UCSSCSOC11: Introduction to Sociology
The founding fathers of sociology developed their theories against the background of the huge societal transformations occurring in the 19th century: secularisation, urbanisation and bureaucratisation. In the 20th century, Sociology studied processes of rationalisation, modernisation and even the development of what has been termed post-modern society.
The great sociologists of both eras attempted to interpret and explain these developments. This course discusses classical as well as modern sociological theories illustrating them by taking contemporary events as examples. It showcases Sociology as the ‘Queen of Sciences” (Auguste Comte), and thus offers a solid intellectual background of Social Science in general.
UCSSCSOC21: Human Trafficking (Summer)
Human trafficking and other forms of forced labor have been identified in over 180 countries in the world. Patterns of trafficking – the victims, traffickers and markets of exploitation differ across countries and regions of the world. To understand these differences, one must examine the phenomenon from the perspectives of sociology, anthropology, criminology, development and gender studies.
We examine which persons are more likely to fall prey to traffickers and how the trafficking experience impacts their lives, health and safety. Further study will focus on the traffickers and their organizations – who they are and what is known about their modus operandi, how they recruit, transport and exploit their victims, but also how they protect their operations.
Global patterns of trafficking and new forms of trafficking will be discussed. We will discuss organ trafficking and the use of child soldiers, and examine whether or not child pornography, child sex tourism, mail order brides and illegal adoptions are forms of trafficking.
The course ends with a discussion of organizations that are active in the fight against human trafficking and what measures – from prevention, victim protection, prosecution and partnerships – are necessary to eradicate human trafficking.
UCSSCSOC28: Social Inequality
What creates the barriers that separate us, and what can diminish those barriers? This course discusses patterns and processes of social inequality, and the main explanatory theories; it also investigates forms of human action to increase equality. Modern and classic concepts of class and status, as well as the process of status attainment are discussed. The roles of family, gender, education, partner choice and social mobility are scrutinized. As examples of human action meant to decrease social inequality the course focuses on: family solidarity, mutual aid, philanthropy and the genesis of the welfare state.
Having taken this course is a good preparation for Research Master’s programmes at the Graduate School of Social Sciences at the Utrecht University (in particular the Sociology and Social Research and the Migration, Ethnic Relations and Multiculturalism Programmes). Many international Master’s programmes have topics related to social inequality as their main focus as well.
Prerequisites: UCSSCSOC11; after consultation with the instructor, admission is possible with other first-level SSC courses.
UCSSCSOC29: Criminology: The Nature and Origins of Crime
Criminology is the study of crime and society’s subsequent reaction to it. There are a number of sub-disciplines within Criminology, including victimology, juvenile delinquency, and penology. This interdisciplinary field draws upon Psychology, Sociology, Biology, Political Science and Economics.
This course focuses predominantly on sociological and psychological theories of crime and development issues that explain criminal behavior. It also reviews the research methods used to study these issues. The course begins by examining the definition of crime and deviance and how these definitions vary across countries, cultures, social classes, and time. We focus on major facts and fallacies about crime such as the stability of deviance and the issue of versatility versus specialisation in particular types of crime. Lectures are followed by a discussion of the different sources used to measure crime—police statistics, self- report studies, victim surveys, participant-observation studies, and data from other governmental and non-governmental sources.
We apply learning theories, the nature vs. nurture debate, rational choice, routine activities, and social development and traits to the study of crime. Through the study of social structure, social learning and labeling theories, we come to understand why crime is often concentrated in particular areas or among certain groups within society. Finally, we explore crime prevention before returning to theory as the starting point for under- standing potential offenders.
Prerequisites: SOC11 or PSY11
UCSSCSOC35: Organising Solidarity: Past, Present and Future
Life is as fragile as it is wondrous. Major risks such as low income, illness, un(der)employment, wars and other disasters- may hit almost anyone. Solidarity exists in many forms but it has to be organized. In this day and age of a retreating welfare state, this course deals with other contemporary and historical forms of Solidarity, notably self-help in the form of organised mutual aid via micro-insurance, micro-credit and crowdfunding; philanthropy in its myriad forms including local as well as transnational humanitarian organizations, past and present. Organising solidarity is not just about covering risks but also about creating opportunities. The course also deals with recent often internet-based forms of sharing resources, such as homes, couches, knowledge, information and resources such as equipment.
Prerequisites: At least 1 of Modern History (UCHUMHIS14) or Intro to Sociology (UCSSCSOC11), also requires a 200 level SSC science course.
UCSSCSOC36: Sociology of Migration and Integration
This course offers a comprehensive overview of the key issues in the study of international migration and integration. The perspective in this course is primarily sociological but it also leans heavily on notions from other disciplines such as (social) psychology, economics, geography, political science and anthropology. The course deals with both the theoretical debates in the field and with empirical data and case studies on which these debates hinge. The course not only focuses on migration and its causes as such, but also on phenomena that develop in the aftermath of migration, such as socio-economic and cultural integration and voting for an anti-immigrant political parties
Prerequisites: SOC25/28 or PSY21/27 plus MET22/2