Sociology 320

Social Change in American Indian Societies

Fall, 2001





Class Meetings:  TR  9:30-10:45    BOL B84                                             

Instructor:          Donald E. Green                                  


Office:                 706 Bolton Hall                                    

Office Hours:     TR 11:30-12:30 or by appointment

Office Phone:     229‑4259


TA:                     Andrea Carroll


Office:                711 Bolton Hall

Office Hours:     TR 9-9:30

                           W 10:30-12:00 or by appointment

Office Phone:     229-4598


Also see my web site at


Reflector Address:  Soc320


The Course:  This course examines social change in the economic, political and social structures of American Indian societies from European contact to the present.  Sociological theories of social change are used to explain variation in the degree and pattern of change among native groups in the United States.  The course emphasizes the impact of EuroAmerican economic, political and social institutions on native people, as well as the varied patterns of American Indian responses to these forces of contact.


Class Attendance:  Class attendance is strongly encouraged. Your participation in class discussions and other classroom activities will be part of your overall grade.   Regular attendance also affords you the opportunity to ask questions as well as hear lectures that cover material not included in required readings, view videotape presentations and films. 


Class Participation:   Class participation is a requirement of this course.  Participation includes contributions to class discussion, involvement in group activities and assignments, and other individual writing to learn assignments throughout the course. 


Examinations:  The course will include two multiple-choice examinations.  Each examination will consist of fifty questions. 



Research Paper:   Students will be required to complete a research paper that utilizes theories of social change to explain Native American responses to western society.  Students are encouraged to discuss the topic of their paper with the instructor prior to its completion.  The structure of the paper will be in the form of a statement of the problem or issue to be addressed, a review of the existing literature on that topic, and a summary or conclusion section.  A more detailed discussion of the paper will be provided by the instructor in class.  Each student also will be required to give a short (approximately five minutes) in class presentation during the last two weeks of  the semester. 


Make‑Up Examinations:  Make‑up examinations will be given only for excused absences.  The instructor will determine excused absences. 


Grades:  Student grades will be based on the percentage of total points obtained on the two examinations and your class participation.  The breakdown of points in the class is as follows:         


                               Exam 1                      50

                               Exam 2                      50

                               Paper                       100

                               Class Participation    50

                               Total Points             250



 Grades will be distributed according to the following ranges:



                         94‑100 %    A 

                         90‑93  %     A‑

                         87‑89  %     B+

                         84‑86  %     B

                         80‑83  %     B‑

                         77‑79  %     C+

                         74‑76  %     C

                         70‑73  %     C‑

                         67‑69  %     D+

                         64‑66  %     D

                         60‑63  %     D‑

                          0‑59  %      F



Please Note:  Distribution of final grades will be based on the highest point total for the class. There will be no extra‑credit opportunities and no deviation from the above breakdowns.






Required Readings:


1. The Return of the Native:  American Indian Political Resurgence  (1988).

Stephen Cornell  (Oxford University Press:New York).


2.  American Indian Ethnic Renewal:  Red Power and the Resurgence of  Identity and Culture (1997).  Joane Nagel (Oxford University Press:New York).


3.  American Indian Societies:  Strategies and Conditions of Political and Cultural Survival

(1989). Duane Champagne (Cultural Survival, Inc.:Cambridge, MA).  Ch 1 and 8.


4.  We Shall Live Again: The 1870 and 1890 Ghost Dance movements as demographic revitalization (1986).  Russell Thornton (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge).




Course Outline


Date / Topic /Readings


Sept.  4                                      


American Indian Political Resurgence:       

 A New Indian Politics



Sept.   6

 A Brief History:                                

 Exceptional Beginnings



Sept. 11

Solving the Indian Problem



Sept. 13

Incorporation and Response



Sept. 18                     

Foundations for Political Resurgence:

Transformations of the Tribe



Sept.  20

New Music, Partners, and Dance                    



Sept.  25                      

Toward a Supertribal Consciousness                 



Sept.  27                            

The Politics of Indianness                           



Oct.  2

Who Wants What?                                 

1- 9    


Oct.  4                                         

 Old Wars, New Weapons                              



Oct. 9                                           

Return of the Native:                                                                       

Patterns of Political Resurgence                        



Oct.  11                                      

Indian-White Relations Revised 1-12                                                 

Another World is Coming 1-13  


Oct. 16  Examination 1



Oct. 18                                  

American Indian Ethnic Renewal  Intro

Constructing Ethnic Identity



Oct.  23                                         

Constructing Culture                                 



Oct.  25                                      

Deconstructing Ethnicity                               



Oct. 30                   

Red Power and the Resurgence of Indian Identity:        

Population Growth and Changing Patterns of Identification 



Nov.  1                          

Politics of American Indian Ethnicity                    



Nov.  6                                 

Reforging Identity and Culture                            



Nov.  8                                     

Legacies of Red Power :

Renewing Culture and Community                         



Nov.  13                     

From Termination to Self-Determination                     



Nov. 15                       

Problematics of American Indian Ethnicity               



Nov.  20                                        

Forces of Change                                       



Nov.  27                    

Structural Differentiation Theory of Change                



Nov.  29                                          

Paper Presentations Begin                                  

1870 and 1890 Ghost Dance Movements             



Dec.  4                                      

Demographic Revitalization                          



Dec.  6                                 

Participation, Depopulation and Recovery        



Dec.  11                                  

Summary, Conclusions and Implications          


Research Papers Due


Dec.  13                                                  

Examination 2                 


Dec.  20                                          

Final Examination



If you need special accommodations in order to meet any of the requirements of this course, please contact me as soon as possible.