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Courses

Professors in Richmond’s anthropology department have field experience in South Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. They teach courses that provide overviews of their particular areas of emphasis as well as subject-specific courses such as culture and gender, the anthropology of religion and legal anthropology.

Most anthropology courses will focus on cultural anthropology. Traditionally, these classes have had an emphasis on pre-industrial cultures such as the Australian Aborigines, the Eskimos and the herding peoples of Africa. More recently, cultural anthropology classes have expanded to include courses in both Western and non-Western peoples living in major cities and even to modern institutions such as the U.S. Congress. Courses often rely on statistics, definitions, observation and immersion to analyze the people and cultures students are studying.

Sociology students will take courses that touch on culture, socialization, deviance, social order and social control, social inequality and social change. To fully understand social structures, students will take courses that touch on government, economics, work, religion, community, family, education and sports.  Courses will introduce students to comparative studies, social problems, social movements and collective behavior. Taking interdisciplinary courses in other areas like anthropology and women, gender and sexuality studies will contribute to an even richer experience for students.

Courses vary by semester, but viewing current courses will give you an indication of the variety of topics you will find within the discipline.

Courses
Sociology Courses
SOC 101 Foundations of Society: Introduction to Sociological Analysis
Units: 1
Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSSA)
Description
Fundamental concepts and principles of sociology. Culture, socialization, social structure, stratification, social control, institutions, population, and social change.

SOC 207 Crime and Justice in a Post-Modern Society
Units: 1
Description
Prevalence and distribution of crime, theories of crime, forms of criminal behavior, overview of the criminal justice system.
Prerequisites
Sociology 101.

SOC 209 Social Problems
Units: 1
Description
Sociological examination of major social problems. Emphasis is on the structural causes, manifestations, patterns, consequences, and policy dimensions of social problems.
Prerequisites
Sociology 101 or permission of instructor.

SOC 211 Sociological Research Methods and Data Analysis
Units: 1
Description
Introduction to the major methods of conducting sociological research with a primary emphasis on quantitative data collection and analysis.
Prerequisites
SOC 101 with a grade of C- or better.

SOC 216 Social Inequalities
Units: 1
Description
Examination of how class, race, and gender structure everyday life experiences and social institutions.
Prerequisites
Sociology 101.

SOC 218 Sociology of the Black Experience
Units: 1
Description
Focuses primarily on understanding the social realities of people of African descent living in the United States. Examines historical, social, and cultural issues that connect them to their Diaspora counterparts from the Caribbean islands.
Prerequisites
Sociology 101.

SOC 221 Sociological Theory
Units: 1
Description
History of sociological thought; major theoretical perspectives, both classical and contemporary.
Prerequisites
Sociology 101 or Anthropology 101.

SOC 230 Introduction to Africa: The Sociology of Africa
Units: 1
Description
Survey of African history, geography, institutions, and current issues.

SOC 231 Across the Pond: Europe vs. USA
Units: 1
Description
An examination of social structures, social identities, political cultures, and economies in contemporary Europe. Focuses on the interaction between variation among European countries and the creation and operation of the European Union. Compares structures and policies in Europe and the United States.
Prerequisites
Sociology 101.

SOC 232 Postsocialism in Russia and Eastern Europe
Units: 1
Description
Examines issues in postsocialism in Russia and Eastern Europe, including historical context and legacies of Soviet socialism, collapse of the USSR and East Europe, logics and policies of economic reform, political and social change, and a brief comparison with China's experience.
Prerequisites
Sociology 101.

SOC 233 Understanding Globalization
Units: 1
Description
Examines the causes, patterns, and consequences of globalization along multiple dimensions, including cultural, economic, political and ideological.
Prerequisites
Sociology 101.

SOC 250 Social Organizations and Institutions
Units: 1
Description
Examines the nature of organizations and institutions, how they emerge, and how they operate and change. Topics include organizations, institutions, and power; states and the organizational basis of social class; cross-national variation in corporate structures and practices; micro-institutions such as families; and the impact of organizations and institutions on people's everyday lives, identities, and actions.
Prerequisites
Sociology 101.

SOC 255 Sport in Society
Units: 1
Description
Foundation for critical understanding and appreciation for centrality and importance of sport in contemporary society.
Prerequisites
Sociology 101.

SOC 279 Selected Topics in Sociology
Units: 1
Description
Various topics in the field of sociology. Course may be repeated for credit if topics are different.
Prerequisites
Sociology 101.

SOC 302 Social Movements
Units: 1
Description
Examination of various types of social movements and theoretical perspectives that explain them. Includes movement origins, structure and organization, goals and strategies, how movements change, and how they affect the larger society. Analysis of social, economic, and political contexts in which movements develop.
Prerequisites
Sociology 211 or 221 with a grade of C- or better.

SOC 303 Sociology of Families
Units: 1
Description
Family as a social institution; historical, social class, ethnic, racial, economic contexts and variations. Intersection with religious, state, and educational institutions.
Prerequisites
Sociology 211 or 221 with a grade of C- or better.

SOC 304 Power, Control and Resistance
Units: 1
Description
Examines the many facets of the structure and operation of power, using case studies to illuminate such issues as the three dimensions of power, the construction of and challenge to authority, the relation between power and discourse, power and the body, and tactics and opportunities of everyday passive resistance.
Prerequisites
Sociology 211 or 221 with a grade of C- or better.

SOC 305 Conformity, Deviance and Institutions of Social Control
Units: 1
Description
Informal and formal pressures to conform to, as well as deviate from, societal norms; social control institutions.
Prerequisites
Sociology 211 or 221 with a grade of C- or better.

SOC 306 Social Change in a Global Perspective
Units: 1
Description
Addresses the processes and forces underpinning the rise of modern nation-states and capitalist economies in the developed and developing worlds. Topics include: the coming of European modernity; dependency and development in Latin America and East Asia; the communist experiment; and globalization.
Prerequisites
Sociology 211 or 221 with a grade of C- or better.

SOC 308 Sociology of War
Units: 1
Description
Examines the relationship between social structures and war, including democracy and civil rights (e.g. gender and ethnic rights), economic development, social reform, and political identity.
Prerequisites
Sociology 211 or 221 with a grade of C- or better.

SOC 311 Juvenile Delinquency
Units: 1
Description
Meaning of juvenile delinquency; measurement, prevalence and distribution of juvenile delinquency; theories of delinquency; police actions; court actions; and juvenile institutions.
Prerequisites
Sociology 211 or 221 with a grade of C- or better.

SOC 316 Race and Ethnicity in America
Units: 1
Description
Native peoples; immigration and settlement of U.S.; racial and ethnic groups; prejudice and discrimination; race relations in a racially and culturally diverse society.
Prerequisites
Sociology 211 or 221 with a grade of C- or better.

SOC 319 Sociology of Gender and Sexuality
Units: 1
Description
Advanced course serving as an introduction to the sociology of gender and sexuality. Draws from a social constructionist perspective to understand how gender and sexuality are shaped, influenced, and regulated by society in general, as well as particular social institutions and social norms. Examines how gender and sexuality serve as organizing principles in society. Draws on feminist and queer theoretiocal frameworks to explore the diversity in gender and sexuality, particularly at their intersections with sex, race, ethnicity, age, social class, disability, and weight.
Prerequisites
Sociology 211 or 221 with a grade of C- or better.

SOC 320 Race, Class, and Schooling
Units: 1
Description
Deepens students' understanding of the various ways in which race and class inequality manifest in schools and shape the educational experiences of students.
Prerequisites
Sociology 101 and 211 or 221

SOC 324 Law and Society
Units: 1
Description
Variations within and between legal systems, social nature of the legal system, the legal profession, and sociological issues within civil and criminal law.
Prerequisites
Sociology 211 or 221 with a grade of C- or better.

SOC 326 Directed Independent Study
Units: .5-1
Description
Intensive study of a specific topic within sociology under the direction of a member of the faculty. Requires approval by the department chair.
Prerequisites
Sociology 211 or 221 with a grade of C- or better and department approval.

SOC 327 Directed Independent Study
Units: .5-1
Description
Intensive study of a specific topic within sociology under the direction of a member of the faculty. Requires approval by the department chair.
Prerequisites
Sociology 211 or 221 with a grade of C- or better and department approval.

SOC 330 Science, Technology, and Society
Units: 1
Description
Sociologically investigates science as a social institution that intersects with other social institutions, with an emphasis on exploring how social inequalities affect the use of technology and the construction of scientific knowledge.
Prerequisites
Sociology 101 and 211 or 221

SOC 335 Feast and Famine: Inequalities in the Global Food System
Units: 1
Description
Analyzes the socio-economic, political, and cultural construction of food systems. Topics include global institutions that impact the flow of food around the world; regional relationships pertaining to food trade; and local relationships between producers, retailers, and consumers.
Prerequisites
Sociology 211 or 221 with a grade of C- or better.

SOC 340 Sociology of Health and Illness
Units: 1
Description
Advanced course serving as an introduction to the sociological study of health and illness. Draws upon a critical sociological perspective to understand how society shapes health and health disparities. Investigates social factors that harm our health and well being, particularly those that produce disparities along major social strata (e.g., race and ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, and sexual orientation).
Prerequisites
SOC 211 or 221 with a grade of C- or better.

SOC 379 Selected Topics
Units: 1
Description
Various topics in the field of sociology. Course may be repeated for credit if topics are different.
Prerequisites
Sociology 211 or 221 with a grade of C- or better.

SOC 388 Individual Internship
Units: .5
Description
Supervised independent field work. Requires permission of a supervising faculty member and approval by the department chair. No more than 1.5 units of internship in any one department and 3.5 units of internship overall may be counted toward required degree units.
Prerequisites
Sociology 211 or 221 with a grade of C- or better.

SOC 389 Research Practicum
Units: .5-1
Description
For junior- or senior-level majors. Work closely with professor on research project: design, data collection, data analysis. Requires permission of a supervising faculty member and approval by the department chair.
Prerequisites
Sociology 211 or 221 with a grade of C- or better.

SOC 401 Capstone Experience
Units: 1
Description
Senior capstone experience to complete sociology major. Builds upon what students have learned about sociology as a discipline: its central themes, theoretical perspectives, research methods, and substantive research findings. Examines various topics and issues that comprise subject matter of sociology and reflects on its major contributions.
Prerequisites
Senior standing and Sociology 211 and 221 with a grade of C- or better.

SOC 406 Undergraduate Summer Research
Units: 0
Description
Documentation of the work of students who receive summer fellowships to conduct research [or produce a creative arts project] in the summer. The work must take place over a minimum of 8 weeks, the student must engage in the project full-time (at least 40 hours per week) during this period, and the student must be the recipient of a fellowship through the university. Graded S/U.
Prerequisites
Approval for summer Arts and Sciences fellowship by faculty mentor

SOC 490 Honors Independent Study
Units: 1
Description
Students work one-on-one with faculty advisor in constructing a research design and collecting data for a senior thesis for the Sociology Honors program.
Prerequisites
SOC 101, 211, 221 and admission to the Honors program.

SOC 491 Sociology Honors Thesis
Units: 1
Description
Student work individually with a faculty advisor in analyzing data and writing up results for a senior thesis for the Sociology Honors program.
Prerequisites
SOC 490.

Anthropology Courses
ANTH 101 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
Units: 1
Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSSA)
Description
Examines how people make cultural meaning out of their lives and explores the way in which anthropologists come to understand other people's construction of culture. Cross-cultural perspective on family, kinship, language, religion, gender and sexuality, and other aspects of social life.

ANTH 211 Field Methods in Ethnography
Units: 1
Description
Introduces the methodologies used in cultural anthropology, as well as theories behind these methodologies. Issues of objectivity, ethical research and presentation, the political nature of the production of knowledge, positioning the researcher, and the uses to which training in ethnographic methods might be put.
Prerequisites
ANTH 101.

ANTH 279 Selected Topics in Anthropology
Units: 1
Description
Various topics in the field of anthropology. May be repeated for credit if topics are different.
Prerequisites
ANTH 101.

ANTH 290 Cultural Theory
Units: 1
Description
History of cultural and social anthropological thought, major theoretical perspectives and contemporary issues as to how humans construct their social worlds.
Prerequisites
ANTH 101.

ANTH 300 Sexuality and Gender Across Cultures
Units: 1
Description
Theoretical and ethnographic examination of masculinity and femininity within various worldwide cultures.
Prerequisites
ANTH 101.

ANTH 302 Medicine and Health from a Global/Anthropological Perspective
Units: 1
Description
Examines, through an anthropological lens, ways in which non-western and western cultures conceptualize human bodies, medical practice and the process of healing. Considers ways in which ethnomedical (shamanistic, Ayurvedic, acupunctural, and herbal) practices coincide and/or clash with biomedical practices in the US and globally. Reflects on international policies, pharmaceutical corporations and indigenous movements to nationalize ethnomedicine and reject biomedicine.
Prerequisites
ANTH 101, SOC 101, or IS 290

ANTH 303 Biopolitics in Medical Anthropology
Units: 1
Description
Advanced anthropology course examining the intersections of culture, politics and medicine from a variety of theoretical and scholarly approaches. With a strong emphasis on contemporary states and governments, the readings focus on how biology and politics--or biopolitics--converge in a myriad of ways to shape human experience, past and present. Study of the biopolitics in countries such as Cuba, Egypt, Haiti, South Africa, France, the United States, and more. Topics include: the history and culture of modern western biomedicine; religious perspectives of the body; organ donation and transplantation; sex, gender and reproductive technologies; racialized bodies in medical science; global poverty and infectious disease; ethics and medical humanitarianism; and how big pharmaceutical companies shape our ideas of health and personhood.
Prerequisites
ANTH 101

ANTH 304 Shamans, Sorcerers, and Healers
Units: 1
Description
Traditional shamanic healing, shamans in the neoliberal economy, and the increasing rise of sorcery accusations against shamans. Building on a growing phenomenon around the world: the marketing of ethno-medicine and exotic shamanic techniques as though all possess extraordinary power to heal, the course looks at the concomitant rise in accusations of black magic and sorcery by religious and bureaucratic figures. Is this trend due to increased competition. Is this an age-old matter of religion vs. tradition? Or is it a question of economic and cultural shifts in perspective?

ANTH 307 Indigenous Peoples of the Americas
Units: 1
Description
Historical development, culture, relations with governments and international organizations, and current issues of indigenous peoples throughout the Americas, including the U.S.
Prerequisites
ANTH 101.

ANTH 308 Latin America: An Ethnographic Perspective
Units: 1
Description
Anthropological overview of Latin American cultures and subcultures. Considers indigenous and African-descendants' rights, local and national politics, gender relations, perspectives on race and color, religion, urban/rural distinctions, migration, colonial dynamics, and post-colonial legacies.
Prerequisites
ANTH 101.

ANTH 328 Anthropology of Human Rights
Units: 1
Description
Examines the origins of human rights discourse and practice in the 20th century and the elaboration and dissemination of human rights concepts in the post-World War II period, including analysis of institutional grounding in United Nations and non-governmental organizations. Considers human rights from a cross-cultural, anthropological perspective.
Prerequisites
ANTH 101, IS 290, PLSC 240, PLSC 250, PLSC 260, SOC 101, or LDST 101.

ANTH 329 Anthropology of Race
Units: 1
Description
Examines, through an anthropological lens, cultural constructions of race, by comparing racial constructs and designations in the United States with those in other societies, and by considering theories of race intersect with public policy, the popular imagination, and individual experiences.
Prerequisites
ANTH 101, SOC 101, or IS 290

ANTH 335 Law and Order: The Anthropology of Justice
Units: 1
Description
Focuses on law, order, and justice as cultural phenomena and takes comparative approach to jurisprudence, dispute resolution, law-making processes, and the relation of law to justice, politics, culture, and values.
Prerequisites
ANTH 101, SOC 101, IS 290, or LDST 102

ANTH 336 Politics, Power and Ritual
Units: 1
Description
Power, authority, and conflict in cross cultural perspective. Theoretical and ethnographic examination of themes in political and legal anthropology.
Prerequisites
ANTH 101.

ANTH 350 Sex and Gender in the Middle East
Units: 1
Description
Beginning with a brief historical, religious, and geographical overview, the course will draw attention to the "Orientalist gaze" of Western perception that tends (incorrectly) to regard veiled Middle Eastern women as victims of patriarchal or religious oppression. Subsequently reviews detailed analyses of ways in which contemporary men and women the Middle East behave in everyday contexts.
Prerequisites
ANTH 101 or one of the following: SOC 101, IS 290, WGSS 200.

ANTH 360 Power and Society in the Middle East
Units: 1
Description
Considers the ways in which power and authority are expressed and reproduced in the Middle East within a wide range of social and political settings.
Prerequisites
ANTH 101 or SOC 101.

ANTH 379 Selected Topics in Anthropology
Units: 1
Description
Various topics in the field of anthropology. May be repeated for credit if topics are different.
Prerequisites
ANTH 101.

ANTH 388 Individual Internship
Units: .5
Description
Supervised independent field work. Requires permission of a supervising faculty member and approval by the department chair. No more than 1.5 units of internship in any one department and 3.5 units of internship overall may be counted toward required degree units.
Prerequisites
ANTH 101 and permission of instructor.

ANTH 400 Capstone Seminar
Units: .5
Description
Preparation of senior thesis to complete anthropology major.

ANTH 401 Honors Independent Study
Units: 1
Description
Preparation course for honors thesis. This course is taken in fall of senior year. Students work to write Institutional Review Board proposal, conduct research, and compile an extensive annotated bibliography in preparation for the spring semester in which the thesis is written.
Prerequisites
ANTH 211 and 290 with a minimum GPA of 3.3 overall and 3.5 in Anthropology. Also must submit proposal in spring of junior year.

ANTH 402 Honors Thesis
Units: 1
Description
Taken in the spring of the senior year and it is the second course in the honors program. The majority of the semester will be spent writing drafts for the final thesis. A schedule is drawn up for submission of chapters. The mentor aids the student in finding a theoretical angle coupled with ethnographic evidence to support it that will allow the student to express their ideas eloquently and powerfully. If there are symposia and conferences during the spring semester, the mentor assists student in preparation. Students will be encouraged to submit their finished thesis, or an abbreviated form of it, to a journal for publication.

ANTH 406 Summer Undergraduate Research
Units: 0
Description
Documentation of the work of students who receive summer fellowships to conduct research [or produce a creative arts project] in the summer. The work must take place over a minimum of 8 weeks, the student must engage in the project full-time (at least 40 hours per week) during this period, and the student must be the recipient of a fellowship through the university. Graded S/U.
Prerequisites
Approval for summer Arts and Sciences fellowship by faculty mentor

ANTH 426 Directed Independent Study
Units: .5-1
Description
Intensive study of a specific topic within anthropology under the direction of a member of the faculty. Requires approval by the department chair.
Prerequisites
ANTH 211 and ANTH 290 with a grade of C or better.

ANTH 427 Directed Independent Study
Units: .5-1
Description
Intensive study of a specific topic within anthropology under the direction of a member of the faculty. Requires approval by the department chair.
Prerequisites
ANTH 211 and ANTH 290 with a grade of C or better.

ANTH 489 Research Practicum
Units: .5-1
Description
Work closely with professor on research project, including design, data collection, data analysis, and dissemination of results. Requires permission of a supervising faculty member and approval by the department chair.
Prerequisites
ANTH 211 and ANTH 290 with a grade of C or better.