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ERIC Number: ED178422
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Aug-27
Pages: 23
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
The Undergraduate Sociology Curriculum: The Liberal Arts Function.
Riesman, David
The author describes the development and evolution of an undergraduate interdisciplinary sociology course which he created in 1958 at Harvard College. Staff for the course was drawn from sociology, social psychology, anthropology, political science, social history, and law. The aim of the course was to examine modes of research and intellectual themes with the goal of encouraging students to understand and observe more through their ability to relate readings to observations. Readings included chapters from Tocqueville's "Democracy in America," Whyte's "Street Corner Society," and Lane's "Political Ideology." The course was structured into three tracks: lectures which the author gave or presided over and in which he discussed readings and supplementary materials; section meetings led by staff members for discussion of lectures and readings; and the term paper, which represented a major grade for the course. Students were encouraged to undertake a small scale empirical study as opposed to a theoretical or library based paper for their term project. Changes occurred in the course during the cry for relevance in the 1960s. Major obstacles during this era were students' cynical attitudes toward society and its institutions and their conclusion that they already knew what was worth knowing. (KC)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (Boston, Massachusetts, August 27, 1979)