Social Science Courses

Social science courses in sociology and psychology study human behavior and culture. They are concerned with the development of principles that explain individual thought, action, and experience; the interactions between people in the context of small groups, communities, institutions, states, and societies; and the functioning of social systems.

Honors students are required to take TWO of the following Honors social sciene courses:

FALL 2013

PLEASE NOTE: Because the economics courses are from one discipline, only one economics course fulfills one social science requirement. Students need to take one more Honors social science course.

HNR 231 01: The Holocaust
Schedule: MWF 9:00-9:50
Requirements Fulfilled: Social Science

Jason Crouthamel, Associate Professor of History
The fact that this enormous crime occurred in the modern world, in the heart of civilized Europe, deeply challenges Western perspectives on traditional institutions, values and thought. How could the culture that produced Beethoven, Bach and Einstein also produce the most barbaric regime in the history of the modern world? Since 1945, the Western World has struggled to come to terms with the significance of this event. Historian Yehuda Bauer argues that in order to address the philosophical, theological, and psychological implications of the Holocaust, one must first examine the Holocaust as an historical event. This is a central goal of the course. The Holocaust presents not only some of the most difficult intellectual and scholarly questions, but it also challenges us on fundamental psychological, moral, and spiritual levels. We will study some of the seminal books on the Holocaust by leading historians. In addition, we will closely analyze eyewitness testimonies of both perpetrators and survivors, whose voices in documentaries like Shoah will serve as a central basis for discussion.

HNR 233 and 234 01 & 02: Society and Self
Schedule: Section 01 TR 10:00-12:45/Section 02 TR 1:00-3:45
Requirements Fulfilled: Both Social Science requirements
(equivalent for PSY 101 & SOC 201) and fulfills U.S. Diversity.

Richard Joanisse , Professor of Sociology
David Bernstein, Professor of Psychology

These courses are team-taught and create dialogue between sociology and psychology to understand our humanity. Students learn the strengths and weaknesses of these disciplines as well as the tangled relationships among them. It is important to be able to recognize when someone has adopted a particular discipline perspective and to able oneself to move from one perspective to another. This pair of courses is designed to foster that kind of conscious knowledge. *You must take both courses in the same semester and the same section.

HNR 280 25: Race, Culture, & Society
Schedule: MWF 10:00-10:50
Requirements Fulfilled: Social Science, US Diversity, and SWS

Jennifer Stewart , Associate Professor of Sociology
Over the course of this semester, we will examine historical and contemporary forms of racism in the US. We will also study the social construction of race or the process by which laws, language, visual images, education, and structural positioning creates and maintains race and difference. By examining the experiences of various racial and ethnic groups in the US, we will be able to see how race is defined, experienced, and lived. To make sense of our studies we will be emphasizing the contributions of critical race theorists, new labor historians, and other contemporary sociologists working in the area of Race & Ethnic Studies.

ANT 204 10: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
Schedule: TR 8:30-9:45
Requirements Fulfilled: Social Science and World Perspectives

Christian Vannier, Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Introduces the discipline of anthropology by examining the diversity of human cultures that have been described by anthropologists over the last 100 years. The principles of anthropology are explained with examples drawn from non-Western culture. Comparisons are drawn with our own.

ECO 211 06: Introductory Microeconomics
Schedule: TR 11:30-12:45
Requirements Fulfilled: Social Science

Paul Sicilian, Associate Professor of Economics
Focuses on the interactions among households, producers, and governments in market economies. Applies fundamental methods of economic analysis to topics such as consumer decision-making and welfare; producer pricing, profits, and organization; wages and income distribution; global poverty; health care and insurance; and government taxes, spending, and regulation of markets.

PSY 101 05: Introduction to Psychology
Schedule: MWF 11:00-11:50
Requirements Fulfilled: Social Science, SWS

Jennifer Gross , Associate Professor of Psychology
Three themes capture our quest into all things psychological. Despite the breadth and diversity of the field, ranging from the anatomy of the eye, to forms of pathology, to psychologys insights on user-friendly design, all of Psychology embraces the scientific study of human behavior (Theme 1). The scientific approach offers the highest standard of evidence, which affords a powerful approach to determine the validity of commonly-made assertions (e.g., Is watching TV violence really harmless). With scientific scrutiny, you can evaluate persuasive dogma. The study of Psychology reveals how even the simplest human behavior is influenced by a multitude of forces (Theme 2). This insight about the complexity of behavior fosters avoidance of simplistic, naïve explanations for human actions (like, there are two kinds of people in the worldthe weak and the strong; the good and the evil). Nothing about human behavior is this simple. By scientifically determining answers to questions like: Can leading questions distort eyewitness memory, is it safe to drive and talk on the phone, can stress increase my susceptibility to colds, and are there really different learning styles, Psychology has a practical impact on everyday life ( Theme 3).

WINTER 2014

ANT 204 10: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
Schedule: TR 10:00-11:15
Requirements Fulfilled: Social Science and World Perspectives

Christian Vannier, Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Introduces the discipline of anthropology by examining the Diversity of human cultures that have been described by anthropologists over the last 100 years. The principles of anthropology are explained with examples drawn from non-Western culture. Comparisons are drawn with our own.

ECO 210 06: Introductory Macroeconomics
Schedule: TR 11:30-12:45
Requirements Fulfilled: Social Science

Daniel Giedeman , Associate Professor of Economics
Introduction to the study of the national and global economies. Topics include the effects of government taxation and budget deficits on economic growth; ways to alleviate unemployment, inflation and international trade imbalances, and the importance of expectations and decision-making in an uncertain world.


HNR 231 01: The Holocaust
Schedule: MWF 9:00-9:50
Requirements Fulfilled: Social Science

Jason Crouthamel , Associate Professor of History
The fact that this enormous crime occurred in the modern world, in the heart of civilized Europe, deeply challenges Western perspectives on traditional institutions, values and thought. How could the culture that produced Beethoven, Bach and Einstein also produce the most barbaric regime in the history of the modern world? Since 1945, the Western World has struggled to come to terms with the significance of this event. Historian Yehuda Bauer argues that in order to address the philosophical, theological, and psychological implications of the Holocaust, one must first examine the Holocaust as an historical event. This is a central goal of the course. The Holocaust presents not only some of the most difficult intellectual and scholarly questions, but it also challenges us on fundamental psychological, moral, and spiritual levels. We will study some of the seminal books on the Holocaust by leading historians. In addition, we will closely analyze eyewitness testimonies of both perpetrators and survivors, whose voices in documentaries like Shoah will serve as a central basis for discussion.

HNR 231 02: The Holocaust
Schedule: TR 2:30-3:45
Requirements Fulfilled: Social Science

Dan Balfour, Professor of Public, Non-Profit, and Health Administration
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the Holocaust and the profound questions it raises about our society and civilization. By asking, What happened, How could it have happened? and, What does it mean for us today, we will not only explore a significant historical event but will also challenge our most fundamental assumptions about the nature of civilization and our own identities as civilized people. We will also consider the meaning of the Holocaust for the social sciences, especially how it affects our understanding of human behavior, public policy, and bureaucratic organizations.

HNR 235 01: Democracy and Political Thinking
Schedule: MW 4:30-5:45
Requirements Fulfilled: Social Science, US Diversity

Rich Hiskes


This course is an introduction to normative political thinking  reasoning about what politics ought to be. The course stresses your participation in thinking deeply about some of the fundamental questions of public life, including who should rule, the nature and scope of our political obligations, and the demands of political justice. The argument of this course is that sound political reasoning is a precondition of good citizenship in a democracy.