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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Samuel J Clark
SOC 201
Seattle Campus

Introductory Topics in Sociology

Selected introductory topics of contemporary interest.

Class description

Over the past three decades Southern Africa has experienced an unusual demographic and health transition, marked by political changes and a large HIV epidemic. This course will examine the recent history of Southern Africa focusing on health and population issues. Students will read and discuss key articles and learn basic analytical techniques in epidemiology and demography, including exposure to hybrid qualitative/quantitative methods used to ascertain cause of death from verbal autopsies. Throughout the course students will have access to unusual data from a health and demographic surveillance system site in South Africa. There will be several homework assignments designed around those data. Students will leave with a broad understanding of health and population issues in Southern Africa, and specific knowledge of how these are unfolding in one rural South African population.

Student learning goals

Understand key health and population issues in Southern Africa.

Learn selected basic demographic methods.

Learn selected basic epidemiological methods.

Apply demographic and epidemiological methods to data from South Africa to explore the recent epi-demographic transition in that population.

Be prepared for summer B study abroad that will go into much more detail on these topics at the site in South Africa where the data are collected.

General method of instruction

Mixture of seminar, lecture and interactive demonstration.

Recommended preparation

* Curiosity about Africa, health and population * Enthusiasm for learning some basic quantitative techniques for exploring data * Helpful but not necessary to have some experience using MS Excel

Class assignments and grading

* Weekly reading * Weekly short quiz on reading * In-class activities * 3-4 homework assignments * No exams * Standard letter grades

The final grade is a weighted average of weekly quizzes, homework assignments and participation.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional Information
Last Update by Samuel J Clark
Date: 11/18/2013