Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dear Students,

I will hold office hours for Soc 150 on Tuesdays from 1-3 in SSMS 3013. I am here to help you, so please feel free to visit me as needed. I look forward to working with you.

Best, Jason

Friday, September 24, 2010

Password for Eres

Here is the site for ereserves for the course:


 Password: tonight

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Sex, Love and God: The Syllabus

Sociology 150: Sex, Love and God
Professor Roger Friedland  (friedland@religion.ucsb.edu)
TA : Jason Hopkins (jhopkins@umail.ucsb.edu)
Fall, 2010
Tuesday-Thursdays, 8:00 – 9:15
Girvetz 1004
Office Hours: Monday 10-12, HSSB 3083
Course Blog: http://sexloveandgodthecourse.blogspot.com

Love has become problematic in American culture, a source of considerable private and public anxiety.  Love’s conditions of possibility are no longer taken for granted.  This is nowhere more evident than in America’s youth culture, where “hooking up,” an apparently new erotic formation, has emerged, at least if one believes the popular press and the stories of worried parents, particularly those with daughters.  American young people are different.  They are, for example, three times more likely than their Italian counterparts to display a cool, romantically insensate style, to say love doesn’t matter.  Sexuality is not only a personal issue, it has become a religious one, not only in this country but an object of concern for politicized religions around the world. 

This course is trans-disciplinary, drawing on historical, philosophical, sociological, evolutionary, physiological, religious and political sources and approaches.  It first examines the ways in which erotic love has been figured in the history of Western civilization and then explores the organization of high school and college sexual and romantic life against this backdrop, following the arc from Hellenism to the “hook-up.”  It then moves into the physiological and evolutionary bases of sexual desire and romantic attachment, and then ways in which these may condition the organization of the erotic lives of emerging adults.  And it closes with the ways in which the erotic has become politicized by religious movements around the world and how students’ religious beliefs shape their erotic lives.

There is a significant amount of reading for this class.   It should be read for the class in which it is listed as we will have in-class discussion of the readings.   

There is required research.  As part of this course, students will do semi-structured interviews and write up a short-research report about love, sexuality and religious life. Course readings are weighted towards the first half of the quarter to allow students to spend adequate time on their interview and write-up.  This quarter there will be five subjects to chose from: 1) the existence of a double sexual standard in the treatment of female and male sexual pleasure; 2) who is a virgin and why; 3) the opportunities and constraints on flirting; 4) whether feminists love differently and 5) how do religious individuals feel about and justify sex before marriage.  Each student is expected to write up his/her interview – no more than five double-spaced pages -- in light of the kinds of arguments and empirical associations discussed in class.  These will be part of a student’s evaluation and some of them will be discussed in class.  All students are required to take Human Subjects training, which can be accessed by going to the Human Subjects Training webpage: http://hstraining.orda.ucsb.edu/.  Students should use my code to login: RELG-FR-RO-019.

Finally, as part of your research project, you are required to post an article – whether from scholarly sources, the popular press or the web on the topic you choose.  These should be posted by topic on the course blog.  These will provide a collective resource for everybody working on that topic. 

Your grade will be based 1/3 on your essay, 1/3 on your midterm and 1/3 on your final examination. 

Lecture and Reading Schedule:

September 23:  Moulin Rouge: Introduction

September 28:  The Historicity of Love

September 30: The Philosophy of Love
Read: Plato, The Symposium, (New York: Penguin Classics) 0140449272

October 5: High School Romance
Read: Sharon Thompson, Going all the Way: Teenage Girls’ Tales of Sex, Romance, and Pregnancy, (New York: Hill and Wang, 1996),  0809015994, pp. 1-140.

October 7: Read: Thompson, Going all the Way, 1996, pp. 141-285.

October 12:  Hooking Up.  Read: Wendy D. Manning, Peggy C. Giordano and Monica A. Longmore, “Hooking Up: The Relationship Contexts of "Nonrelationship" Sex, Journal of Adolescent Research 2006; 21 (e-reserves).
Read: Paula England and Reuben J. Thomas, “ The Decline of the Date and the Rise of the College Hook Up,” in Families in Transition, 14th Edition, 2006, edited by Arlene S. Skolnick and Jerome H. Skolnick. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. (e-reseves)

October 14:  The Erotics of UCSB. 
Read: Catherine Grello,  D.P. Welsh and M.S. Harper, "No Strings Attached: The Nature of Casual Sex in College Students"  Journal of Sex Research, Volume 43, Number 3, August 2006: pp. 255-267 (e-reserves)
Elizabeth A. Armstrong, Paula England and Alison C. K. Fogarty, “Sexual Practices, Learning and Love: Accounting for Women’s Orgasm in College Hookups and Relationships,” presented at the American Sociological Association, August, 2009 (e-reserves)

October 19: Read: Kathleen A. Bogle, Hooking Up: Sex, Dating, and Relationships on Campus, (New York: NYU Press, 2008), 0814799698, Pp. 1-95

October 21: Read: Bogle, Hooking Up, Pp. 96-186.

October 26: Read: Laura Hamilton and Elizabeth A. Armstrong, “Gendered Sexuality in Young Adulthood: Double Binds and Flawed Options” Gender and Society, 2009; 23; 589. (e-reserves)

October 28:  Mid-term examination

November 2: The Physiology of Love
Read: Helen Fisher, Why We Love?: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love, (New York: Henry Holt and Co. 2004). 0-8050-7796-0.  Pp. 1-98.

November 4: Read: Fisher, Why We Love? Pp. 99-219.

November 9:  Religion, Love and Sex: The Heart of Politicized Religion

November 11:  No Class.  But Please Read: Azar Nafisi, Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books, (New York: Random House, 2003). 081297106X

November 16:  God and Your Underpants:
Read: Amy M. Burdette, Christopher G. Ellison, Terrence D. Hill, Norval D. Glenn, “Hooking Up” at College: Does Religion Make a Difference?” Journal for the Social Scientific Study of Religion, Vol. 48, No. 3, 2009, pp. 535-551.

November 18:  Read: Amy C. Wilkins, “Masculinity Dilemmas: Sexual and Intimacy Talk Among Christians and Goths,” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 2009, Vol . 34, No. 2, pp. 343-368.

November 23: Sex, Love and God

November 30: Sex, Love and God

December 2:  Review