Saturday night paper writing on the Fly

New sociology course encourages students to multitask

If you’ve ever wondered whether that guy in the Delphic could give you anything other than an STD, think again: he could be the golden ticket to your next “A.” According to the description of a new course, Sociology 43: “Social Interaction,” students will learn about the “sociology of everyday life,” and turn in a journal containing observations about their social lives for a grade.

The course is taught by Timothy Nelson, a lecturer in the sociology department, whose course Web site boasts that “the University’s resident halls, classrooms, finals [sic] clubs, and the cities of Cambridge and Boston will serve as our laboratory.” Though final clubs and their supposed elitist nature are often controversial, Nelson said he does not believe they are problematic in an academic setting. He said that many students wrote about final clubs in their journal entries for Sociology 155: “Class and Culture,” a course he taught in the fall. “Some people in [final clubs] wrote that the major benefit was networking for internships or jobs after school. Most wanted to disavow the fact that they were exclusive,” Nelson said.

Students in the course don’t seem to dwell on the inclusion of final clubs. “I think that the listing of final clubs was just trying to utilize the spaces within the Harvard community,” said Ryan W. Taney ’09, who is currently enrolled in the class. “I’m sure he was giving us the opportunity to use that as a sociological setting.”

Students hoping to read the classic anti-club manifesto “Privileged: Harvard and the Education of the Ruling Class” and hate on the Harvard establishment, should wait to take Nelson’s “Class and Culture” course next fall. But for anyone who’s ever wished they could do homework while partying at the Fly, Harvard has finally invented the perfect class.