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SOCI 499 Section 65105 Maymester 2012 M-Th 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

May 14-June 11 Location: Los Angeles Sociology 499: Dead Los Angeles

Dr. Diana York Blaine JEF 110A Office Hours: W 12-2 (213) 821-1209

Course Objectives: How do we as a society handle the problems posed by death? This course examines the social context of death in Los Angeles, past and present, real and imagined. Students will read key texts relating to American Deathways, including burial and funeral practices, social constructions of illness, the role of Hollywood in generating myths, and the phenomenon of Dark Tourism. Readings will be done in conjunction with fieldwork as we visit sites across Los Angeles, analyzing the way social rituals and institutions channel mortality in one of the world’s major cities. This experiential course will give students the opportunity to learn in the field, applying primary theory from the research on death as a social phenomenon to actual cases throughout the city of Los Angeles. Students will be able to articulate the major paradigms about death in sociological, historical, forensic, and media research; test these hypotheses through their own observations; and develop and execute a research project engaging extant scholarship with new data gathered from fieldwork, thus making an original contribution to the research on thanatology in their selected discipline. Course Requirements: Four Reaction Papers Daily Responses to Readings Research Project Proposal Research Project Field Work Participation Grading Breakdown: Reaction Papers: Daily Reading Responses: Research Project Proposal: Research Project: Presentation: Field Work Participation: 15% 15% 5% 45% 5% 15%

Readings: All readings available on Blackboard Class Policies: Responses to each reading are due on Blackboard by 10 p.m. the night before class. These responses must address the prompts in the relevant Discussion Forum. Four reaction papers analyzing the special topic of the week must be submitted to Turnitin as scheduled on the syllabus. A written proposal and presentation of that proposal is due by the 8th class meeting. Students are expected to participate in all scheduled fieldwork off campus. Transportation will be provided. Students are responsible for following the transportation schedule and arranged meeting times. The research project must have instructor approval. Multimedia projects encouraged. Statement for Students with Disabilities

Any student requesting academic accommodations based on a disability is required to register with Disability Services and Programs (DSP) each semester. A letter of verification for approved accommodations can be obtained from DSP. Please be sure the letter is delivered to me (or to TA) as early in the semester as possible. DSP is located in STU 301 and is open 8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. The phone number for DSP is (213) 740-0776. Statement on Academic Integrity USC seeks to maintain an optimal learning environment. General principles of academic honesty include the concept of respect for the intellectual property of others, the expectation that individual work will be submitted unless otherwise allowed by an instructor, and the obligations both to protect one’s own academic work from misuse by others as well as to avoid using another’s work as one’s own. All students are expected to understand and abide by these principles. Scampus, the Student Guidebook, contains the Student Conduct Code in Section 11.00, while the recommended sanctions are located in Appendix A: Students will be referred to the Office of Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards for further review, should there be any suspicion of academic dishonesty. The Review process can be found at: Class Schedule: Section One: Social Rituals for the Dead 5/14: Philippe Ariès, The Hour of Our Death; David Sloane, The Last Great Necessity: Cemeteries in American History POST READING RESPONSES TO BLACKBOARD BEFORE CLASS FIELDWORK: San Gabriel Mission; Rose Hills Cemetery Gary Laderman, Rest in Peace: A Cultural History of the Funeral Home in Twentieth-Century America; The Loved One POST READING RESPONSES TO BLACKBOARD BEFORE CLASS FIELDWORK: Forest Lawn, Glendale Jessica Mitford, The American Way of Death; Thomas Laqueur, The Work of the Dead POST READING RESPONSES TO BLACKBOARD BEFORE CLASS FIELDWORK: Greenwood Cemetery, Boyle Heights; Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral FIELDWORK: Hollywood Forever Cemetery RESPONSE PAPER FOR SECTION ONE DUE ON BLACKBOARD




Section Two: Social Constructions of Medicine, Crime and Disease 21: Elizabeth Klaver, The Body in Medical Culture; Foucault, The Birth of the Clinic FIELDWORK: Keck Medical Library; Norris Cancer Care Center POST READING RESPONSES TO BLACKBOARD BEFORE CLASS Potter, G.W., and V.E. Kappeler, Constructing Crime: Perspectives on Making News and Social Problems; Rafter, N., Shots in the Mirror: Crime Films and Society POST READING RESPONSES TO BLACKBOARD BEFORE CLASS FIELDWORK: LA COUNTY CORONER’S OFFICE


23: 24:

Deborah Gould, Moving Politics: Emotions and ACT-UP’s Fight Against AIDS POST READING RESPONSES TO BLACKBOARD BEFORE CLASS Michael Baralos, “Coping with Mortality: A Societal Perspective”; RESEARCH PROPOSAL DUE RESPONSE PAPER FOR SECTION TWO DUE ON BLACKBOARD

Section Three: Death on screen and off in Hollywood 28: Diana Blaine, Fatal Fantasies: Representations of Death in Contemporary American Culture POST READING RESPONSES TO BLACKBOARD BEFORE CLASS FIELDWORK: FILM SCREENING IN HOLLYWOOD FOREVER CEMETERY Jeffrey Goldstein, Why We Watch: The Attractions of Violent Entertainment; Charlton McIlwain, When Death Goes Pop: Death, Media and the Remaking of Community POST READING RESPONSES TO BLACKBOARD BEFORE CLASS FIELDWORK: UCLA FILM ARCHIVE Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle POST READING RESPONSES TO BLACKBOARD BEFORE CLASS FIELDWORK: UNIVERSAL STUDIOS FIELDWORK: Westwood Cemetery RESPONSE PAPER FOR SECTION THREE DUE ON BLACKBOARD




Section Four: Dark Tourism 6/4: Richard Sharpley, The Darker Side of Travel FIELDWORK: Graveline Tours; The Museum of Death, Hollywood POST READING RESPONSES TO BLACKBOARD BEFORE CLASS Erika Doss, Memorial Mania: Public Feeling in America FIELDWORK: Los Angeles Memorials POST READING RESPONSES TO BLACKBOARD BEFORE CLASS Sally MacDonald, Consuming Ancient Egypt; Johan Siegel, The Emergence of the Modern Museum FIELDWORK: The Museum of Jurassic Technology; The Museum of Natural History POST READING RESPONSES TO BLACKBOARD BEFORE CLASS RESPONSE PAPER FOR SECTION FOUR DUE ON BLACKBOARD