Janaan Banner Frederik Meijer Honors College

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.

FALL 2014

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.

ANT 204 10: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (Honors Section)
Schedule: MWF 1:00-1:50pm LSH 229
TBA


*Course description TBA*

 

CJ 405 03: Terrorism (Honors Section)                                                               Schedule: MW 1:30-2:45pm HON 236E
Jonathan White, Professor

Join Zebra 27 and become a terrorism analyst! This is a stand-alone version of the terrorism course in the National Security sequence. Students will participate in a simulated non-profit research company, Zebra 27. We gather and analyze open source intelligence to assist government agencies. (Projects are based on Dr. Jon’s experiences as a counterterrorism contractor with the U.S. government.) This semester Zebra 27 has a contract with the U.S.  Intelligence Community. You will be assigned to one of five teams, and your team will prepare an in-depth briefing on a terrorist group. For example, you might be assigned to conduct a threat analysis on al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Your team will request briefings from a subject matter expert, gather information, analyze data, and present a threat analysis at the end of the semester. You’ll also learn techniques of counterterrorism such as hostage rescue or methods of conducting a raid. No lectures. No texts. You decide what you need to learn to complete your threat analysis. It’s just like the real work-a-day world. Want to discover what is going on in the world of Shadow Wars? Join Zebra 27.

 

ECO 211 06: Introductory Microeconomics (Honors Section)
Schedule: TR 11:30am-12:45pm HON 148
Paul Sicilian, Professor

*Course description TBA*

 

HNR 280 25: SWS Race, Culture, & Society
Schedule: MWF  10:00-10:50am HON 219
Requirements Fulfilled: US Diversity
Jennifer Stewart, Professor

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.
 

 

HNR 231, 01: SWS The Holocaust
Schedule: MWF 9:00-9:50am HON 220
Requirements Fulfilled: Social Science
Jason Crouthamel, Professor

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: SWS The Holocaust
Schedule: MW 4:30-5:45pm CON 215
Requirements Fulfilled: Social Science
Robert Franciosi

This course will examine the Holocaust, a “watershed event” that Yehuda Bauer argues represented “something radically new” in history and that changed “human perspective.” Although we will consider the implications of this statement, our primary goal will be to gain a solid understanding of what the Holocaust was. To that end we will concentrate mostly on historical narratives and primary documents, though with our viewing of Claude Lanzmann’s epic documentary film, Shoah, and with our work on the collection How Was it Humanly Possible?, we will also consider the psychological, social, political, historical, cultural, and economic forces that affected the various groups impacted by the destruction of Europe’s Jews—the perpetrators, victims, bystanders, rescuers, and resisters.

SPECIAL EVENTS
In conjunction with an October lecture by Professor Jan Gross of Princeton University, we will read his important book, Neighbors, and also attend his campus presentation.

Students who complete either HNR231 or 331 will be eligible to enroll in the Spring 2015 course, “Remembering the Holocaust,” which will include travel to Germany and Poland.

 

PSY 101 05: Intro Psychology (Honors Section)
Schedule:  MWF 11:00a-11:50a, HON 220
Requirements Fulfilled: Social Science, SWS
Jennifer Gross

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 psychology’s 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 world—the 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).

 

HNR 280 30: Human Trafficking and Vis. Thinkers
Schedule: MW 4:30 – 5:45pm, ASH 2320
Requirements Fulfilled: Social science, World Perspectives
Joseph M Verschaeve

The term “human trafficking” often evokes strong feelings, for it implies the minded, organized and patterned subjugation and exploitation of vulnerable persons for profit. Trafficking occurs in West Michigan as well as around the world. Current global estimates of slavery exceed thirty million people living in the underground world of labor and sex trafficking.  This course examines the trafficking of persons across particular geographic regions where slavery occurs. The breadth and depth of the problem will be explored and analyzed across disciplines from macro to the micro units of analysis. The life and work of Ghanaian human rights leader and visionary, James Kofi Annan, is featured throughout the course. Particular focus of this course involves detection, intervention, and prevention of the trafficking in persons. Many approaches of inquest are taken including but not limited to: micro and macroeconomics, geography, political science, public policy, sociology, anthropology, psychology, law, medicine, education. Throughout the course students will interact with leaders in the fight against trafficking. Student are required to provide six hours of service to an anti-trafficking or human rights organization.
 

 

WINTER 2015

ANT 204 10: Cultural Anthropology (Honors Section)
Schedule: MW 3:00-4:15pm LMH 253
TBA
 

*Course description TBA*

 

ECO 210 06: Introductory Macroeconomics (Honors Section)
Schedule: TR 1:00-2:15pm HON 218
Leslie Muller

*Course description TBA*

 

ECO 211 06: Introductory Microeconomics (Honors Section)
Schedule: MW 1:30-2:45pm EC 515
Aaron Lowen

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.

 

HNR 231 01: SWS The Holocaust
Schedule: MWF 9:00-9:50am HON 220
Jason Crouthamel, Professor

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 235 01: SWS Democracy and Political Thinking
Schedule: MW 4:30-5:45pm HON 148
Richard 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.
 

 


 


 

Glenn A. Niemeyer Learning and Living Center • Allendale MI 49401
Phone 616-331-3219 • honors@gvsu.edu