Course Information

Class Number:

UC 270, COMM 200, American Culture 200

Class Time:

Tu, Thur 2:30 - 4:00 p.m.


1528 CC Little


This lecture-format, introductory/middle level, interdisciplinary course is designed to introduce undergraduate students to a series of key concepts and analytic tools of the social sciences.  Students are challenged to apply the insights of sociology, economics, communications studies, education, history and psychology to their own current role as college student.  A central question concerns how the student role relates to succeeding roles in the institutional complex of modern society.  One principal paradox that motivates this course of study is the celebrated disjuncture between the abstract study of literature, sciences and the arts and the ‘practical knowledge base’ that one would expect draw upon most professional careers.  In common parlance the word ‘merely academic’ translates as ‘mostly irrelevant.’  But as it turns out, empirically and practically, a liberal arts education represents an excellent preparation for most professional careers – a paradox that invites the student to internalize and make use of some of the key analytic tools of the social sciences as valuable resources rather than arcane requirements and rites of passage.

Key Topical Areas

  • Two Cultures: On the Tension Between the Humanities and Sciences

  • Education and Ethics:  Is There a Linkage Between the Two?

  • The Evolution of the Modern University

  • The Evolution of the Modern Scholarly Discipline

  • The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

  • On Writing Well

  • Grading and Achievement

  • Students and Society

  • The Meaning of Globalization

  • Those Who March Grimly on the Career Treadmill

  • Human Capital Theory

  • Labor Market Dynamics

  • The Effects of Education

  • The Reproduction of Social Inequalities

  • The Sociology of Complex Organizations

  • The Psychology of Human Achievement





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(c) W. Russelll Neuman
Phone) 734-615-8320

Last updated November 2005
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