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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Kelly Kistner
SOC 401
Seattle Campus

Special Topics in Sociology

Selected topics of contemporary interest taught by a sociologist active in the field. Topics vary and may be substantive, theoretical, or methodological.

Class description

This course will explore various knowledge institutions (e.g. religion, folklore, "common sense," science) through which humans interpret the world. Particular attention will be given to the structures and history of scientific knowledge production. The course will consider ways in which science affects society, and how societies and social interaction influence scientific thought and practice. Students will conduct independent research on the history, environment, and practices of a particular scientific discipline of their choice and collaborate with classmates on a comparative analysis.

All majors are welcome. Previous coursework in sociology is not required. Eligible for W credit. Contact kistner@uw.edu for more information.

Student learning goals

In addition to familiarizing students with the foundational works in the sociology of science and knowledge and the variety of approaches and arguments across the field, this course will aid in developing critical thinking, analytical skills, written and spoken communication skills, and practice in sociological thought and research.

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

No prerequisites. It is hoped to have a very interdisciplinary classroom with diverse interests. A large proportion of the grade will come from in-class participation and exercises.

Class assignments and grading


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.
Last Update by Kelly Kistner
Date: 05/12/2012