Division of Social Sciences

The Division of Social Sciences includes the following disciplines: Anthropology, Economics, History, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology.

Anthropology AOC

The anthropology program at New College seeks to impart a broad perspective on past and present peoples and cultures around the world through study of the methods and materials of the discipline. Through required course work, students develop a solid knowledge of the scope and objectives of cultural anthropology and archaeology, and of at least one other subdiscipline (biological anthropology and/or linguistics).  They also acquire in-depth critical knowledge of the theory and methods of anthropology.  Students are encouraged to participate in fieldwork, and develop their research skills and a critical perspective through the completion of a senior research project, conducted under the supervision of a faculty member in the program.

Students and faculty have cooperated in projects ranging from archaeological research in Florida, Mexico, Central America, and the Middle East to active planning for the homeless in Sarasota, from critiques of sexism in human evolutionary models to studies of the creolization process in Black English Vernacular.  Students have conducted independent research worldwide, including studies of remote tribal groups in West Papua and Amazonian Peru.  Theory and practice go hand-in-hand as students develop their understanding of the world and share this with fieldworkers, academics, and planners outside the New College community.

Anthropology is a quintessentially interdisciplinary field of study. A concentration in anthropology begins with work in the four major subfields of the discipline: cultural anthropology, archaeology, biological anthropology, and linguistics. As students proceed, their work in specialized  theoretical and area courses is complemented  by work in languages, other social sciences, natural sciences,  and humanities;  combined  areas of study range from anthropology  and literature to anthropology and biology.

Intermediate/advanced courses and tutorials are offered in the History of Anthropological theory, Method and Theory in archaeology, Ethnography:  Theory and Practice, Myth and Ritual, Ecological Anthropology, Urban Anthropology, Anthropology and Development, The Anthropology of Food, Historical Archaeology, Historical Archaeology of Latin America, Human Origins, Primate Behavior, Anthropology and Literature, Visual Anthropology, The Anthropology of Performance, Race and Ethnicity in Global Perspective, and Landscapes: Past and Present.

Area courses focus on the prehistory of the Old World, the Middle East, Mesoamerica, the Andes and North America.  Cultural courses focus on the contemporary cultures of the United States, the Middle East, Middle America, and Africa. Students wishing to focus on the prehistory and ethnography of other regions of the world may do so through tutorials.

Facilities: The Hal C. Ball Anthropology Laboratory houses a 2,000-volume library on Mesoamerican anthropology.  It also contains a collection of anthropology texts and manuals, a series of hominid and primate skulls, several large slide collections, audio-visual and photographic equipment, and PC and MAC computer workstations for student use.

The New College Public Archaeology Lab (NCPAL) focuses on research into the past of Sarasota and Manatee and provides opportunities for civic engagement with surrounding communities.  NCPAL serves to facilitate student learning in archaeological methods and techniques.  NCPAL features laboratory space for processing and interpreting artifacts, an office for archaeological site reports and geographic information systems, and storage space for excavated finds as well as equipment for archaeological excavations and heritage analysis.

Internships and Fieldwork Opportunities: Anthropology majors are strongly encouraged to do fieldwork and internships. Many use these experiences to gather data for their senior theses.

Museology Internships:  Museology internships are available in conjunction with the local museums. These internships take place as semester-long tutorials or as January or summer Independent Study Projects.

Fieldwork:  The anthropology faculty provide students with advice on locating field schools and anthropological projects worldwide, or assist them in planning their own fieldwork. Past students have participated in archaeological projects in many parts of the United States, as well as in Mexico, Central and South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa.  Others have conducted cultural research in various parts of the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia.  The program has also sponsored several field projects in cultural anthropology and archaeology in Sarasota and the Tampa Bay area.

Funding for Fieldwork:  The anthropology program has limited funding for student travel and research through the Anthropology Endowment Fund and the Bertram H. White Awards. Additional sources of funding for student research are available through the New College Student Academic Council, the New College Foundation and the New College Alumnae/i Association. Students planning fieldwork in Israel may also apply to the Jewish Federation of Sarasota/Manatee Counties, among other sources.

Training for Research:  Anthropology majors are required to take courses on the History of Anthropological Theory, and Method and Theory in Archaeology In addition, students specializing in socio -cultural anthropology must take a field methods course, Ethnography:  Theory and Practice. Students specializing in archaeology generally begin their fieldwork by attending a field school somewhere in the United States. Two popular programs are the summer programs run by the University of South Florida and the University of Arizona.

In addition to the above course work, anthropology majors are required to have training in a foreign language, and a course in statistics is recommended for those planning to attend graduate school.

Anthropology students apply their research training in the preparation of the senior project and thesis, which calls for an integration of data (often gathered in the field) with relevant bodies of anthropological theory. Most theses are equivalent to M.A. theses, and often yield publishable results.

Minimal requirements for a full Area of Concentration in anthropology:

1.    Cultural Anthropology: 
Cultural Anthropology (or equivalent introductory course)
History of Anthropological Theory
One upper level area or thematic course
for cultural subfield majors: Ethnography: 
 Theory and Practice and one or more additional courses and/or tutorials in cultural anthropology or related subjects approved by advisor.

2.    Archaeology: 
Survey of Archaeology (or equivalent introductory course) Method and Theory in Archaeology
One upper level area or thematic course
for archaeology subfield majors: one or more additional courses and/or tutorials in Archaeology or related subjects approved by advisor.

3.    Physical Anthropology and Linguistics: 
All majors are required to take an introductory course in at least one of these subfields. Students planning to attend graduate school are strongly advised to take introductory courses in both fields. Students wishing to major in these subfields should work out a plan of study with their advisor.

4.    Foreign Language Competence: 
Intermediate level competence, or two years of college -level instruction.

        5.    Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Course in the Protection of Human Subjects: 
Certified EthicsTraining for Studying Human Subjects.

6.    Senior Project/Thesis: Thesis Tutorial and demonstration of knowledge of methodology employed in senior project.

7.    Fieldwork is also strongly recommended for majors planning to attend graduate school.

Minimal requirements for a joint discipline (partial major) in anthropology

1.      Introductory courses in Cultural Anthropology and Archaeology.

2.      History of Anthropological Theory.

3.      Method and Theory in Archaeology.

4.      Two additional courses or tutorials in anthropology, and other work relating to your goals, to be chosen   in consultation with your advisor in anthropology.

Past senior theses in anthropology include:

·            The Archaeology  of Coastal Belize, Central America (published in British Archaeological Reports, Oxford, England)

·            Chinese Outside of Chinatown:  Immigration,  Assimilation,  and Community in Sarasota/Bradenton

·            Funerals: The Tradition of Passing and the Passing of Tradition

·            The Gravestones  of Bow, New Hampshire:  1800-1865

·            An Investigation of Human Remains from Casey Key

·            Historic Archaeology  at Sherbourne,  Nantucket,  Massachusetts

·            The Location is Great, But the House Needs Work: 1995 Excavations at FT27, Grupo Suroeste, Ek Balám, Yucatán, Mexico

·            Paradigms  and Practice in American Linguistics

·            The Past is the Contested Zone: An Analysis of Ideological  Biases in Models of Human Evolution

·            Recycling Culture: Exile and Cultural Survival in a Tibetan Refugee Community of Nepal.

·            Speak for Demselves: An Ethnographic  and Archaeological  Investigation  of The Bluff Community,  Cat Island, Bahamas

·            The Traditional Medical Knowledge of an Herbal Healer in South Florida: An Ethnographic Study

·            Women and Power in Classic Maya Monumental  Art

·            Zora Neale Hurston: Resistance  to and Transformation of Traditional  Concepts of Orality, Gender, and Community

Faculty in Anthropology

Anthony P. Andrews
Uzi Baram
Erin Dean
Maria D. Vesperi
Gabrielle Vail (Visiting)

Economics AOC

"Economics is a method rather than a doctrine, an apparatus of the mind, a technique of thinking which helps its possessor to draw correct conclusions." - John Maynard Keynes

The goal of the economics program at New College is to prepare students to confront successfully the challenges of a rapidly changing world. The emphasis is on providing students with a conceptual framework with which to understand and assess the events and decisions that affect society at large as well as their own personal lives. Upon graduation, should one continue on to graduate school or enter the job market? Should the U.S. have signed a free trade agreement with Mexico? Should the Federal Reserve raise or lower interest rates in order to stabilize the economy? By mastering the tools of economic analysis, the student will be able to evaluate questions such as these in a critical and systematic manner.

The basic building blocks of the economics program are the two introductory courses. Introduction to Economic Analysis, normally taken first, introduces the student to the basic principles of economics by focusing on the question of whether a free market system does an effective and equitable job in utilizing a country's resources, or whether government intervention is needed to correct the market's failure. Particular emphasis is placed on evaluating specific economic policies, such as the minimum wage and pollution control. Introductory Macroeconomics extends the analysis to encompass such national economic issues as unemployment, inflation, the banking and financial system, and international exchange rates and finance.

These courses are recommended for all students, regardless of their future interest in studying economics. The analytical tools learned -the economic “techniques of thinking”-will be a valuable resource for students who plan to enter such diverse fields as law, environmental studies, international relations, business and finance, decision sciences, history, political science, and public policy.

Students who decide to concentrate in economics must satisfactorily complete the required courses listed below plus four elective courses in economics. (One of these courses may be a tutorial.) Some of the elective courses that are offered on a regular basis are listed below. Students with an interest in economics, but who choose not to concentrate, may wish to take one or several of the electives or required courses. The economics faculty will be happy to suggest a course survey that will complement the student's main areas of academic interest. Prerequisites for the electives will vary and one should feel free to consult the instructor concerning his or her particular situation.

Required courses for Area of Concentration:

1.       Introduction to Economic Analysis Introductory  Macroeconomics Intermediate  Microeconomic Theory Intermediate  Macroeconomics

2.       Mathematical  Tools for Economists  (or equivalent calculus course)

3.       Statistics (or equivalent)

Elective Courses:

1.       European Economic History

2.       U.S. Economic History

3.       Behavioral Economics

4.       Distributive Justice: Theory and Practice

5.       Economics of Strategic Choices

6.       International Economics and Policy

7.       Introductory Game Theory

8.       Issues and Developments in the Fields of Economics

9.       Law and Economics I and II

10.    Mathematical Economics

11.    Money, Banking, and Financial Markets

12.    Political Economy

13.    Poverty and Public Policy

14.    Leading World Economies

At New College the study of economics culminates in the writing of a senior thesis. Simply put, the primary goal of the thesis is to demonstrate that the economics concentrator can employ economic reasoning.  Because topics and methods may vary greatly, the thesis can achieve this goal in several ways. Successful approaches have included a focus on: (1) the explication and application of the fundamental theoretical propositions of economics, (2) the strengths and weaknesses of dominant economic models and the diversity of economic thinking, and (3) economic institutions, including their social, political, and historical content.

Sample senior thesis projects:

·          What Is To Be Done? The Question of Transforming  the Russian Economy

·          Alternatives to the Income Tax: A Tax on Consumption

·          An Economic and Legal Analysis of Copyright Protection  for the Computer User Interface

·          Economics of a Successful Monopoly: DeBeers Diamond Consolidated Mines Ltd. The Effects of EEC's Agricultural  Policies on Lesser Developed  Countries Selecting An Intermediate  Target for Monetary  Policy

·          Collective  Rationality  and Social Change

·          Economic Examination  of Illicit Markets for Cocaine and Marijuana

·          Sea Level Rise in Southwest  Florida: An Economic Benefit-Cost  Analysis of Policy Alternatives

·          Empire of the Mouse: A Microeconomic Analysis of Disney's Adaptive Pricing and Marketing Strategies

·          Sustainable Management  of Renewable  Resources: A Matter of Intergenerational Equity

·          Foundations  of Bounded Rationality:  Heuristics and Algorithms

·          Cooperation in an Investment-Opportunity Prisoner's Dilemma: Framing or Gender?

Completion of this program has proven to be a successful avenue to further educational  opportunities,  as recent graduates have gone on to study at highly-ranked  programs in graduate economics, the law, and business. A concentration in economics has also been helpful to students who wish to pursue careers in government service or in the business world.

Faculty in Economics

Richard D. Coe
Tarron Khemraj
Tracy Collins

History AOC

History offers an effective focus for a good liberal arts education, for it underpins the other disciplines by clarifying a large portion of the human record.  Its study sharpens both one's analytical powers and one's verbal skills.  Some New College students pursue history at the graduate level; others consider it a base for the study of law; still other history graduates pursue careers in secondary education, politics, public service, the business world, or the non -profit sector.

Courses offered in history include: Medieval Europe, Renaissance and Reformation  Europe, The Black Death, The Carolingian Empire, The Crusades, Medieval Monasticism,  Modern European  History I (1648-1870),  Modern European History II (1870-2000),  The Old Regime and the French Revolution,  Contemporary  French History, Modern German History, The Age of Imperialism,  United States History:  Survey and Recent Interpretations,  American Environmental  History, America and the World, The Progressive  Era, American Intellectual  History, and others. The faculty offers period, regional, and thematic specialties in a wide range of courses, seminars, and tutorials.  Students are also encouraged to design group projects and Independent Study Projects that satisfy their particular needs and interests.  The study of history can combine effectively with a number of other disciplines.  Particularly strong interdisciplinary programs at New College are Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Gender Studies, Environmental Studies, and International Studies.

An Area of Concentration in History should include both survey and specialized courses in a wide range of fields. Students are normally expected to complete at least ten courses or tutorials in history, with at least two courses in each of the four fields of history offered regularly at New College:  American history, medieval/Renaissance European history, modern European history, and non-Western history.  At least one of the courses taken in each area should be an advanced (reading/writing intensive) course. Students are encouraged to choose their advanced course work and tutorials with the goal of laying the foundations for future thesis work.

In addition to the formal disciplinary requirements for the AOC, students are strongly encouraged to take courses in related disciplines in the social sciences and humanities, to study at least one foreign language to the advanced level, and to make use of study abroad opportunities.   Students considering graduate study in history should be aware that admission to doctoral programs is extremely competitive, and should consult early and often with their advisors to make their academic records as strong as possible.  While individual  plans of study will vary, a competitive record will normally include in-depth study of history and related disciplines, mastery of at least one (and preferably two) foreign languages, and a well- researched  and well-written  senior thesis that makes extensive use of both primary and secondary sources.

Representative senior theses in history:

·          A Costly Place in a Scorching Sun: The German Colonial Empire in Africa

·          The Role of Law in Edward I's Conquests  of Wales and Scotland, 1277-1307

·          The Methodology  of Discrimination: Development  and Theory of Scientific Racism in the 18th and 19th Centuries

·          Norsemen without a King: An Analysis of Executive  Authority in the Icelandic Commonwealth

·          Soldiers of Ink and Paper:  American Intellectual Interpretations  of the Spanish Civil War

Faculty in History

Carrie E. Beneš
Brendan Goff (Visiting AY 2012-14)
David A. Harvey
Thomas McCarthy
Shi, Xia

Political Science AOC

(See also Public Policy and Urban Studies)

Political Science is concerned with the study of politics in many settings. It is particularly useful to students who wish to go on to government service, law, diplomacy, and higher education. Central to the discipline is knowledge of the government and politics of nations and their sub-units; political philosophy, both classical and modern; international and comparative studies; public organization and politics.  Basic knowledge of cognate fields and methodologies is also important. Within general guidelines, however, students have considerable flexibility in planning their studies; some concentrate particularly on the politics of the United States, while others develop an interest in areas such as Latin America, Europe or Africa, and create their own interdisciplinary programs.

Requirements for graduation with an area of concentration in Political Science:

1.       At least one introductory level class.

2.       Overall distribution of Political Science classes should contain at least one class in three of the following subfields.
a.   American  Politics
b.   Comparative  Politics
c.   International  Relations
d.   Political  Theory

3.       A minimum of two advanced seminars (at least one each in two different subfields).

4.       Research Design (recommended for 2nd and 3rd year students).

5.       Introduction to Statistics

6.       Senior Thesis or Portfolio Project in Political Science.

7.       Baccalaureate Exam and Oral Defense of the Thesis or Portfolio Project.

Total course minimum:  8 Political Science classes or tutorials (not counting thesis tutorials), plus statistics.

Highly Recommended:

Introductory work in Economics, History, Sociology, or Philosophy.

Requirements for “double” area of concentration:

Same as for “single” concentrators

Requirements for “slash” with Political Science listed first:

Same as for “single” concentrator

Requirements for “slash” with Political Science listed second:

A minimum of six courses covering at least three of the subfields listed above and including one introductory course and one advanced seminar.

NOTE:  Political Science considers a secondary "slash" to be the equivalent of a minor.

Students are encouraged to obtain field experience through internships or other work experience with agencies of government, political parties, interest groups, etc.  In recent years, students have interned with U.S. Congressmen, the Governor of Florida, the American Civil Liberties Union, and county planning agencies. They have helped in political campaigns, handled publicity for the Sarasota Peace and Justice Center, challenged decisions of the local Airport Authority, and become radio news announcers.   Occasionally, students with highly specialized interests, such as Urban Studies, plan to spend a semester at another college or university; this is encouraged when appropriate. Those with interests in comparative politics and international relations are encouraged to spend a semester abroad.

Courses offered in Political Science range from American Government and Constitutional Theory to Western Political Theory; Comparative Politics; Transitions to Democracy in Comparative Perspective; Introduction to World Politics; Global Environmental Politics; and International Law and Politics.

Representative senior theses:

·          The Moral Majority and the Interaction of Religion and Politics in America

·          Islam and Politics in Egypt and Iran

·          The Urban Policy of the Italian Communist Party

·          Pluralism in the Defense Appropriations  Process

·          Small Local Governments  in Florida: Mayor vs. Manager

·          What Must Remain Public?  Essays on Privatization, the Constitution, and Public Administration

·          Race Riots in the United States: Two Explanatory  Models

·          Tainted Transitions: The Historical Legacy of Imperialism  and the Failure of Democratization in the Caucasus

Faculty in Political Science

Frank Alcock
Keith A. Fitzgerald
Barbara Hicks
Jack Reilly
Nat Colletta (Adjunct)

Psychology AOC

The Area of Concentration in psychology is designed primarily for students wishing to pursue graduate work in the field.  The program includes courses often listed as prerequisites for graduate schools in the discipline. The major also should provide the breadth characteristic of a liberal arts education.

Courses regularly offered in psychology include:

·          Introductory Psychology                   

·          Statistics                                                              

·          Cognitive Psychology                        

·          Social Psychology                              

·          Developmental Psychology                              

·          Abnormal Psychology                         

·          Personality

·          Biological Psychology       

·          Comparative Cognition

·          Research Methods

·          Social Psychology

·          Close Relationships

·          Analyzing Conversation

·          Cross-Cultural Perspectives in Child Development

·          Animal Language Research

·          Self and Identity

·          Animal Learning and Cognition

·          Sensation and Perception

·          Psychology of Religion

Labs in Developmental, Cognitive, and Social Psychology; Animal Behavior; and Sensation and Perception

Requirements: For an Area of Concentration in psychology, eight specific courses are required (listed below).  In addition, at least two advanced -level courses in psychology and the Psychology Senior Seminar are required to complete the Area of Concentration.

1.       Introductory Psychology:   A general overview, providing students with background in the diverse areas available for study in the field.  The course is a prerequisite for most other psychology courses.

2.       Statistics:  provides the knowledge necessary to understand the experimental literature in psychology.

3.       Research Methods: develops the skills necessary to design, execute, and report empirical research.

4.       Four of the six following courses must be taken:
Abnormal Psychology
Developmental Psychology
Biological Psychology
Social Psychology
Cognitive Psychology                                                                                                                                                Personality

5.       A laboratory course:  Labs are taught in Cognitive, Development, and Social Psychology; Animal Behavior; and Sensation and Perception.  Laboratories in the Natural Sciences Division are offered in conjunction with Neurobiology, Neuroanatomy, and Brain, Behavior, and Evolution.

6.       2 Advanced Psychology Electives

7.       Psychology Senior Seminar: normally completed as part of the student’s final two contracts.

Joint Disciplinary Area of Concentration in Psychology:  The requirements for the "slash" AOC in psych are 7 classes, including one modular "mini" lab

1.         Introductory Psychology

2.         Statistics

3.         Research Methods

4.         Three of the six following courses must be taken:
Abnormal Psychology
Developmental Psychology
Biological Psychology
Social Psychology
Cognitive Psychology                                                                                                                                               Personality

5.         ONE advanced-level Psychology course or tutorial (must be full term or equivalent activity)

6.         A "mini" laboratory course:  One mod of a designated "mini" lab (e.g., can be met with the advanced  elective if so designated;  Animal Language Research and Language Development  often carry this designation;  see professors  for possibilities)

Other Recommended Courses:

In order to provide some breadth and perspective, psychology students are encouraged to take courses in other disciplines that will complement their programs.   Recommended courses include those from the general areas of philosophy, mathematics, computer science, biology, physics, anthropology, sociology, political science, and religion.

Representative senior theses titles:

·          Academic Satisfaction in College Students and Relatedness to Instructors, Parents, and Peers                                                      

·          Do Children Who Know More, Care More? Environmental Knowledge and Scope of Justice                                                             

·          Serial Position Learning in Honeybees                                                                                                                                           

·          Recovery From Rape-Related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder                                                                                                        

·          Synchrony Between a Mother-Calf Pair of Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)                                                                  

·          Rhythm Discrimination in the Bottlenose Dolphin                                                                                                                                  

·          The Strong and the Silent: Young Men and Emotional Intimacy                                                                                                     

·          Basic Husbandry Training of Two West Indian Manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris)                                                                

·          Exploring the Influence of Language on Pitch Perception: The Tritone Paradox in Spanish-Speaking, English- Speaking and Bilingual Populations

Faculty in Psychology

Michelle E. Barton
Gordon B. Bauer
Catherine Cottrell
Heidi E. Harley
Stephen Graham

Social Sciences AOC

Students wishing to combine study in several social science disciplines may consider a “Social Sciences” Divisional Area of Concentration.

Course requirements for this concentration include: one introductory and two or more advanced courses and/or tutorials in at least three social science disciplines. This would mean a minimum of nine courses or tutorials in the social sciences.

A social sciences concentration also involves a senior thesis that uses social scientific research methods. Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the various methodologies employed by social scientists.

The program of study will be worked out by student and sponsor. The Area of Concentration form must be signed by at least two social science faculty who are in agreement on the student's plan of study. The senior thesis must be sponsored by a social science faculty member. The Baccalaureate Committee must also include two other members of the social science faculty.

Representative senior theses in the Social Sciences Divisional Area of Concentration:

·          The Support Networks  of the Elderly in an Adult Congregate Living Facility

·          Exploring  the Making of the Modern World

·          Habermas: Marxist and Moralist

·          Aging and Attitudinal Conservatism

Faculty in Social Sciences

Frank Alcock
Anthony P. Andrews
Uzi  Baram
Michelle E. Barton
Gordon B. Bauer
Carrie Beneš
David Brain
Richard D. Coe
Nat Colletta (Adjunct)
Tracy Collins                                                                                                                                                         
Duff Cooper (Adjunct)
Catherine Cottrell                                                                                                                                                           
Erin Dean
Keith A. Fitzgerald
Brendan Goff (Visiting)
Heidi E. Harley
David A. Harvey
Sarah Hernandez
Barbara Hicks
Tarron Khemraj
Alicia Mercado-Harvey (Visiting)
Jack Reilly
Xia Shi
Gabrielle Vail  (Visiting)
Maria Vesperi
Mecca Zabriskie

Sociology AOC

The discipline of sociology encompasses a broad terrain of sub-fields and specialties exploring various aspects of the social world.  At the center is an interest in developing a systematic and theoretically informed understanding of the patterns, tendencies, and possibilities that characterize contemporary social life.  Although we are often unaware of its influences on us, the social world structures our opportunities, shapes our aspirations, and provides the stage for our actions. As individuals, we are both sustained and constrained by the web of social relations in which our lives are embedded. Even our perceptions are affected by the way we are situated in the social world, and by our participation in the construction of social reality.

We don't live in "society" in the abstract, of course, but in a particular society with particular characteristics and a specific history.  What kind of society do we live in?  What are its distinctive characteristics and problems?  Where is it headed? Sociological analyses illuminate the effects of social interactions, structures, institutions, and processes on the character and quality of our lives. As part of a liberal arts education, sociology offers theories and research relevant to our ability both to make sense of our circumstances as individuals in contemporary society, and to act efficaciously and constructively in shaping the modern world.

At New College, courses in sociology draw on a range of theoretical perspectives and research traditions.  Key themes and topics include: the causes and consequences  of particular distributions  of power, wealth, and prestige; the significance of class, ethnic, and gender differences in modern societies; social organization at the level of small groups, complex organizations, and whole societies; the sociology of development; social movements and change; the organization of work; cultural production  and consumption  in both popular and elite arts; the processes of face-to -face social interaction; socialization  and social construction;  the social production  of the urban environment.

A student majoring in sociology is required to acquire competence in content knowledge, written and oral communication skills and critical thinking skills. These are gained by mastering the fundamental tools of the discipline through five required courses, one empirical ISP, and five elective courses. The required courses include: Introduction to Sociology, Social Theory, Sociological Research Methods, Statistics, and the Senior Thesis Seminar.  The five elective courses must include at least one course in each of the three broad subfields: Social Organization/ Institutions, Change, and Persons and Society. The empirical Independent Study Project should be done after completing the methods course.

One might expect to find the following sociology courses on a regular basis: Introductory Sociology, Sociological Research Methods, Social Theory, Race and Ethnicity, Sociology of Culture, Urban Sociology, Social Movements, Sociology of Gender, Work Organization and Its Alternatives, Sociology of Development, Social Psychology, Sociology of Sustainable Communities, Advanced Qualitative Methods, and Queer Studies. To some extent, courses, tutorials, and independent projects will change in accordance with current student and faculty interests.

Independent study projects, group research projects, and off-campus contracts provide important opportunities to gain direct experience of social issues explored in courses and tutorials.  Students are encouraged to do field research, particularly in the local community.

Representative senior theses in sociology:

·          City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process

·          What I Call Myself: Exploring  Ethnic Identities And Selections Of Ethnic Labels For Hispanic/Latino

·          Exploring  the Relationship  Between Level of Religiosity and Overall Life Satisfaction  Among New College Students

·          Food, Family, and the Factors Influencing  the Frequencies  and Characteristics  of Family Dinners

·          Stirring Up The Hive: Ngo Discourse And Indigenous Subalternity  The Case Of Las Abejas Chiapas, Mexico

·          Two Jails in One: Impediments  to Professionalism for Modern Jail Corrections  Officers

·          The Strategies  of Female Student-Parents

·          Predicting Graduation  Rates at Liberal Arts Colleges

·          The Persistence of Social Movement  Groups Through Time and Change

·          Shared Spaces: Residence Hall Architecture  and Sense of Community

Sociology AOC Requirements

Beginning 2010-2011 academic year

The sociology program is changing its structure, with a new program that takes effect August 1, 2010. First year students for the academic year 2010-2011 are required to use these new guidelines. Students who have already submitted their AOC portfolios are grandfathered, and should construct their course plans using the previous requirements.  Students who have not submitted  AOC portfolios but are above the first year at New College, are encouraged  to follow the new distribution,  but may consult with Sociology  faculty to explore the possibility  of following the old requirements.

Summary of changes: The new distribution is based on analytical areas. Also, Introduction to Sociology and the Senior Thesis Seminar are now required, and electives have increased from four to five. In the new AOC, requirements for regular AOC (majors) and Slash AOC (minors) differ.

Required Courses for:

Disciplinary AOC and Joint-Disciplinary with Sociology listed first:

1.       Introductory Course (must be taken before submitting AOC portfolio)

2.       Methods (ideally, this course would be taken in the fall of the second or third year with a Sociology Professor. In special circumstances, with prior approval by Sociology faculty, we will recognize this course when taken in Psychology)

3.       Theory

4.       Statistics

5.       Senior Thesis Seminar

6.       Empirical ISP (students must complete the Methods course prior to doing this ISP, and must go through the IRB process)

7.       Five (5) Electives (at least one from each analytical area: Social Organizations/Institutions; Change; and Persons and Society).

Note: The thesis should make full use of sociological theory, literature, and analysis.

Joint-Disciplinary (Slash) AOC with Sociology listed second:

1.       Methods (Ideally, this course would be taken in the fall of the second or third year with a Sociology Professor. In special circumstances, with prior approval by Sociology faculty, we will recognize this course when taken in Psychology)

2.       Theory

3.       Statistics

4.       Empirical ISP is encouraged but not required. Students must complete the Methods course prior to doing this ISP, and must go through the IRB process.

5.       Three (3) Electives (one from each analytical  area: Social Organizations/Institutions; Change; and Persons and Society)

Note: In accordance with regulations in the Faculty Handbook, students with a joint -disciplinary AOC where Sociology is listed second must have one faculty member from the Sociology discipline in their thesis committee. Furthermore, the thesis should make substantive use of sociological theory, literature, and analysis.

Double AOC:

Students must complete the same requirements as the Disciplinary AOC. In accordance with regulations in the Faculty Handbook, double AOC with Sociology must have two faculty members from the Sociology discipline in their thesis committee. Ideally, one of the sociology faculty would serve as co-sponsor with the faculty from the other discipline, or be consistently consulted by the student to ascertain progress in the thesis qualifies for a Sociology AOC. The thesis should make substantive use of sociological theory, literature, and analysis.

Analytical Areas

Below are examples of courses in each analytical area. The appropriate analytical area(s) for each course will be noted in the published Class Schedule each term. In cases in which a course can count in more than one area, students must choose for which analytical area the particular course will be counted (one course can not satisfy two or more analytical areas).

·          Social Organization/ Institutions Contemporary  Social Issues Studying Culture Micro Level Sociology  of Gender

·          Gender and the Body

·          Globalization,  Human Rights and Social Justice

·          Introduction to Sociology Introduction to Social Problems Queer Studies

·          Sociology  of Culture Sociology of Development  Sociology  of Race and Ethnicity Urban Sociology

·          Work Organization and Its Alternatives

·          Change

·          Globalization:  Human Rights and Social Justice

·          Practicum in Community Building

·          Social Movements Sociology  of Development  Sustainable Communities  Transnational Labor Organizing Urban Sociology

·          Work Organization  and Its Alternatives

·          Persons and Society

·          Contemporary  Social Issues/Problems

·          Sociology  of Gender

·          Gender and the Body

·          Introduction to Sociology  through Social Psychology

·          Queer studies

·          Social Psychology

·          Sociology  of Race and Ethnicity

Declaring a Sociology Area of Concentration

In order to declare a Sociology AOC, students are required to submit a portfolio. Prior to submitting a portfolio students must have satisfactorily completed four sociology courses. The portfolio must include 2-3 papers that you’ve written for sociology courses, a print-out of your unofficial transcript  (you can get these reports from the Student Evaluation  System), the signed “Provisional Area of Concentration”  form and a plan for completing  the remaining sociology  requirements.

Faculty in Sociology

David K. Brain
Sarah Hernandez
Emily Fairchild
Mecca Zabriskie


Office of the Provost
New College of Florida
5800 Bay Shore Road
Sarasota, Florida  34243

Phone: (941) 487-4200
Fax: (941) 487-4201