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Syllabus of Special Topics in Sociology: Love 1A
Soc. 395-01, Fall 2005

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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Soka University Japan - Transcend Art and Peace
Created: August 14, 2004
Latest Update: August 14, 2004

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Index of Site Topics Syllabus for Sociology 395-01:
Special Topics in Sociology: Love 1A
Instructor: Jeanne Curran, Ph.D., Esq.
Course: Soc. 395-01. Special Topics in Sociology: Love 1A
Course Reference Number:Reference No: 45783
Academic Credit: 3 units
Scheduled Meeting Times: Tuesday, Thursday 2:30 - 3:45 p.m.
Meeting Room: SBS D 225
Office: SBS B326
Telephone: 310-243-3831
Office Hours:Tuesday, Thursday 4:00 - 5:30 p.m.; Wednesday 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Teaching Assistant and Community Adjunct: Patricia Acone, A.B.T.

Course Description:

This course is offered in honor of Leo Buscaglia, who first taught Love !A at USC in 1969, as a continuing dialog with his students to share with them their struggle with questions of "life, living, sex, growth, responsibility,death, hope, the future." (Buscaglia, Love:What Life Is All About.) Ironically, we are still dealing with these issues 36 years later.

We will approach these issues as Leo Buscaglia did in Love 1A, sharing our feelings and exploring what love means to us, as individuals, as a community, as a nation-state. We will then ground those feelings in a theoretical framework offered by Jonathan Lear, a Freudian psychoanalyst who is a member of the Univerrsity of Chicago's Committee on Twentieth Century Thought. That is, we will concepptually link theory to our feelingsseeking more and better ways to understand issues that are obviously going to take some of our best efforts to resolve.



  • Love: What Life Is All About, by Leo Buscaglia, Publisher: A Fawcett Book, Random House, ISBN: 0-449-91162-4 (pbk).

  • Love and Its Place in Nature: A Philosophical Interpretation of Freudian Psychoanalysis, by Jonathan Lear. Publisher: Yale University Press. ISBN: 0-300-07467-0 (pbk)

    Recommended Texts for Further Reading:

  • Living, Loving & Learning, by Leo Buscaglia. A Fawcett Columbine Book, Ballantine Books. ISBN: 449-90181-5. Especially recommended for those of you who plan to teach, since Buscaglia taught Special Education.

  • Living with the Devil: A Meditatiion on Good and Evil, by Stephen Batchelor. The Berkeley Publishing Group. The Penguin Group. ISN: 1-57322-276-3. For those who would like to understand a different religious perspective on the issue of love, good, and evil.

  • Moral Textures: Feminist Narratives in the Public Sphere, by Maria Pia Lara. University of California Press. ISBN: 0-520-21777-2. Maria Pia Lara is a Philosopher at Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana, Mexico. She bases her philosophy on extending that of Habermas, and uses the feminist perspective to develop illocutionary understanding as a prerequisite to efficient governance discourse.

Course Objectives:

  1. Objective: To master the concept of aesthetic process of answerability and its role in creating an atmosphere of morality and ethics in our institutions and world systems, particularly the educational system. Answerability

    Outcomes: Students will participate in class discussions on answerability and the aesthetic process of collaborative creation. Academic Assessment

  2. Objective: To master the simple use of any computer that happens to be available.

    Outcome: Students will be expected to access class materials on the Dear Habermas website and to submit e-mail over transform-dom, our forum.

  3. Objective: To explore in depth Freud's concept of love. Freud was chosen because he gave so much to Western understanding of the unconscious and its incorporation into our motives and actions.

    Outcomes: Students will submit discussion pieces, (please limit to a paragraph or so, if you can) in analyzing a present social issue from posted lectures.

  4. Objective: To explore the concept of Love 1A, as taught by Buscaglia, with an understanding of how he utilized the love he defined in the teaching of special education.

    Outcome: Students will be expected to create in the classroom a lovable world in which their selves can grow. They will be expected to submit an instance of this through transform-dom, our forum.

  5. Objectives: To prepare either an oral argument or a visual presentation, exemplifying the creation of a lovable teaching and learning climate.

    Outcomes: Participation in a social justice argument with invited professional guests (judges and lawyers) and/or work on project for Naked Space Gallery Exhibit.

Academic Assessment:

  • Academic Assessment and Grading Policy

    We assume that you are here to learn, and that you are serious about your grades as a ladder to job success and choices as well as the general satisfaction that comes of disciplined study and learning. therefore, we assume that if you are not learning, you need another approach or a different tool to guide you, or maybe just for someone to say it once more, in different words, whatever it is.. We DO NOT grade on a curve, since it is our job, as we understand it, to provide every possible means to help you each succeed at a competent professional level, which we translate to an A. Our class is not competitive. We will each be better off as citizens if we all gain the skills we are teaching here. Please help each other. Our greatest pride would be to see you all provide solid evidence of an A.

    A's are earned, not given because you need or want them. So how do you learn them?

  • Consistency, showing disciplined learning;

  • Cooperation, showing an understanding of how important it is for all to master these skills and your power to aid in that learning;

  • Competence, showing an ability to apply these skills and interpret them in your own context;

  • Creativity, showing an ability to transfer the skills to other classes, other jobs, other relationships;

  • Courtesy, showing a respect for all despite skill, character, physical, and cultural differences. We all contribute a lot, if we're helped to do so.

  • Communication, letting your teacher know what you've learned. Maybe you'll never get Chi Sqaure straight. But if you come and show us what you've been doing, we can help you get it right, and you can at least experience that success. And then you'll know, for sure, you should never, never volunteer to do a Chi Square unless you've got someone to help you. Knowing what you shouldn't volunteer for is as important as knowing what you should volunteer for. It's about showing off your skills, not your weaknesses.

    And how do you communicate? By talking to us and writing to us, in class, in the halls, in the office, on tranform-dom.

  • Minimal Requirements for Passing Grades in Love 1A. Be able to demonstrate either in the lab or in the office or on Home Page for transform-dom, that you're following the Lectures on Dear Habermas. We'll help you. This is a lot to learn; this is not a "test"; if you've studied and you forget something, we'll prompt you. So you don't have to panic. Just study for your collaborative work.

    Minimal requirements are just a quick check list for you to determine what we consider absolutely minimal for you to have learned in this course. That means be prepared to assure us that you have learned it. No, we won't give a test. Your job to let us know that you know, in class, by e-mail, in the hallways, etc.

  • Here Be Dragons: The Plagiarism Gotcha Game The university requires inclusion of this component, so it might be a good idea to take a look at it. I stole the title "here be dragons" from a feminist work on the site, but it was more in the spirit of "stealing theory," which is a good thing.

Common Sense:

Permission to enroll in this course is premised on college admission, assumed to have rendered you capable of performing competently. However, I recognize that crises occur and that you have many conflicting demands as students, family members, and workers. Please remember that A's are earned, not given for the status characteristic of "being a good student who could get an A if he/she made the effort." One way to deal with such crises effectively is to be sure that I know when they are happening. Because most of my lectures and your practice are on the site, it's easier to make up missed time over conflicts than you might think.

Nota bene: If you have the flu, please don't come and give it to the rest of us. We'll help you catch up when you're well. We are all overwhelmed and over committed. Please respect my request to e-mail me, not come see me, when you have a contagious infection. Better safe than sorry for all of us.

If you haven't slept, and are falling asleep from exhaustion, please stay home and sleep. Sleep deprivation is a very real problem. We all drive freeways to get here, and go home often late at night. If your children or significant others keep you up in their crises, before you drive without sleep, please remember that you're risking their losing you in a freeway accident. Get a grip on your priorities. Sleep is essential.

I do not give specific deadlines, because I want you to use your common sense and your own discipline to study effectively. All work can be made up within university imposed limits.

Readings to Keep Us All on the Same Page:

  • Please start with Lecture 1: Pain and the Mind. Online under

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