The study of sociology is the study of society, and this introductory course teaches students to see that human communities are more than a collection of individuals, self-determined and self-directing. The course examines structural inequalities, cultural conditions, and social institutions that pattern and shape human behavior. First, students learn that the world around them is not "natural" but rather conditional, and human behavior is not "innate," but mutable through socialization.
This course surveys the complex ecological, economic, cultural, social, and political outcomes that have resulted from human interactions with the natural world, in the geographical region encompassing the United States.
Globalization in the Modern Era (HTS 3055) will examine the social, political and economic bases for the phenomenon frequently referred to as "globalization." The course will discuss competing theories regarding the rise of globalization, as well as the divergent consequences that this process has left in its wake in different communities around the world. While social, economic, political and environmental inequalities are built into some aspects of globalization, the phenomenon also offers new opportunities and alternatives for development and for resistance.
Social Theory and Structure (HTS 3102) allows students to read the original writings of the great social thinkers who provided the foundational ideas that inspired the discipline of sociology. Implicit in these theories are fundamental questions about the relationship between the individual and the collective, what drives social change, and what comprises "the good society." The course will focus upon the writings of Karl Marx, Max Weber, Emile Durkheim and W.E.B. DuBois, as well as others.
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the field of urban sociology by exploring the history and current conditions of cities. This course will be geared toward viewing the city as a simultaneously social, cultural, and political economic phenomenon, with particular attention to the following: a) urbanization and the structure of cities; b) suburbanization; c) sustainable urban growth and economics; d) race and segregation; e) immigration; g) culture; h) gender and sexuality; i) gentrification and housing policy; j) environmental justice; and k) sustainable communities.
Technology and Society examines connections between the history of technology and other aspects of human history. The course uses historical episodes to challenge widely held misperceptions about technology and how it operates in the modern world. I argue that technology is a human product, not an autonomous force. Technology makes nothing happen by itself, but only as the result of human action. People can choose to design and use technology in different ways to better serve human needs.
This course will introduce the sociology of medicine and health (also known as medical sociology or sociology of health and illness), which is a broad field examining the social production of health, wellness, illness and mortality. This sub-discipline of sociology starts from the assumption that we cannot understand the topics of health and illness simply by looking at biological phenomena and medical knowledge.
In Class, Power, and Inequality, students will explore the causes and consequences of economic inequality in the United States and abroad. In particular, this course will help students understand why inequality between individuals and communities occurs, with major focuses on changes in the economy and social forces like politics, culture, and religion. Further, we pay particular attention to how gender and race/ethnicity shape economic inequality.