Social and Behavioral Sciences Series

The Social & Behavioral Sciences Series provides students with an interdisciplinary introduction to the human sciences, and draws on perspectives from anthropology, economics, geography, history, political science, psychology and sociology. It is composed of four courses, two of them offered each semester:

Personal Identity (Gn Hon 2243H): Fall

Social Organization (Gn Hon 2245H): Fall

Social Relations (Gn Hon 2244H): Spring

Global Citizenship (Gn Hon 2246H): Spring

Personal Identity and Social Relations count toward fulfilling General Education requirements in the Behavioral Sciences. Social Organization and Global Citizenship count toward fulfilling General Education requirements in the Social Sciences. Students are welcome to take one, two, three, or all four courses in the Social & Behavioral Sciences Series. There are no prerequisites for the courses.

Like the Honors College Humanities Series and Science Series, the Social & Behavioral Sciences Series is founded on a set of principles and desirable student outcomes, including an emphasis on interdisciplinary thinking and writing and engagement with key texts and “big ideas” from a variety of fields. Philosophically, this series aims at enabling both objective and subjective approaches to the subject of human nature, allowing students and faculty to address questions like “How do I make sense of myself?” in one course and “What selective pressures during human evolution shaped our ability to cooperate?” in another. The specific content of each course will differ, depending on the instructor.

GN_HON 2243H: Personal Identity

Offered in fall semesters, this interdisciplinary course approaches the perennial but fascinating question of how we define, develop, and present ourselves. It considers this question from a range of disciplinary, regional, and thematic perspectives.

GN_HON 2244H: Social Relations: Living in Communities

Offered in spring semesters, this interdisciplinary course explores the construction of human identity as it relates to social groups (these groups might include anything from the family to fan clubs, sports teams to college students).

GN_HON 2245H: Social Organization: From Families to Markets and States

Offered in fall semesters, this course examines various forms of social organization from an interdisciplinary perspective. The course will examine small organizations (such as families and kin networks) that are grounded in face-to-face relationships and then consider the impact of large-scale organizations (such as markets and states). The class will also explore how these larger organizations can hold together in the absence of direct personal connections between members.

GN_HON 2246H: Global Citizenship

This course continues our introduction to the fundamental problems and concepts of social science by concentrating on today’s emerging global society and the ways in which it shapes social identity. The course also aims at encouraging students to think of themselves as global citizens—people who possess a sense of their own role as citizens of the world.