Academic Initiatives

Fall 2019 Themes

SSC 200 01/51: MWF 10:10-11a.m.

Community and Music in Dayton will explore the understandings and issues in popular music creation by exploring local music in Dayton, Ohio and beyond. What does music mean to people? How do we experience it? How is music accessed today? Billions of dollars are spent in the effort to create sales of music, lasting music careers and the experience of music at concerts, in videos and through streaming services. How music is created is only the first step to understand the systems of meaning, forms of identity and various experiences of popular music. Using the city of Dayton music scene as context this class will investigate the nature of community and music from the combined perspectives of economics, psychology and sociology.

SSC 200 02/52: MWF 11:15 a.m.-12:05 p.m.
SSC 200 03/53: MWF 12:20-1:10 p.m.

This course will introduce SSC200 students to critical social science frameworks for understanding the social contexts of climate change. We will explore the ways that social science research can provide answers to questions about the impacts of climate change and potential responses to this "wicked problem" through empirically-based research at the individual, organizational/community, national, and international levels. Students will develop a foundational understanding of theories and methodologies from sociology, psychology, and political science and will gain essential practice in communicating academic research findings to a public/non-academic audience.

SSC 200 11/61: TR 8-9:15 a.m.
SSC 200 12/62: TR 5:05-6:20 p.m.
SSC 200 13/63: TR 6:35-7:50 p.m.

This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to exploring 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 14/64: TR 12:30-1:45 p.m.
SSC 200 15/65: MW 5:05-6:20 p.m.

This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the problem of childhood maltreatment (childhood abuse and neglect), with an emphasis on what can support resilience and well-being among survivors. Through the lens of three social science disciplines, this course will explore the prevalence of childhood maltreatment experiences, discuss risk and protective factors, and examine a variety of interventions that can be of benefit to survivors and their families.

SSC 200 10/73: MWF 2:30-3:20 p.m.
SSC 200 16/66: MW 3:35-4:50 p.m.
SSC 200 17/67: MW 5:05-6:20 p.m.

This course considers hoarding from the “normal” acquiring we do in the fall to prepare for winter months, 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, and how the disciplines of psychology, economics, and communication contribute to portrayals and understanding of hoarding.

SSC 200 18/68: MWF 10:10-11 a.m.
SSC 200 19/69: MWF 11:15 a.m.-12:05 p.m.
SSC 200 41/70: MWF 2:30-3:20 p.m.

This course considers 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? This course will involve a community project related to food security in collaboration with the GEMnasium program.

SSC 200 20/75: MWF 10:10-11 a.m.
SSC 200 23/76: MWF 9:05-9:55 a.m.
SSC 200 24/77: MWF 11:15 a.m.-12:05 p.m. 

This course takes a multidisciplinary approach to examine how forces of globalization affect issues of housing and urbanization in 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 25/78: MWF 12:20-1:10 p.m.
SSC 200 H1: MWF 11:15 a.m.-12:05 p.m.

This course explores 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 26/83: TR 2-3:15 p.m.

International development is a field and a phenomenon; not only because it bridges a range of disciplines studying its different dimensions, but also because it involves diverse actors – people (practitioners and scholars) and institutions (governmental and nongovernmental) adopting a variety of approaches to create an impact on human development through research, advocacy and action, or critique and policy reform. This course is designed to unpack and rethink international development. How do political dynamics influence development of states and communities? How can economic tools alleviate poverty? How do we measure human development and quality of life, and fulfillment of peoples’ rights? Students will receive foundational understanding of international development, uncover and engage with development theories, and critically examine ongoing practices and development strategies through three disciplinary lenses: politics, economics and human rights.

SSC 200 27/84: MWF 12:20-1:10 p.m.
SSC 200 28/85: MW 3:35–4:50 p.m.

SSC 200 30/86: MWF 9:05-9:55 a.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? This course examines how people define and navigate “challenging conversations,” in addition to describing their outcomes through the lenses of Psychology, Sociology, and Communication.

SSC 200 31/87: MWF 9:05-9:55 a.m.
SSC 200 32/88: MWF 10:10-11:00 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 33/89: MWF 11:15 a.m.-12:05 p.m.
SSC 200 34/90: MWF 12:20-1:10 p.m.

In Politics and Media, students explore the development of news media and its influence, through “news framing,” in shaping audience choices and opinions. Students will examine the news media using perspectives from political science, communication, psychology and journalism.

SSC 200 35/91: MWF 1:25-2:15 p.m.

Millions of people around the world seek to find out more about themselves through DNA mapping with companies like 23&Me and What happens to a family when those results run contrary to the stories and legends passed down from generation to generation? Family narratives impact not only how the family sees themselves, but also their place in society. This class will seek to understand how communication strategies play a role in helping individuals and families move forward after getting these conflicting results.

SSC 200 36/92: 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 42/71: MWF 1:25-2:15 p.m.
SSC 200 43/72: MWF 2:30-3:20 p.m.

For most children, compulsory education does not begin until around five years of age. However, children have remarkable abilities to learn from their environments very early in their lives. In this interdisciplinary course, we will explore social science research that addresses learning in children from birth to age five. We will investigate children’s learning in a variety of contexts (e.g., informal social interactions with families, caregivers, and peers, playing with toys and games, learning in group childcare and preschool settings).

SSC 200 C1: MWF 9:05-9:55 a.m.
SSC 200 C2: MWF 10:10-11 a.m.
SSC 200 H2: MWF 12:20-1:10 p.m.

This course introduces SSC 200 students to sociological, economic and human rights perspectives on health disparities in the U.S. The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the theoretical approaches and methods of inquiry used by social scientists to understand the causes, consequences, and solutions for health disparities. By the end of the course, students will demonstrate knowledge of the sociological and economic frameworks used to understand health disparities, an understanding of the historical, structural, and institutional factors that contribute to disparate health outcomes, and an ability to connect opportunities in addressing health disparities to health-related human rights doctrines.

SSC 200 H8: 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 H9: TR 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

Everybody has a right to their own opinion, but not to their own truth. That sounds reasonable enough. And surely truth can be reached through traditional means such as evidence, rational argument, fair weighing of interpretive possibilities, and careful accounting of methods. Indeed, we’ll review the importance of all these procedures in this class. Yet if we look at the research, human beings do not actually accumulate our understanding of the world through objective evidence, but through cognitive processes shaped by cultural narratives, selective perception, and social conformity. In the end, it’s clear that no one sees the world in a transparent or objective way. In this course, we will explore the many ways we come to firmly 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 political science, we’ll examine ideology, political propaganda, and media fragmentation as forces that cause our human irrationality to spiral out of control. We’ll discuss the implications for social and political life as well as for our own perception and life choices.


College of Arts and Sciences

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