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Hanna Wellish '12, a student in the JBS Environmental Health and Justice Program, creates a short video about the students' work with Worcester Roots.



Students on the program will take the following three courses:
SOC 97bj Group Readings and Research
SOC 156aj Social Change in American Communities
SOC 182aj Applied Research Methods

The courses will be taught by Professor David Cunningham and will run concurrently for eight weeks throughout the summer. Students will earn 12 credits and the program counts towards one of the semesters that students need in order to graduate.

How the courses count:
  • All of these courses may count towards the sociology major (please see the University Bulletin for complete details)
  • SOC 156aj is cross-listed in American Studies
  • SOC 182aj fulfills the research internship requirement in Social Justice and Social Policy
  • SOC 182aj can be used towards the Writing Intensive requirement
  • The Social Science distribution requirement will be met
1. SOC 97bj Group Readings and Research

Beginning in week 3 of the JBS, students will work in pairs in one of six county field sites. In collaboration with students from the University of Mississippi and other local colleges and universities, as well as with local community partners, JBS students will undertake interviews, archival research, and content analysis of digitally-recorded community proceedings. This field work will be supervised by Brandeis faculty and graduate assistants as well as by Winter Institute staff, and each JBS student will be required to attend a weekly individual debriefing session. Offered as part of JBS program. 4 credits.

2. SOC 156aj Social Change in American Communities

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Provides a theoretical foundation for understanding social movement dynamics, with a particular emphasis on the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi. Topics will include modes of civil rights organizing, the mobilization of social, cultural, and material resources, the development of strategic and tactical repertoires, determinants of individual participation, and varieties of anti-civil rights enforcement. The central aim is to provide a historically-contextualized and theoretically-informed sense of the trajectory of the civil rights struggle in the U.S. South. We will pay particular attention to sources of local variation, to understand the interplay among community-level contexts, individual action, and socio-political legacies. Offered as part of JBS program. 4 credits.

3. SOC 182aj Applied Research Methods

[ ss wi ]
Provides hands-on training in social science research methodology. It assumes no prior knowledge of the research process, and covers issues related to research design, data collection, and causal analysis within the context of a large-scale collaborative research project. Covers both quantitative and qualitative approaches, including statistical, comparative-historical, interview, and archival methods. Students approach their methodological work as a member of a "research team," with responsibility over a component of the class' broader project. Requires students to coordinate their efforts with colleagues and community partners to identify research questions, define the data necessary to answer those questions, gather and code that data, and begin the process of analysis. A component of the class will employ the statistical software package SPSS, which students can download for free from the LTS website. Offered as part of JBS program. 4 credits.