Six Pretty Good Books: Explorations in Social Science (Fall 2012)

SOC 1840/ Communications 1840/ ILRLR 1840/ HD 1840

Modeled after “Great Books” courses in the humanities, this course exposes students to fundamental puzzles about human behavior that motivate inquiry across the social sciences. In 2012 the books will be: The Life Before Us by Romain Gary (the Cornell summer reading assignment), Connected by Christakis & Fowler, The Better Angels of our Nature by Steve Pinker, Blink by Malcolm Gladwell, Everything is Obvious by Duncan Watts, and a book to be decided. The course is co-taught by apsychologist and a sociologist and includes guest lectures by the authors of each book (except Romain Gary, who is deceased). The course introduces students to disciplinary similarities and differences in perspectives, theories, concepts, assumptions, and methods used by psychologists, sociologists, and economists.

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