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Course Syllabus

Course Information SOC 3333 Religion in Society Section 001 Fall 2011

Professor Contact Information Bobby C. Alexander, Ph.D. Office Phone: 972-883-6898 E-mail: PLEASE use regular UTD e-mail instead of e-Learning to reach me. Thank you. Office: GR 2.532 Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays 2:30-3:15 p.m. and by appointment

Course Pre-requisites, Co-requisites, and/or Other Restrictions No pre-requisites or co-requisites.

Course Description This course examines timely topics in religion in the United States using sociology and sociological research to interpret and help explain general trends and patterns. The first is religious views held by predominant segments of the American population and how these influence their attitudes toward and participation in society and its social institutions. The second is the contribution of the religious congregations of immigrants who entered the United States after 1965 to their assimilation into U.S. society its social institutions. The last is participation of American Muslims in U.S. society and its institutions in the current social climate.

Student Learning Objectives/Outcomes The course objectives are to gain a sociological understanding of how contemporary religions in U.S. society and societys social institutions influence one another as well as the views, attitudes, and behaviors of different segments of the American population. The sociological perspective will give students insight about this influence of religion and society that will enable them to engage in discussion and debate about American religions more knowledgeably. It also will enable them to engage religious institutions more effectively as the American population harnesses these to help build society and attend to a variety of social problems and opportunities.

Required Textbooks and Other Readings Two texts are required: 1) Americas Four Gods: What We Say about God ? And What That Says about Us, by Paul Froese and Christopher Bader (Oxford University Press, 2010), and 2) Religion and the New Immigrants: Continuities and Adaptations in Immigrant Congregations, edited by Helen Rose Ebaugh and Janet Saltzman Chafetz (AltaMira Press, 2000). Both are available at the UTD Bookstore and Off Campus Books. Other readings, available through the UTD Librarys Electronic Reserve, will supplement these texts. Students will do further reading in peer-reviewed, scholarly journals and other scholarly sources in preparation for the literature review assignments.

Assignments & Academic Calendar Students will write two take-home exams. Both will be in essay format. Exam questions will be handed out in class one week before the exams are due. Students also will write three two-to-three-page literature reviews using a total of three different scholarly sources, including an academic journal article, on a single topic related to religion and U.S. society students will choose. Students will choose topics that both interest them and have significance for U.S. society. Students will make brief and informal class presentations on their literature reviews related to their topics. Instructions for all course assignments will be available on the course website on eLearning. Students will download and print the instructions and bring them to class one week before assignments are due, with the exception of the class presentation, which the instructor will discuss two weeks before the first presentations. The instructor will go over all instructions in class.

August 25 Orientation to the Course August 30 and September 1 American Religious Views and U.S. Social Institutions Read: Introduction: Why God?, and Chapter 1: Americas Four Gods in Americas Four Gods September 6 and 8 American Religious Views and U.S. Social Institutions continued Read: Chapter 2, God, Self, and Society, in Americas Four Gods

Topic for literature reviews due in class September 8th September 13 and 15 American Religious Views and U.S. Social Institutions continued Read: Chapter 3, God and Morals, in Americas Four Gods September 20 and 22 American Religious Views and U.S. Social Institutions continued Read: Chapter 4, God and Science, in Americas Four Gods September 27 and 29 American Religious Views and U.S. Social Institutions continued Read: Chapter 5, God and Mammon, in Americas Four Gods First Literature Review due in class September 29th October 4 and 6 American Religious Views and U.S. Social Institutions continued Read: Chapter 6, God and Evil, in Americas Four Gods Mid-Term Exam Questions handed out October 11 and 13 American Religious Views and U.S. Social Institutions continued Read: Chapter 7, God Present and Future, in Americas Four Gods Mid-Term Exam due in class October 13th October 18 and 20 New Immigrants and the Changing U.S. Religious and Demographic Landscape Read: Introduction,Becoming American Religion, Identity, and Institution Building in the American Mosaic, and Chapter 12, Exploring the Religious Preferences of Recent Immigrants to the United States: Evidence from the New Immigrant Survey Pilot, pages 217-228 and 241-242 top half only, in Religion and Immigration October 25 and 27 New Immigrants and the Changing U.S. Religious and Demographic Landscape 3

continued Read: Chapter 3, Environmental Impacts: Opportunities and Constraints (on majority and minority faiths and their impact on society) in Religion and Immigration, and Electronic Reserve: Excerpt from Chapter 5, Foundations of the American Ethnic Hierarchy, from Race and Ethnic Relations by Martin Marger. Second Literature Review due in class October 27th November 1 and 3 Immigrant Congregations as Agents of Assimilation Read: Chapter 4, Structural Adaptations to the Immigrant Context, and Chapter 5, Providing for the Needy: Social Services and Immigrant Adaptation, in Religion and the New Immigrants November 8 and 10 The Second Generation Read: Chapter 8, Passing it On: The Second Generation in Religion and the Ne w Immigrants The Future of Immigrant Religion Read: Chapter 9, Is the Past Prologue to the Future? in Religion and the New Immigrants Guest Speaker: UTD Bahai Association Class Presentations November 15 and 17 Muslim Americans and Immigrants Read: Electronic Reserve: Chapter 1, Islam in America, and Chapter 8, American Muslims at the Dawn of the 21st Century, in Muslims in the West After 9/11 Class Presentations November 22 (No Class November 24th: Thanksgiving Holiday) Muslim Americans and Immigrants continued Read: Electronic Reserve: Chapter 9, Islam in America: The Mosaic from Religion and Immigration, edited by Haddad, Smith, and Esposito 4

Class Presentations November 29 and December 1 Muslim Americans and Immigrants continued Read: Electronic Reserve: Chapter 10, Constructing the American Muslim Community, from Religion and Immigration Class Presentations Third Literature Review due in class December 1st Second Exam Questions handed out in class December 6 Second Exam due Note: Students will turn in their exams in the instructors office (GR 2.532) during the scheduled final exam period (1:00 p.m.).

Grading Policy The percentage distribution (total equals 100%) for the course grade follows. 60%: the two essay exams combined 25%: the three literature reviews combined 5%: class presentation 10%: attendance Note: Students automatically will be excused from two classes. Students who miss more than two classes will be excused if they have a legitimate reason (for example, being out sick) and provide proper documentation. The grading scale follows. A+ = 97-100 A = 94-96 A- = 90-93 B+ = 87-89 B = 84-86 B- = 80-83 C+ = 77-79 C = 74-76 C- = 70-73 D+ = 67-69 D = 64-66 D- = 60-63 F = 59 and below 5

Course & Instructor Policies Students must submit hard copies of all assignments in class on the due dates; late papers will not be accepted without the prior approval of the instructor. No electronic submissions will be accepted, unless the student is absent from class and has a legitimate reason for being absent. This requirement is intended to help students turn in their work on time and to promote fairness, since students work hard to submit work on time. Class attendance is required. The intent of this policy is to help students perform well on assignments by keeping up with lectures and discussion.

University Policies To view university policies on Student Conduct, Grade Appeals, Disability Services, Religious Holy Days, and others, please go to the link that follows.