Monday, June 22, 2009

Books at UCSB bookstore

The UCSB bookstore will have Plato's Symposium by Wednesday afternoon, so you will have to read it after we discuss it. You can, of course, also buy it on your own or check it out of the library.

The other books will all be in the bookstore by June 30th.

Sorry, this was not my fault!


Change in Schedule! Books.

The university failed to order our books. So.....Plato's Republic will be discussed on Wednesday, not Tuesday.

Do not order About Love. It is not required for this course.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Summer Love Seminar 2009

Sociology 146: Sex, Love and God
Professor Roger Friedland (
TA Melissa Guzman (
Summer, 2009
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesdays: 12:30-1:55
June 22-July 31
HSSB 1173
Office Hours: Monday 10:30-12:30, HSSB 3083

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 a new erotic formation appears to be in evidence, 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. Sexuality has become a major object of concern for politicized religions around the world. This seminar is intended to examine the way in which erotic love has been figured in the history of Western civilization and then to explore the personal politics of love in Americans now coming of age, to follow the arc, so to speak, from Hellenism to the “hook-up.”

There is a lot of reading for this class. It should be read for the class in which it is listed as we will have seminar-type discussion of the readings. In addition to reading for the seminar, there is required research as well. Seminar members will consider the contours of the culture of sexuality and love through various media: analysis of lyrics of popular music, reading of sexual/love advice columnists at university papers, watching popular television programs, reading of texts in religious and feminist web sites, and personal interviews.

As part of this seminar, students will do semi-structured interviews and write up a short-research report about love, sexuality and religious life. This quarter there will be three subjects to chose from: 1) the impact of divorce, whether in one’s own family or among others, on the way people organize their love lives and their sense of their own marital futures; 2) why some students enter college as virgins and what it means to keep and lose that virginity; or 3) how a relation to God or spirituality affects the way students organize their love lives. 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 seminar. 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: Students should use my code to login: RELG-FR-RO-019

Each student is required to make one formal presentations in class, a commentary on the week’s readings. Students who are presenting on the readings should coordinate their presentations so that they cover different parts/aspects of the readings.

Your grade will be based 1/2 based on your participation, including your oral presentation and 1/2 on your written final examination.

Reading Schedule:

June 22, Monday: Introduction

June 23, Tuesday:

June 24, Wednesday: The Philosophy of Love: Plato, The Symposium, (New York: Penguin Classics) 0140449272

June 29, Monday: J.D. Salinger, A Catcher in the Rye, (Boston: Little, Brown, 1951).

June 30, Tuesday: High School Romance: Sharon Thompson, Going all the Way: Teenage Girls’ Tales of Sex, Romance, and Pregnancy, (New York: Hill and Wang, 1996), 0809015994, pp. 1-140.

July 1, Wednesday: Thompson, Going all the Way, 1996, pp. 141-285.

July 6, Monday: The Erotics of UCSB

July 7, Tuesday: Kathleen A. Bogle, Hooking Up: Sex, Dating, and Relationships on Campus, (New York: NYU Press, 2008), 0814799698, Pp. 1-95

July 8, Wednesday: Bogle, Hooking Up, Pp. 96-186.

July 13, Monday: The Physiology of Love: 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

July 14, Tuesday: Fisher, Why We Love?, Pp. 99-219.

July 15, Wednesday: Ariel Levy, Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture, (New York: The Free Press, 2006), 0-7-432-8428-3, Pp. 1-117
Eros and Gender

July 20, Monday: Levy, Female Chauvinist Pigs, Pp. 118-212.

July 21, Tuesday:

July 22, Wednesday: Religion and Love: Azar Nafisi, Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books, (New York: Random House, 2003). 081297106X

July 27, Monday: Donna Freitas, Sex and the Soul, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007), 9780195311655, Pp. 1-109

July 28, Tuesday: Freitas, Sex and the Soul, Pp. 113-228.

July 29, Wednesday: Final Examination