In Florida, these are trying times for the academic discipline of sociology. The Board of Governors of the state’s university system recently removed Principles of Sociology from a list of courses that students could take to satisfy their core-curriculum requirements (The New York Times, January 24th online).
But all may not be lost.
On Thursday, the University of Florida announced that it has developed six new sociology courses that the Board of Governors has deemed acceptable for core-curriculum purposes. Here they are:
SOC 151: Slavery and Socialization — An in-depth exploration of how societies use slavery to seamlessly “onboard” immigrant groups of color into their economic, political, and cultural systems. With the United States serving as a case study, special attention is paid to the dynamics of the cotton industry and the evolution of jazz.
SOC 152: The Social Construction of Pandemics — An investigation of the role played by mass hysteria and hyperbole in exaggerating the impact of the Bubonic Plague in Europe (1346-1353), the World Influenza Epidemic of 1918, and — most recently — the COVID Pandemic. Did anyone actually die during the “outbreaks” of these so-called illnesses? Where’s the evidence? Does Anthony Fauci have a real medical degree? A team-taught course, cross-listed with the Department of Christian Science.
SOC 153: The Sociology of Money — An examination of the mechanisms through which the availability of currency in varying amounts (e.g., dollars, quarters, dimes, nickels, pennies) enables society to pay wages that reflect the differential intrinsic worth of specific occupations (e.g., SEC college football coach, day-care provider, hedge fund manager, elementary school teacher, movie star, nurse, professional golfer); implications of subsequent economic stratification for lifestyle differences, self-image, and resentment are considered and dismissed.
SOC 154: Firearms and Social Equilibrium — Analysis of the role that the widespread availability of guns plays in maintaining population control, thereby making it unnecessary for the government to institute invasive measures to restrict procreation. The contribution of mass shootings to our understanding of the concept of motive is reviewed, as well as the foundational importance of everyday homicides to the Law and Order television franchise.
SOC 155: The Family — An exploration of the male-led, heterosexual family unit throughout history, and how that unit has facilitated world peace. The nature of housewives, the centrality of male offspring, and the significance of lawns are discussed.
SOC 156: Borders, Permeability, and Well-Being — The study of the crucial role of national borders in determining who belongs and who doesn’t; consequences of allowing non-slaves to cross borders; impact of race-mixing on mental health and extreme weather patterns.
According to University of Florida President Ben Sasse, “these six courses return sociology to a place of relevance in the Sunshine State’s higher-education landscape, equipping students to handle the challenges our nation is facing in the 21st century.”