This course is an exploration of questions and themes in cultural sociology with a focus on the Middle East. The course is fully remote with one synchronous session each week. It fulfills non-U.S. requirement for HTS majors. Students will have the opportunity to collaborate with different initiatives and work on projects focused on social and cultural sustainability on campus. Assignments will allow students to create cultural products in their medium of choice such as short videos, info graphs, paper, websites, or podcasts to give voice to peacemaking efforts.
This course focuses on social issues associated with American society, as well as public policy used to address these issues, by taking a critical sociological perspective in analyzing U.S. culture and capitalism and its impact on our social institutions, social inequalities, and the quality of our democracy. We focus on comparisons of the U.S. with other affluent, market-based countries in order to understand the uniqueness of American society.
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.