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Study of Culture and Society

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Study of Culture and Society

Degree Option

Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in the interdisciplinary study of culture and society (SCS).

Description of Program

The Study of Culture and Society (SCS) is an interdisciplinary major focusing on the study of cultural practices, social institutions and knowledge. The major focuses on contemporary critical social and cultural theories, as well as modes of cultural research and criticism, including textual and discourse analysis, ethnography, interviewing, media critique and other practices. The orientation of the major is reflexive and places strong emphasis on students developing a sense of themselves as knowers. Courses in the major stress the recognition of the contested and changing character of cultural categories, the relationship between knowledge and power and the influence of social location and identity on the creation of knowledge.

The major requires two core courses: SCS 110 (Culture, Knowledge, Power) and SCS 120 (Modes of Cultural Inquiry) which will introduce students to current questions, debates, theories and methodological practices in cultural research. Students will also take 21 credits distributed over topic areas: Cultural Difference and Diversity, Public Culture and Gender and Sexuality. Students will then specialize in one of these topic areas, taking an additional two courses in their chosen area. The major is designed to require students to gain breadth in each of these areas as well as focusing more intensively on one area in their studies.

This is a unique interdisciplinary program that blends courses in the humanities and social sciences for students interested in cultural theory, knowledge and research.

Requirements for Major

Minimum of 37 credit hours that include the following:

SCS 110 (Culture, Knowledge, Power*) 3
SCS 120 (Modes of Cultural Inquiry*) 3
21 credits distributed across 3 areas 21
Cultural Difference and Diversity*
Choose from SCSG 192, SCSR 114, SCSS 130, SCSS 156, SCSS 167,
SCS 143, SCS 146, SCSS 72, ENG 168
 
Public Culture*
Choose from SCSR 144, SCSR 128, SCSR 134, HONR 144, HONR 152,
ART 108, ART 110, ENG 128, ENG 124
 
Gender and Sexuality*
Choose from WS 195/HONR 151, SCSS 174, WS 90/ENG 86
 
2 additional courses in one area: 6
Senior Capstone* 4
Total 37

*Transfer courses may not be used to fulfill the core course or Capstone requirements.

Students may count one lower-level course for each of the 3 topic areas; all others must be upper-level (100 and above).

Students may double major in Sociology and SCS; however, only one theory- and one methods-intensive course (from the sociology or anthropology/sociology majors) can count toward the SCS major, and only 9 elective credits will be allowed to count for both majors. Students who double major must complete a separate Capstone for each major.

Honors

Qualified students are invited to receive departmental honors.

Requirements for Minor

The minor in the Study of culture and Society (SCS) focuses on the interdisciplinary study of cultural practices, social institutions and knowledge. Core courses focus on contemporary critical social and cultural theories, analysis, ethnography, interviewing, media critique and other practices. Course in each area focus more closely on specific themes of cultural difference, public culture and media and studies of gender and sexuality. The minor stresses the recognition of the contested and changing character of cultural categories, the relationship between knowledge and power, and the influence of social location and identity on the creation of knowledge. Courses in the minor will help students develop a greater understanding of how cultural knowledge is produced and of their own role as knowers.

SCS 110 (Culture, Knowledge, Power) 3 credit hours
SCS 120 (Modes of Cultural Inquiry) 3 credit hours
1 course in each of three areas (9 credit hours)

  • Cultural Difference and Diversity
  • Public Culture
  • Gender and sexuality

1 additional course in one area (3 credit hours)
Total = 18 Credit Hours

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Admission Calendar

May 1 - Enrollment deadline for first-year students

August 4-8 - Iowa Private College Week

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