Jim Spickard's Courseware Sites

SOAN 451/460: Reading Sociology & Anthropology


The Spring, 2018 version of this course focused on Social Inequality.
For various reasons, we used the University of Redlands’ Moodle Site.
I have disconnected the link to the course sub-site.  Schade!

This seminar is devoted to reading and discussing serious and interesting books on various aspects of Sociology and Anthropology.  These books will be more demanding than those encountered in many SOAN courses, though all Redlands senior majors should find them within their grasp.  Some books will be established classics.  Others are of a quality to become future classics.  Some are not by social scientists!  All are worth detailed attention by students who have a good background in our disciplines.

We will meet for eleven weeks, until March 27th.  We will read a book per week for weeks 2 through 9 — nine books in all.  Students will lead each week’s discussion.  I shall provide background as needed, but students will be responsible for bringing out the various books’ depths.

The dates above are no error.  The course deliberately stops at the end of March, so that students can give it their full attention before they get caught in other courses’ end-of-semester rush.  This amounts to about 11.5 our-of-class hours per week for the weeks that this class will meet, as opposed to 8.5 out-of-class hours for the typical 14-week course.  In trade, this course requires NO attention when other courses are at their most demanding.

Among other things, students will learn:

  • How to read professional-level sociology and anthropology books
  • How to locate books in the disciplinary dialogues of which they are a part.
  • How to identify fruitful discussion topics.
  • How to structure and lead discussions.
  • How to explore the implications of the books we read for our disciplines, for society, and for our personal lives.

I presume that senior SOAN majors will have some of these skills but not necessarily all of them.  I shall therefore be available to work with students outside of class so that they add these skills to their repertoire.


by Henry... http://flic.kr/p/51t5TC

(Creative Commons photo by Henry… http://flic.kr/p/51t5TC)