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Robert Crosnoe, Chair CLA 3.306, Mailcode A1700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-6300

Ori Swed

, University of Texas at Austin

Ori Swed

Contact

Biography

Ori Swed is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin. His main research area is the interception between culture and conflict in global and historical perspectives. He is interested in the evolution of the reciprocal relations between society and conflict such as military technology, economy and conflict, terror and anti-terror relations and their effects on society.     

Ori's research with professor John S. Butler on military capital in the high-tech context is published in Armed Forces & Society. Ori’s current work with Professor Alex Weinreb is an historical comparative research that studies the relations between the acquisition of complex military hardware and the Arab Spring’s turn of events. Also, Ori’s work at the IC2 Institute in cooperation with Professor John Butler follows the connections between veteran’s benefit and income to veteran’s integration. His dissertation examines the influence of NGO’s and aid organizations over the conflict’s dynamic in warzones.

Prior to coming to UT, Ori received his M.A. in History and a dual B.A in History and Sociology from the Hebrew University at Jerusalem. In addition, he is a Captain (Reserves) in the Israel Defense Force (IDF) and used to work as a private consultant in the private sector. 

Interests

Mcro-Sociology, Ineqaulity, Conflict, Culture, Historical Comparative, Political Sociology, Theory, Middle East

SOC 308K • Social Change And The Future

46107 • Fall 2014
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm CLA 1.106
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Description:

The course Social Change and the Future: Conflict as an Engine of Change provides a comparative historical outlook over social change via conflict. It examines the role of conflict in relations to social dynamics in the past, present, and near future trajectories. By applying historical-comparative analysis we will follow the relations and influence of conflict over society, culture, technology, and economy. The course will focus mainly on the practices and institutions responsible for managing and handling conflict- warfare and the military (or parallel institutions). The theme of conflict will serve us as the entry point for other social issues. We will study how conflict constructs social institutions, gender identities and roles, economy, health issues, technological changes, collective memory, and culture.  

The course is organized in chronological order; nevertheless there will be few topics that overreach periods. We will open with the military revolution for context proposes and conclude with near future possible trends in warfare. The perspective of this course is global and treats diverse locales and time periods. Conflict is a global phenomenon and in contemporary global setting is also globally intertwined among nations, policies, and economies. Though the course fosters advance knowledge about numerous locations and periods the students are not expected to possess prior knowledge of those. The students are expected to read the reading material and to be familiar with the events that will be discussed in class through external reading, e.g. internet sources or academic reading material outside the syllabus.

The course has two main goals. The first is to shed light over the relations and effects of conflict over society. As an act that destabilizes existing social structures, conflict is an interesting force that can open the path for new actors and elements to enter into present structure, or in several cases to utterly reshape it. The second goal is to familiarize the students with historical-comparative study and method. The ability to put things in historical perspective and context allows better understanding of the world around us and contemporary events.  

 

Grading Policy:

Participation – 10%

5 Assignments – 15%

Mid-Term Exam (3/18)– 35%

Final Exam (5/3) – 40%

 

Grading

Letter grades will be assigned on the following scale:

A 94-100

A- 90-93

B+ 86-89

B 83-85

B- 80-82

C+ 76-79

C 73-75

C- 70-72

D+ 66-69

D 63-65

D- 60-62

F 0-59

SOC S340R • Religion And Global Change

87992 • Summer 2014
Meets MTWTHF 1130am-100pm CLA 0.108
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Course Description:

In this class we will examine the relations between religion and social change. We will begin by introducing general theories from the sociology of religion and sociology in general that will guide us as we move through the course material. The theories of Weber, Durkheim, Marx and others will assist us in understanding the role of religion in the social life, its impacts over individuals and groups, and its relations to social change. We will continue with general global demographic trends in religion and will compare data with theory. This part builds mostly on databases and global surveys such as the Pew Research Center data. This will take us to the next part of the course where we will focus on a few case studies that will illustrate the data and theory on the state level. We will focus on two case studies: Israel and Iran where we will examine what is their particular link between religion and the social order. We will conclude the course with an outlook on the contemporary global development with emphasis on the relations of religion and conflict.

The course’s main goal is to familiarize the students with core literature and trends in the sociology of religion in relation to the link between religion and social change in global perspective. The students will be asked to demonstrate this knowledge in exam, assignments a final paper that will include synthesis of theory and data of the material.

The course consists of readings with class discussion that confront theory, data and the case studies. Most of the required and recommended readings are listed on a blackboard or can be accessed through the UT library services. The course grade will be based on two assignments, midterm exam, class discussions, and a final paper. The midterm will focus on the theory section and the final paper will cover the entire course material. The assignments are short essays summarizing the reading material, uploaded to the course’s blog.

Course Requirements:

1. Attendance and Class Preparation:

Students are expected to come to class and to participate in class activities. Your success in this course will depend on in-class participation. Many topics that are not covered in the reading will be dealt with in class lectures and discussios. Students should read the assigned reading(s) for a particular class day prior to coming to class

2. Assignments:

Class Assignments:

Each student is required to summarize and submit two articles/book chapters from the reading during the semester. The summarized article will be shared in the course blog so other students would be able to use them. That way you will be able to assist one another with understanding the reading from a different perspective.

3. Paper:

Most of your grade will come from a short paper you write. At the beginning of the semester, you will pick a topic to write about that is related to religion and social change. You would have to confirm the topic with me. You are expected to apply relevant theories and base your argument on data. By the end of the first week of class you would have to have a topic and confirm it with me.

4. Midterm Exam

The midterm exam will take place after we will conclude the theoretical section of the course. It will focus only on the theories and will examine your understanding of them. The exam is a multiple choice and will take place in class.

Texts

(Chapters from the following books)

Elizur, Yuval and  Lawrence Malkin . The war within: Israel's ultra-orthodox threat to democracy and the nation. New York, NY : Overlook Duckworth, 2013

Eric, Kaufmann. 1996. Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth: Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century. Suffolk: Profile Books.

Philip, Jenkins. 2002. The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity.

New York: Oxford University Press.

Putnam, Robert D., and David E. Campbell. American grace: How religion divides and unites us. Simon & Schuster, 2012.

Course Grading:

Your final course grade will be figured according to the following distribution:

 Class participation 10%

Assignments 20%

Midterm Exam 30%

Final Paper 40%

 

Final grades are based on the following scale:

 

A > 93%                                       A- =90% - 92.99%    

B+ =87% - 89.99%                       B = 83% - 86.99%,                 B- = 80% - 82.99%

C+ = 77% - 79.99%                      C = 73% - 76.99%                  C- = 70% - 72.99%

D+ = 67% - 69.99%                     D = 63% - 66.99%                  D- = 60% - 62.99%

F < 60%

 

SOC 308 • Compar Religion/Culture/Polits

46054 • Fall 2013
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am CLA 1.104
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Description:

The course Comparative Religion, Politics and Culture compares and contrasts three different countries’ political systems; each represents a different culture and religion using the historical comparative method of analysis. In this course we will examine the complex interplay between politics, local religion, and culture following the similarities and dissimilarities among the three case studies, U.S., Iran and Israel. The course addresses fundamental political and societal issues on the role of the state, religion, culture, and the distribution of power. The three case studies illustrate different approaches and solutions for political questions and the dispersal of power between the secular state and religious institutions. Each political system serves as a window to the local culture, ethos, history, and identity, and presenting idiosyncratic political, religious, and cultural model.

The course organized in five sections: Theory, US, Iran, Israel, and Integration. We will open with the theoretical framework that will guide us throughout the course and provide us with the conceptual toolkit for comparison and analyzing. The next three sections will focus on each case study and portray their history, political system, religious structure, and culture. The last section, the integration, will juxtapose the three case studies and examine them with the theoretical toolkit we acquired.

The course has two main goals. The first is to clarify the dynamics and relations between politics, religion, and culture and how this triangle influences day to day life in a given society. The second goal is to familiarize the students with the Israel and Iranian culture from a different perspective than the one often presented it media.

Grading Policy:

Participation – 10%

Blog Assignments (Weekly) – 10%

Mid-Term Exam – 40%

Final Exam – 40%

 

 

SOC 308 • Social Change And The Future

45660 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm WEL 2.256
show description

Description

The course Social Change and the Future: Conflict as an Engine of Change provides a comparative historical outlook over social change via conflict. It examines the role of conflict in relations to social dynamics in the past, present, and near future trajectories. By applying historical comparative analysis we will follow the relations and influence of conflict over society, culture, technology, and economy. The course will focus mainly on the practices and institutions responsible for managing and handling conflict- warfare and the military (or parallel institutions). The theme of conflict will serve us as the entry point for other social issues. We will study how conflict constructs social institutions, gender identities and roles, economy, health issues, technological changes, collective memory, and culture.  

 

The course is organized in chronological order; nevertheless there will be few topics that overreach periods. We will open with the military revolution for context proposes and conclude with near future possible trends in warfare. The perspective of this course is global and treats diverse locales and time periods. Conflict is a global phenomenon and in contemporary global setting is also globally intertwined among nations, policies, and economies. Though the course fosters advance knowledge about numerous locations and periods the students are not expected to possess prior knowledge of those. The students are expected to read the reading material and to be familiar with the events that will be discussed in class through external reading, e.g. Internet sources or academic reading material outside the syllabus.

 

The course has two main goals. The first is to shed light over the relations and effects of conflict over society. As an act that destabilizes existing social structures, conflict is an interesting force that can open the path for new actors and elements to enter into present structure, or in several cases to utterly reshape it. The second goal is to familiarize the students with historical comparative study and method. The ability to put things in historical perspective and context allows better understanding of the world around us and contemporary events.  

 

 

 

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