The social sciences deal in systematic, empirical ways with human nature.

Social Sciences Course Offerings

SSCI 103 Difference, Diversity, and Power (Core: DD)
This course provides foundational knowledge about difference and diversity across the various social identities in current U.S. society with specific focus on race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and (dis)abilities. It will also focus on the ways in which these identities intersect in people’s lives. A combination of readings, media, experiential exercises, dialogue and writing assignments will familiarize students with the main concepts, theories and empirical research related to social science understandings of diversity and social identity in the United States context.

SSCI 129 Colonialism and Cultural Imperialism in Latin America
This course will introduce students to the complex region of Latin America, particularly the country of Guatemala. Latin America is a region defined by centuries of colonial domination, plantation slavery, and popular struggle over the economic promise of bananas, coffee, and tobacco. The scope of the course will cover a broad range of topics beginning with an overview of pre-Columbian cultures and indigenous settlements throughout Latin America, through European contact and colonial imperialism (via plantation slavery), to eventual decolonization. The course will continue with a contemporary analysis of whether cultural imperialism and hegemony are still present in Guatemala based on first-hand service learning experience working with De La Gente  - a Guatemalan-based non-governmental organization that works with coffee farming communities to create economic opportunity that improves the quality of life for their families and communities. 

SSCI 205 Disability and American Society (Core: DD)
This course provides an overview of several essential issues related to disability and its status, standing and treatment in American society – past and present. Topics covered include definitions of disability; an historical overview of social beliefs and practices related to disability in the United States; the impact of disability on schools and other educational institutions; the role of eugenics in social efforts to address disability; the disability rights movement; federal legislation pertaining to disability; and extensive exploration of the voices of persons with disabilities and their views on the treatment of the disabled in American society.

SSCI 224 Basic Statistics (Core: QR)
Introduction to the basic statistical concepts and techniques (including computer-based software programs) for data analysis in the non-business Social Sciences. Includes descriptive statistics, random sampling and probability, correlation, regression, hypothesis testing and parametric / nonparametric inferential statistics. Intended for students in education, political science, psychology and sociology; also appropriate for students in the natural sciences. Prerequisite: Advanced high school algebra or MATH 102. Recommended sophomore standing or above.

SSCI 301 Environment and Society (Adv. Core: PN)
This course familiarizes students with an array of environmental issues concerning human interaction with the natural world. Environmental problems are present at all scales ranging from local to global — and in our everyday lives. The course will examine, via lecture and discussion/lab sessions, varied examples of environmental issues — their causes, dimensions, and distributions. The course will explore proven or possible solutions, and “trade-offs” associated with these solutions. Topics include basic ecological principles, the value of biodiversity, human population issues, food production, air and water pollution, and energy resources and use. Offered each semester. Students may not take both SSCI 301 and ENVS 300 for credit.

SSCI 389 Special Topics (2 or 4 credits)
An interdisciplinary course which deals with topics involving two or more social sciences. May be team-taught by faculty from the academic areas from which the topic has emerged. Enrollment will normally be limited to upper-division students. This course may be repeated since the topics will vary.

SSCI 408 Social Inequalities: Race and Minority Relations (Adv. Core: DD)
The exploration of social inequality will move beyond the place of individuals in society and try to understand how social inequality is a feature of society. Students will see themselves in some of what they are studying and they will find much of the subject matter familiar. At the same time, the course is intended to encourage students to think in different ways about some of what is “known” and taken for granted in large sections of society. Students will read materials that may present perspectives far different from what they have heard before. It is expected that students will be surprised, perplexed, challenged and perhaps angered by some of the material. Moreover, because the course examines issues that affect us daily, this course will elicit more than intellectual growth. Since each person is a part of the world and occupies positions in systems of social inequality, students will find themselves dealing with emotional and spiritual questions about who they are and where they fit into the world.