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The Sociology of Holidays

Subject code


Course Number




M. Rocque

Course Long Title

The Sociology of Holidays


Holidays, both national and religious, occupy a central place in our lives. The United States recognizes ten federal holidays. Holidays shape our social worlds in many ways, including through the observation of traditions, engagement in rituals, and reflection on loss. Sociologically, there is much to be examined, from the history of holidays, to the social meaning holidays hold, to the shared experience of rituals with social groups. This course engages with each of these issues, exploring what social functions holidays serve, variation in social and cultural practices surrounding holidays, and how and why holidays came to be such a social force in modern society.

Modes of Inquiry

Historical and Social Inquiry [HS]

Writing Credit


Class Restriction

Exclude Sophomores, Exclude Juniors, Exclude Seniors, 05