Academic Initiatives

Spring 2019 Themes

SSC 200 01/51: MWF 12:20-1:10 p.m..;
SSC 200 02/52: MWF 2:30-3:20 p.m.
SSC 200 H8: MWF 11:15 a.m.-12:05 p.m..

Everybody has a right to their own opinion, but not to their own truth. However, truth is often difficult (some would say impossible) to determine in a final, objective, or absolute way. Nonetheless, many social critics and media figures have recently noted the dangers of widespread myths and falsehoods that masquerade as "truth." Stephen Colbert invented the term “truthiness” on the first episode of The Colbert Report in 2005 to refer to stories and opinions that feel right at a gut level, but have little or no evidence to back them up. In this course, we will explore the many ways we are likely to believe things that aren't true, and develop critical thinking skills to examine claims, evidence, and complex interpretations. Through recent research in psychology, cultural anthropology, and sociology, we'll examine ideology, cultural narratives, mental schemas and stereotypes, political propaganda, and other narratives that come to be seen as "truthy" but run counter to evidence and reason. We'll discuss the implications for social and political life as well as for our own perceptions and life choices.

SSC 200 03/53: TR 3:35-4:50 p.m.
SSC 200 04/54:
TR 5:05-6:20 p.m.

This course will explore various types of human-animal interaction and the roles that animals play in our lives by focusing on research and theories from sociology, political science and economics. The course will be divided up into four sections: Overview of Animal Studies, Dogs and Cats (including pets and human health, shelters and pet over-crowding, and service animals), Animals and Agriculture, and Exotic and Wild animals (including issues related to zoos, circuses, wildlife management, and the debate over exotic pets)

SSC 200 11/60: TR 8-9:15 a.m.
SSC 200 12/61:
TR 5:05-6:20 p.m.
SSC 200 13/62: TR 
6:35-7:50 p.m.

In this course we will explore issues involved in criminal investigation and prosecution, with particular emphasis on the implications of these legal procedures for those who are actually innocent of the suspected crimes. Specific topics to be addressed include deception detection, interrogations and confessions, eyewitness identifications, confirmation bias in the forensic examination of evidence, plea bargaining, and jury decision-making.

SSC 200 14/63: MWF 9:05-9:55 a.m.
SSC 200 15/64:
MWF 10:10-11 a.m.
SSC 200 16/65:
MWF 11:15 a.m. - 12:05 p.m.

In this course we will consider hoarding from the “normal” acquiring we do in the fall to prepare for winter months and then to the extremes where safety, physical and mental health, and family dynamics are deeply impacted. We will explore why this challenging condition is not easily resolved with a dumpster.

SSC 200 17/66: MWF 1:25-2:15 p.m.
SSC 200 18/67:
MWF 2:30-3:20 p.m.

In this course we will consider questions relevant to Psychology like "How could you eat dessert after that huge meal?" and Anthropological questions like "Why would anyone eat that ever?" We will also consider how society impacts our eating choices. For example, do those with easy access to grocery stores eat differently from those without?

SSC 200 20/68: TR 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
SSC 200 40/69:
TR 9:30-10:45 a.m.

In this course we explore how social scientists have conceptualized and investigated the determinants and effects of parents’ child-rearing strategies and behaviors. We also explore how parenting interventions are used to prevent and treat behavioral and psychological disorders of childhood and adolescence.

SSC 200 22/82: MWF 1:25-2:15 p.m.
SSC 200 23/75:
MWF 2:30-3:45 p.m.

In Media and American Life students explore the development of the news media and its influence in shaping the choices they make in their lives. Students will examine the news media using perspectives from political science, sociology, and communication.

SSC 200 24/76: MWF 9:05-9:55 a.m.
SSC 200 25/77:
MWF 8-8:50 a.m.
SSC 200 27/79:
MWF 11:15 a.m.-12:05 p.m.

In this course we will examine how forces of globalization affect issues of housing and urbanization in from India to right here in Dayton. We inquire who the “winners” and “losers” of different aspects of globalization are and investigate our own role and social responsibility as global citizens in the positive and deleterious effects of globalization.

SSC 200 26/78: MWF 10:10-11 a.m.
SSC 200 28/80:
MWF 12:20-1:10 p.m.
SSC 200 29/81:
MWF 1:25-2:15 p.m.

In this course we will explore how law is used as more than just a system to punish, but as a way to shape society so that we can all live productive lives. Specifically, some of the topics will include crimes without victims, such as gambling, prostitution and drug addiction (we will also address how these crimes are not victimless when addressed from different perspectives), discuss the reason social controls must be applied to these issues, and examine administrative social controls such as licensing, inspections and the threat of publicity. Last, we will discuss white-collar crimes and social control of dissent.

SSC 200 30/86: MWF 9:05-9:55 a.m.
SSC 200 32/88:
MWF 10:10-11 a.m.

Media, Money and Politics will study the dynamics and issues involved in choosing candidates for elective office. Voter interaction with the news media and candidates, as well as the economic factors driving all of their messages, will be major ingredients of examination using perspectives from communication, economics and political science.

SSC 200 31/87: MWF 9:05-9:55 a.m.

This course will take the theme of body image and will utilize social science methods and theory to examine various aspects of our obsession with our physical appearance from the perspectives of psychology, sociology and communication.

SSC 200 33/89: MWF 12:20-1:10 p.m.

This course invites students into a contemporary discussion of an issue affecting a significant portion of the world’s population. Drawing upon research in sociology, criminal justice, and communication, this course will define gender violence; explore the reasons it occurs; examine its impact on individual, community, societal, and global levels; and analyze current systems and strategies are being used to respond to and end gender violence in the United States.

SSC 200 34/90: TR 9:30-10:45 a.m.
SSC 200 36/92:
TR 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

Memory is something both private and public. As individuals, we cherish, share, and learn from our memories. As memories of a variety of cultural and social groups, we engage in similar acts for both connection and identity development. Some public memory becomes material in textual visual, oral, and physical forms. These artifacts of public memory are subject to the force of hegemony and institutional discourses. In this class, we will begin with an in-depth exploration of issues complicating public memory in order to more richly critique forms of memory artifact, such as monuments and memorials, and examine the importance of place and space.

SSC 200 35/91: TR 9:30-10:45 a.m.
SSC 200 37/93:
TR 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

With special missions to be accomplished, students will play board games to explore basic social science concepts from the disciplines such as Economics, Psychology, and Communication. What is the best strategy to win in a board game like Zombie in my Pocket? An iterative prisoner’s dilemma of a game theory may be the key! Students will enhance the knowledge of basic game terminologies and understand the gaming experience through various theories. This course also provides opportunities to design, develop, and thoroughly test games. The class will allow students to improve their social science research skills.

SSC 200 38/94: TR 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

The purpose of this course is to explore the ways in which culture and society influence our communication and language choices. Using the framework of Ethnography from the perspectives of Communication, Anthropology, and Sociology, students will be able to actively observe, discover, and report on their own and other people’s communicative actions, expressions, and expectations.

SSC 200 39/95: MWF 12:30-1:45 p.m.
SSC 200 42/96:
TR 2-3:15 p.m.

“There are three things you’re not supposed to discuss in polite company; religion, politics and money,” is a phrase many of us might have heard, especially as it pertains to dinnertime conversations. Have you ever asked yourself the question why? The purpose of this course is to examine how people define and navigate “challenging conversations,” in addition to describing their outcomes through the lenses of Psychology, Sociology, and Communication.

SSC 200 43/97: TR 3:35-4:50 p.m.

Heightened cultural awareness of diversity concerns, impacted by societal and educational events, among others, has also led to increased awareness of disability issues. Societally and historically, consciousness of discrimination due to disability issues followed higher levels of attentiveness to racial and gendered civil rights issues. Disability is a social construct, created through cultural communication and communal definition. This course will be framed by sociological (Symbolic Interactionist) theory and research, psychological (primarily attitudinal) work, and communication (social constructionist) perspectives.

SSC 200 44: W 5:05-7:35 p.m.
SSC 200 45:
TR 5:05-7:35 p.m.

Homelessness is examined from the perspectives of different social science disciplines, especially psychology, sociology, and human rights studies. Within an integrative framework, interdisciplinary connections are explored, with theoretical concepts, research methodologies, and practical applications from different disciplines viewed as complementary in explaining and addressing homelessness. A service-learning experience is required in this course, and this requirement involves approximately three hours of work outside of class each week in order to assist in implementing a participatory community action research project in homeless shelters.

SSC 200 C1: TR 3:35-4:50 p.m.
SSC 200 H9/P1:
TR 12:30-1:45 p.m.

Learn social science by exploring people’s beliefs in gods and the spirit world (or NOT, in
the case of a-theism). We’ll emphasize how religious groups and spiritual persons work for the common good and social justice. Topics include: 1) how religions and spiritualities are socially constructed through human interaction and power relations, 2) how religions and spiritualities are defined and viewed somewhat differently by anthropologists, psychologists, and sociologists, 3) how religion and spirituality (and atheistic perspectives) influence daily life explicitly and implicitly, 4) how religious groups organize and work for the common good and social justice. The course includes a case study approach exemplifying different understandings and approaches.

SSC 200 H2: MWF 10:10-11 a.m.

This course examines the multidimensional phenomenon of globalization. We will explore the political, economic, and social/cultural dimensions of globalization. In addition, the origins and causes of globalization and its effects will be examined.

SSC 200 H5: W 5:05-7:50 p.m.

Since the late 1970s, the level of inequality - the gap in earnings, wealth, and life-chances - between the rich and poor has been steadily increasing. The reasons for this trend are a source of considerable controversy across the social science disciplines, as it defied the predictions and expectations of development economics. In this class, we will explore how different social science disciplines, including political science, economics, sociology and anthropology, have sought to explain recent trends in the economic inequality. We will also examine and evaluate a number of policy proposals to address this trend emerging from this research.


College of Arts and Sciences

O'Reilly Hall
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 0800