SOCY464: Military Sociology
This course uses a sociological approach to the study of armed forces and their relation to society. We will use sociological theories, concepts, and empirical research to investigate the military as a social institution where people, other institutions, societies, and cultures intersect. These intersections and the tensions and conflict that often arise from them are the basis of this course. This course will be run as a seminar; active participation in discussions (online, in writing, and in class) is required and there will be a good deal of work involved in this upper-level course. Although the subject of the military is at the forefront of current events, this course examines past events and policies as well as current ones to help us understand the forces shaping the contemporary military, and anticipate its likely future. As a word of caution: the subject can provoke deep-seated feelings, emotions, and opinions. You must treat each other with respect, civility, and an open-mind. I expect the course material to challenge your assumptions, no matter what your political views or connection to the military. This is neither an anti-war class, nor a jingoistic celebration of military superiority. We will be engaging with important ideas, not all of which you agree with. Any opinion you might hold (positive or negative) about issues in the course MUST be debated and discussed in relation to theories, concepts, and evidence from scholarly sources. The overarching goal of this course is that you gain a balanced understanding of the military in terms of who serves and why, under what conditions, and with what consequence to themselves, their families, and society. I look forward to a lively and engaging semester talking about a subject that is incredibly timely and newsworthy.