis. We will attempt to answer such questions as: “how does a social problem become defined as such?” and “what are the causes or sources of various social problems?” Open to all classes. Dist: SOC; WCult: W. Goodman (12W), King (13S).

7. First-Year Seminars in Sociology

Consult special listings


10. Quantitative Analysis of Social Data

11F, 12F: 10 12W, 13W: 9L

This course provides an introduction to the methods and statistical techniques of quantitative analysis. The first part of the course deals with the methods of quantitative analysis (research design, conceptualization, operationalization, and measurement). The second part of the course introduces students to parametric and nonparametric statistics (frequency distributions, crosstabulations, measures of association, tests of significance, correlation, and bivariate regression). There is a strong emphasis in this course on applying the methods and techniques learned to actual social science data. No previous statistical or advanced mathematical training is assumed, but solid arithmetic and basic algebraic skills are necessary. Because of the large overlap in material covered, no student may receive credit for more than one of the following courses: Economics 10, Government 10, Mathematics 10, Psychology 10, Social Sciences 10, Mathematics and Social Sciences 15 or Sociology 10 by special petition. Dist: QDS. Hollister.

11. Research Methods

Not offered in the period from 11F to 13S


15. Sociological Classics

11F, 12F: 10A 12W, 13W: 10

This course introduces and criticizes the work of Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, and Max Weber, three seminal writers whose ideas are still of enormous significance in shaping perspective and framing terms of argument among many major contemporary social and political thinkers. Among specific subjects to be covered are the following: class and class conflict; culture and ideology; forms and symbols of social solidarity; and questions of how shared ideals or divisive interests affect not just the study of human society, but the course of history itself. Prerequisite: Sociology 1 or 2, or permission of the instructor. Dist: TMV. Dixon.

16. Constructing Social Theory

Not offered in the period from 11F to 13S


21. Political Sociology

11F, 12F: 2A

This course examines the relationship between the social and political order with a view towards identifying and examining how politics is shaped by other events in societies and in turn shapes them. Readings and discussions will focus on the close connection between the political arena and its actors and social institutions. Attention is given to sociological aspects of the family, communities, economic institutions, and political parties. Special emphasis is placed on the dynamics of political power, participation, socialization, communication, and recruitment. Dist: SOC; WCult: W. Dixon.

22. The Sociology of International Development

12X, 13X: 10

This course will introduce students to the major sociological perspectives on economic and political development, with emphasis on developing countries. Among the views to be considered are modernization, which assumes that later developing countries will follow paths once traveled by today’s advanced countries; and dependency and world system theories, which view the integration of less developed countries into the world market as problematic and, under certain conditions, even disadvantageous. We will test these theories by applying them to specific cases. A major part of the course will focus on the economic ‘miracle’ of East Asian countries, as well as cases that have not been so successful. Other important topics to be studied include the influence of states, markets, and multinational corporations in economic development; the relationship between different modes of development and income distribution; and political development and the prospects for democratization. Open to all classes. Dist: INT. Parsa.

25. Democracy and Democratization in Developing Countries

12X, 13X: 2

The road to democratization in most countries in recent years has been marked by large-scale social movements. This course will begin with an examination of various theories of democracy and democratization. It will specifically analyze the role of class, culture, ideology, and religion in the democratization process. Finally, we will apply the theories to the three cases of South Korea, Indonesia, and Iran, three countries with mixed successes. Dist: SOC or INT; WCult: NW. Parsa.

26. Capitalism, Prosperity and Crisis (Formerly 49.3)

12S, 13S: 10A

Capitalism in the last five centuries generated great wealth and prosperity in Western societies. In the last few decades, capitalism assumed a global character affecting social and economic life of the vast majority of the people in the world. Yet, capitalism has also been plagued by economic decline and failures, causing massive human suffering. This course will study the nature of capitalism, sources of prosperity and crisis, inequality in distribution of economic and political power. Dist: SOC; WCult: W. Parsa.

27. Organizations in Society

12F: 10

Much of modern life takes place within a wide variety of complex, formal organizations, from multinational corporations, to churches, from social service agencies to volunteer organizations. In this course we will learn about the structure, internal processes, and environments of different forms of organization. Our focus is on sociological theories and empirical research, from a macrosociological perspective. Our objective will be to learn about how organizations work, as well as to gain an understanding of the impact of organizations on society and in our lives. Dist: SOC; WCult: W. Anthony.

28. Health Care and Health Care Policy

Not offered in the period from 11F to 13S

29. The Sociology of Work

11F, 12F: 12

This course examines the sociological dimensions of work, occupations, and employment relations. Specific topics may include: the structure of work, historical and contemporary changes in the organizational context of work, ways in which work both creates and reflects social divisions, occupations and professions, occupational socialization and choice, and the intersection of work and family. Dist: SOC; WCult: W. Hollister.

30. Deviance and Social Control

12S: 11

Students of society seem always to have been fascinated with explaining why some members deviate from commonly accepted rules. This course examines the major sociological explanations of deviance. We will explore the identification of certain behaviors as deviant, the process of becoming deviant, the management of a deviant identity, and the development of deviant subcultures. The course concludes with an examination of societal reactions to and the treatment of deviance and deviants. Examples of deviant and social control activities that may be considered include prostitution, religious cults, youth gangs, witchcraft, the handicapped, and asylums. Open to sophomores, juniors and seniors only. Dist: SOC; WCult: W. King.

31. Youth and Society

Not offered in the period from 11F to 13S

32. The Social Meanings of Home

12W: 11

This course is an exploration of the economic, cultural, social and political dynamics of “home” in contemporary U. S. society. The concept, “home” invariably invokes multiple and sometimes conflicting ideas—a physical dwelling, family, economic property, birthplace, nationality, environment, haven, etc. We speak of “home sweet home,” “dream home,” “home is where the heart is,” “sweet home Alabama” “homeland,” “there’s no place like home,” and “homies.” In the course, we will consider the home as a social context that profoundly shapes our personal and collective identities, gender roles and interpersonal relationships, class status and divisions, racial-ethnic memberships and conflicts, plus values and political ideals. The course will emphasize the homestead as economic property and the implications of its location, design, artifacts and domestic lifestyles for the cultivation of model subjects, consumers or citizens. Theoretical, empirical and interpretative materials in the course may touch on subjects as varied as housing and home ownership, shopping and hyperconsumption, food and kitchen culture, family values and the modeling of marriage and family life, the home improvement industry, and home and self makeovers on reality television. Dist: SOC; WCult: W. King.

33. Self and Society

12S, 13S: 10

Social Psychology is the study of the relationships between the individual and society. It is an interdisciplinary field to which the work of sociologists, psychologists, and occasionally scholars from other disciplines is relevant. This course introduces students to social psychology primarily, although not exclusively, from a sociological perspective. First, the course will acquaint students with the range of theoretical perspectives that have been used to study social psychology. Second, it will familiarize students with empirical research that has been done to examine these theories. Third, it will permit students to explore particular social psychological issues in greater depth both within and across particular perspectives within social psychology. Lastly, the course will illustrate the relevance of sociology per se for social psychology as well as the relevance of social psychology for sociology. In sum, this course is a general survey of the field that enables students to develop a critical but constructive sense of the theoretical and methodological issues in social psychology, and an understanding of the relevance of social psychology for other aspects of sociology. Dist: SOC. Lively.

45. Inequality and Social Justice (Formerly 49.4, course number change pending approval)

12W, 13W: 12

Social stratification refers to the unequal distribution of socially valued resources such as wealth, prestige, and power, across different groups in society. This course examines sociological research on the extent of these inequalities, how they are generated, and the consequences they bear. With an emphasis on historical and contemporary patterns of inequality in the United States, specific topics may include: wealth and income inequality; poverty; the intersection of class, race/ethnicity, and gender; educational attainment; and social change. Dixon.

46. Constructing Black Womanhood (Identical to African and African American Studies 25 and Women’s and Gender Studies 33)

12W, 13S: 2

This course is a critical examination of the historical and contemporary status of black women in the United States, as presented in fiction, primary accounts, and social science literature. We will explore the nature, extent, and consequences of the multiple discriminations of race, sex, and class, as the context in which these women shaped their social roles and identities within the black community and the larger society. We will consider the themes of family, motherhood, and sexuality; educational, economic and political participation; aesthetics and religious traditions; self and social images. Dist: SOC; WCult: CI. King.

47. Race and Ethnicity in the U.S. (Identical to Latino Studies 31)

12F: 11

To many eyes, racial distinctions are self-evident, natural, and objectively-defined. In this course, we problematize this practice of defining racial categories based on phenotypic differences, instead taking a sociological approach to understanding the ways in which racial differences are socially constructed. Throughout this course, we will explore how race matters by studying racial identity and experience, immigration and assimilation, diversity, and inequality. Dist: SOC; WCult: W. Walton

48. Immigration, Race and Ethnicity (Identical to, and described under, Geography 28 , also Latino Studies 40)

12W, 13W: 10A

Dist: SOC; WCult: CI. Wright.

49. Lower Division Special Topics Courses

11F: 10 12 12F: 2 12W: 10 13W: 10

In 11F at 10, Multiculturalism, Immigration and Citizenship. This course introduces the burgeoning field of immigration and multicultural citizenship studies. Reading assignments, lectures, and class discussions will focus on theories of national belonging, multicultural policies, and the material and cultural aspects of immigrant incorporation. Students will consider the challenges faced by nations seeking to incorporate immigrant newcomers and speculate as to how those challenges may be met. Voyer

In 11F at 12, Sociology of Culture. Culture is anything that has meaning and that can be passed on to subsequent generations. Culture includes myths, art, stories, songs, movies, novels, icons, manners, speech habits and much more. You have inherited a culture and you will pass one on to the next generation. The aim of this class is to help you to analyze the culture that you have inherited and to critically evaluate the culture that you intend to pass on. Goodman

In 12F at 2 Health Disparaties. Social, economic, and political forces powerfully influence who gets sick, the types of diseases that affect them, the treatments that are available, and the outcomes of those treatments. In this course, we will study how discrimination, marriage, and social ties may contribute to gender, racial and ethnic, and socioeconomic health disparities. We will also examine the ways in which neighborhood and community context shape health and access to health care services. Walton

In 13W at 10, The Sociology of Family The sociological study of the family involves our ability to take a step back to assess structures that pattern our personal experiences and how the private decisions that happen in families matter to society as a whole. We will examine how private affairs in family life interact with important public issues, particularly discussing intersections with gender, social class, race and ethnicity, marriage and cohabitation, divorce, remarriage and stepfamilies, childhood and adolescence, work, and social policy. Walton


50. Sociology of Law

Not offered in the period from 11F to 13S

51. Prisons: The American Way of Punishment

13W: 11

Prison as a place of confinement, punishment and rehabilitation is the focus of this survey of the history, philosophies, structure and operation of corrections in the United States. The course critically examines the concept of prison as a total institution and its panopticism as a model of social control that extends to other social contexts. The course will explore the world of inmates and their strategies of subcultural adaptations to and resistance against incarceration; as well as the role of the prison staff. Particular attention will be paid to how gender, race, economics and politics structure prison policies and dynamics. Specific topics may include cultural representations of prison life, implications of current sentencing practices, privatization and the prison-industrial complex, incarcerated mothers, capital punishment, juvenile justice, and alternatives to incarceration. Open to all classes. Dist: SOC; WCult: W. King.

55. Poverty and Public Policy in the U.S. (Identical to Public Policy 81.5)

12W, 13W: 10A

More than one in ten Americans lives in poverty according to official statistics. This course explores the nature and extent of poverty in the United States and the role of the government in addressing poverty issues. How do we measure poverty? Why does poverty persist? Why is there so little political discourse about poverty in America today? How effective are various poverty alleviation programs? Dist: SOC; WCult: W. Hollister.

57. Identity and Social Interaction of Multiracial Americans

Not offered in the period from 11F to 13S

58. Education and Inequality

Not offered in the period from 11F to 13S

Dist: SOC; WCult: W.

61. Women, Work and Family (Identical to Women’s and Gender Studies 33.5)

12W: 10A

This course will explore the nature, extent, and consequences of gender inequality in society. Changing gender roles will be examined in relation to class and race, the socialization process, the experience of women in the family, and the experience of women as paid and unpaid workers under both capitalism and socialism. Finally, we shall analyze work and family conflict, looking at gender inequality, consequences for families and employers, policy, and implications for social structural change. Prerequisite: Sociology 1 or 2, as this is an Upper Division course. Dist: SOC; WCult: W. Smith.

62. Love, Romance, Intimacy and Dating (formerly 49.9)

12S: 12

Why do you connect with some people and not others? What exactly is love? And how do you make smart romantic choices for yourself? In this course we examine the social aspects of love, romance, intimacy, and dating. Using sociological theories and methods, we will investigate how cultural beliefs and structural arrangements affect our most intimate feelings and experiences, and how you can avoid that 50% divorce rate in your own life. Dist: SOC. Lively

63. Trust in Society

Not offered in the period from 11F to 13S

64. The Sociology of Emotion

13S: 12

Most people think of emotions as a purely internal experience, composed solely of physiological elements. Recently, however, sociologists have begun to emphasize and explore the social side of emotion—for example, how emotions are shaped socially and culturally, how emotions are socially controlled, and the consequences of emotion for social life. We will examine these and other sociological aspects of emotional experience in this course, including exploring current debates about the social functions of emotions, especially as they pertain to the substantive areas of work and family. Topics include the social causes of emotion; cultural variations in feeling and expression norms (especially in regard to love and anger); changes in American norms over time; the shaping of children’s emotions through socialization; individual and social techniques of emotion management; the social distribution of emotional experience; the social functions of emotion; emotional deviance; and the individual and social consequences of emotional display. Lively.

66. Markets and Management

12F: 11

What is money? How do people find jobs? Are markets competitive or cooperative? This course examines these and other questions about how economic behavior is organized, operates and changes historically. It recognizes that economic activity is socially organized and guided by political, cultural and normative as well as economic principles. It explores how economic activity takes many forms, including groups of small competitive firms, large and powerful corporations, and diffuse networks of companies tied together through inter-firm alliances, business associations and other sorts of cooperative and competitive relations with each other, unions, government agencies and universities. It examines the organization and operation of different kinds of markets, different theories of how economic activity is organized, and the social factors that contribute to economic success or failure. It also investigates how managers, unions, policy makers and governments are coping with recent economic challenges, such as those posed by technological change and the globalization of economic activity. Because this is a course in economic sociology—not economics—no background in economics is required. Dist: SOC; WCult: W. Campbell.

67. Ideas, Politics and Crisis (Formerly 79.3)

Not offered in the period from 11F to 13S

68. Global Health Systems

11F: 2

Health care systems are unique to the culture and history of each nation. However, all face similar challenges. This course examines health systems across developed and developing nations. Comparisons will be made in terms of: (a) population health, (b) health care organization, (c) health care financing, (d) health professionals and their patients, and (e) health system performance and reform strategies. Understanding how health care is delivered around the world will lead to a better understanding of the relative merits and limitations of various systems. The course is structured as a seminar in which students will be expected to discuss course readings in-depth, as well as develop and present their own research on specific countries of interest. Dist: INT; WCult: NW. Anthony.

69. The Sociology of Globalization

13W: 11

The international scope of political, economic, and cultural activity has increased dramatically during the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. But how extensive has the trend toward “globalization” been? Is it really a new phenomenon? Has globalization changed societies? If so, how? If not, why not? Are societies becoming more alike because they experience common globalization pressures or do they retain their unique national characteristics? This course examines these questions and more. Specifically, we will look at how globalization has affected business, states, labor movements, social inequality, social welfare, citizenship rights, the environment, culture, national security, and other aspects of society. Dist: SOC or INT. Campbell.

70. American Labor Relations

Not offered in the period from 11F to 13S

79. Upper Division Special Topics Courses

12S: 2

In 12S at 2, Drugs and Pharmaceuticals in Society. Licit and illicit drugs make illuminating case studies for our economic and political systems. We explore the following questions: Are profit motives and humanitarian concerns in irresolvable conflict? Does the international network of illegal drugs show the future of globalization? Does pharmaceutical lobbying demonstrate the anti-democratic influence of money? Is the “war on drugs” political demagoguery or a rational response to human weakness? We will use readings, research papers and discussions to explore these questions. Dist: SOC. Goodman

80. Independent Study

All terms: Arrange

This course offers the qualified student an opportunity to pursue a subject of special interest, under the direction of a faculty adviser assigned to the student for periodic (usually weekly) conferences. Ordinarily at least one formal paper embodying the results of the reading or research is required. In special situations students may work as a team on a single project. Occasionally credit may be given in Sociology 80 for a research project done in an off-campus term, provided arrangements are made well in advance and adequate off-campus supervision can be assured. Although every effort will be made to accommodate qualified students desiring to carry an independent study, there is no guarantee that independent study can be arranged for any given student in any given term, and preference is given to senior and junior Sociology majors. Normally no student may take Sociology 80 more than twice during the undergraduate career. By permission of a Sociology faculty member prior to registration.


90. Senior Independent Study Project

All terms: Arrange

Independent work under the direction of a member of the Department and with Departmental approval may satisfy the culminating requirement in the major. Those interested should develop their plans with a prospective faculty adviser and must submit and have approved a written proposal at least one term prior to the term in which the course will be elected. Open only to senior majors. By permission of a Sociology faculty member prior to registration.

91. The Sociological Imagination

12S: 10A 13W: 10A

C. Wright Mills described “the sociological imagination” as that quality of mind with the ability to grasp the interplay of biography and history, of self and social structure, of private troubles and public issues. As we approach the end of the 20th century, various issues of class, race and gender inequalities and conflicts appear to dominate popular discourse and policy debates. This capstone seminar will explore current substantive and theoretical expressions of the sociological imagination for providing critical assistance in understanding some of the major social issues of our time. The seminar is designed to emphasize critical discussion through active participation and class presentations. Each student will complete a significant intellectual project which reflects her or his own sociological analysis about an important social issue. Open to senior sociology majors, and others only by permission of the instructor. Dist: SOC; WCult: W. King (12S), Lively (13W).

98. Honors Thesis

All terms: Arrange

Open only to, and required of all, Sociology honors majors, this course involves independent work under the direction of a faculty adviser, culminating in the preparation and presentation of an honors thesis. Sociology honors majors normally elect Sociology 98 twice: once during the last term in residence and once during a preceding term. Exceptions to this pattern are, however, permitted if circumstances warrant. Honors students are normally expected to publicly present their thesis to the Department during the term in which it is completed. By permission of a Sociology faculty member prior to registration. See “The Sociology Honors Program” handout in the Main Office (111 Silsby).

[1] For the MME Minor, taking Sociology 26, 66 or 69 can be used towards either fulfilling requirement #3 OR requirement #4 or #5, but not both.