Foundational Area Four

Social Institutions and Behavior

The Social Sciences

reveal the elements of complex social systems, the way individuals function in varied social settings, and the root causes of social behavior.

In comprehending the mechanisms and rules that give shape to complex societies, we gain strength to influence institutional processes. Through reflection on principles that explain human behavior, we create understanding of our interpersonal experiences.

Courses in this Foundational Area are of several kinds: those that use one of the traditional social science disciplines to provide an overview of the interaction of individuals and the institutions that shape our economic, political, and social experience; those that focus on a single institution and the complex ways in which it affects our lives; and those that use a societal dilemma as the entry point for discovering the ways in which the quality of individual life is protected or challenged in various settings.

The many and distinct disciplines that contribute to this area are united by a self-conscious dedication to the modes of inquiry of contemporary social science, as applied to the American experience. As strongly as it emphasizes the substance of knowledge, this Foundational Area emphasizes how we create knowledge and arrive at understanding.

 

Area Goals

  1. study the institutions, systems, and patterns of governance and of economic and social organization that underlie contemporary societies
  2. place policy options and their consequences in their appropriate social and political context, drawing on classic and contemporary theories of human organization
  3. develop your capacity to critically reflect on the organization of societies and the relationship between the individual and the society, using the distinctive methods of inquiry appropriate to the study of social institutions

 

Course Offerings

see Schedule of Classes for class times and course descriptions

Anthropology

ANTH-150 Anthropology of Life in the United States

American Studies

AMST-240 Poverty and Culture

Communication

COMM-100 Understanding Media
COMM-209 Communication and Society
COMM-275 Dissident Media: Voices from the Underground

Economics

ECON-100 Macroeconomics
ECON-200 Microeconomics

Education

EDU-205 Schools and Society

Finance

FIN-200 Personal Finance and Financial Institutions

Government

GOVT-110 Politics in the United States
GOVT-210 Political Power and American Public Policy
SPA-220 The American Constitution

Health and Fitness

HPRM-245 Multicultural Health

History

HIST-210 Ethnicity in America
HIST-220 Women in America since 1850

Interdisciplinary

IDIS-210 Contemporary Multi-Ethnic Voices

Justice, Law and Society

JLS-200 Deprivation of Liberty
JLS-210 Violence and Institutions
JLS-245 Cities and Crime

Philosophy

PHIL-240 Ethics in the Professions

Psychology

PSYC-105 Psychology: Understanding Human Behavior
PSYC-205 Social Psychology
PSYC-215 Abnormal Psychology and Society
PSYC-235 Theories of Personality

Public Health

PUBH-110 Intro to Public Health

Sociology

SOCY-100 U.S. Society
SOCY-150 Global Sociology
SOCY-205 Diverse and Changing Families
SOCY-210 Power, Privilege and Inequality

Women's, Gender and Sexualities Studies

WGSS-125 Gender in Society
WGSS-225 Gender, Politics and Power
WGSS-240 Sexualities Studies