Assignments such as papers and field reports are not meant to “check up” on what you learned orremember form readings or lectures. They are the heart and soul of the course, the means by which you learn the the content of readings and lectures and their significance, as you apply ideas from them to interpret observations you gather about sociologically significant processes and situations in the real world. As a result, part of the course is teaching you how to gather observations, analyze them, and prepare a paper in social psychology, in which you present your analysis of evidence in support of a thesis claim and how and why identities and behavior develop, just as do the authors we readin class. WE WILL SPEND CONSIDERABLE CLASS TIME in which you develop your skills and share your application of them with fellow classmates in small groups and workshops as youall develop your individual projects.The course reviews several major analytical perspectives and products of investigations that use them. The strength and fruitfulness of concepts in the classical and theoretical writings are explored in relation to contemporary concerns about the durability of social bonds, organizations and collective behavior, gender and racial identities, social compliance and non-conformity, the structuring of identity and personality in workplaces, schools, and other institutional venues, the maintenance of a stable social order or the emergence of volatility, and the reasons behind obedience or the expression of conscience and defiance. In two data gathering projects students will explore individuals’ experiences learning or acquiring some facets of their identities in relation to the ways the documented structure and observed practices of a specific social setting –a workplace, team, living situation, aspect of campus life, school, family, church, etc. -- shape individuals’ thinking and action.