Kathleen Ski

My Sociology Experience at OSU

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The major in Sociology at OSU covers a broad range of topics. Within this major, students are encouraged to design a custom program. My program centers on the global issues relating to Women and Families. I sought to integrate a geographical perspective, by looking at social issues as they intersect with location and the environment. I completed 47 quarter hours in Sociology. My final GPA was 3.7 within this major. To view all my classes and grades click here.

My program of study includes the following topics:
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      Violence Against Women
      Trafficing and Slavery
      Women Waging War and Peace
      Politics and Social Conflict

      Discrimation and Diversity
      Poverty, Opportunity and Education
      Family and Work Conflicts
      Alternative Lifestyles and Religions

This is a complete listing of my classes:
  • Soc 101: Introductory Sociology
  • Soc 330: Varieties of Modern Marriage                                       Topic
  • Soc 430: Sociology of the Family
  • Soc 435: Sociology of Women
  • Soc 487: Types of Sociological Inquiry
  • Soc 488: Introduction to Social Theory
  • Soc 463: Social Stratification: Race, Class and Gender           Project
  • Soc 597.01: Social Institutions and Change                               Reports
  • Soc 601: Comparative Family Organization                                Topic
  • Soc 610: Sociology of Deviant Behavior                                     Report
  • Soc 650: Quantitative Research Techniques
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In addition to the classes listed above, several classes in other departments are closely related to my focus on global issues of Women and Families. These classes provided additional insight:
  • Anthro 597.02: Women, Culture and Development
  • Anthro 620.02: Anthropology of Women
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Class Details and Projects

 
Soc 330: Varieties of Modern Marriage  

       While this class was taken during my earlier days at OSU, I still remember the research paper I did for this class. Our assignment was to investigate and report on a social institution that served families. I wrote about the Huckleberry House, which was established in 1970 to give runaways a safe place to go rather than the streets of the city. I visited their house, spoke with counselors and runaways, and came away very impressed with the work they were doing. About two weeks after turning my report, our instructor had finished grading the papers for some 200 students. Standing in front of the class, she told us that before anyone questions their grade on the paper, she wanted to read to us the best paper from our class. The paper she read aloud was mine. I regret that this paper was not done electronically and the original typed copy was destroyed in a flood years ago, so I cannot post it here. This is one of my fondest memories from my early studies in Sociology.
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Soc 463: Social Stratification: Race, Class and Gender

      Dr. Claudia Buchmann was my professor for this class. Our studies in this class focused on social inequality and it's inter-relationship with class and status, race and ethnicity, and gender. My special project for this class was a series of maps visualizing Diversity and Poverty for Franklin County, OH. To view the presentation click on the image to the right. Topics in this class included: The growing gap between the rich and poor, immigration, inequalities in higher education, segregation and discrimination and globalization. The number of maps in Dr. Buchmann's presentation, clearly showed how geography plays a major role in the social institutions and processes discussed in this class. This class also relates to my advanced Web-GIS project The Geography of Opportunity
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Mapping Diversity and Poverty
Soc 597.01: Social Institutions and Change

       Dr. Tamar Mott was my professor for this class. When I learned that she teaches in both the Sociology and Geography departments, I knew I had to take this class and I was not disappointed. Our studies included population and demographic change, modernization and globalization, migration, foreign aid, genocide, war and terrorism and global environmental problems. Each student was required to debate one side of an assigned topic and mine was Over Population. I took the environmental approach to argue that yes over population is a problem. I integrated materials from both my 'environmental science' and 'physical geography and environmental issues' classes as well as additional research. To download my report on 'Over Population' click here.

       For our assigned research paper, we were required to select a country in the developing world. I chose Sudan. This paper discusses the social problems they are experiencing. It also includes the role of international aid and our recommendations for aid. Sudan has a long history of social conflict. Issues include genocide, poverty, health issues, environmental degradation and civil war. To read my report 'Sudan - A Country in Crisis' click on the picture to the right.
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Sudan
Soc 601: Comparative Family Organization

      Dr. Sharon Houseknecht was my professor for this class and my first Sociology advisor. This class encouraged us to look beyond our borders. We examined family structures from around the world. I remember my research paper, which focused on the Middle East, was titled 'Practicing Polygyny in Secret'. Unfortunately, this research paper was lost in the flood as well. The variety of course readings and in-depth class discussions led by Dr. Houseknecht made this an excellent learning experience. The big picture view of family organization worldwide stayed with me as I took other classes presenting global issues such as 'Social Institutions and Change' and 'Women, Culture and Development.'
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Soc 610: Sociology of Deviant Behavior

      Lynette Martin was my instructor for this class and after the final grades were posted, she let me know that I received the top grade in the class. While this class is primarily organized around deviance as it relates to criminal behaviors, it did include a number of topics related to global issues of women and families: sexual assault, domestic violence, and cultural deviance. We were assigned research paper, which required participant observation of a deviant group. I chose Druids as my topic because this growing spiritual movement is attracting environmentalists. My paper 'Druidry: an Alternative Religion' is based on interviews with members of the Three Cranes Grove and attendance at a ritual. It was certainly a different 'green' experience. The research for this topic indicated that while druidry is a growing movement, it is often in conflict mainstream religions. Some participants opening acknowledge their membership and others practice in secret. For a more information about druids and other participants in new age religions, a comprehensive study was published by Berger, Leach, and Shaffer. Click here to read a review.
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Druidry: an Alternative Religion
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