School of History and Sociology

Social Theory and Structure

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.

Urban Sociology

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.

The City in U.S. History

Through a combination of lectures, readings, and discussion, "The City in U.S. History" (HTS 3011) examines the nature of urban life throughout U.S.

Technology and Society

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.

Sociology of Medicine and Health

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.

Class, Power, and Inequality

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.

Special Topics: Environmental Sociology

Natural science can tell us what causes climate change. Engineering gives us the technologies we need to curb climate change. Sociology can explain why, despite having the knowledge and know-how, very little is being done about it. Environmental sociology explores the nexus of human and environmental systems. People exist on Earth and require its resources for survival, but they also exist in constructed social systems that constrain and guide human behavior.

Science, Technology & Society: Core Seminar

Science, Technology and Society (STS) - also called Science and Technology Studies - is an interdisciplinary field of study that seeks to understand how science and technology shape society and culture and how society and culture, in turn, shape the development of science and technology.  These are fundamental issues that underlie questions of sustainability and community especially when developing technology solutions that depend on knowledge of social and environmental context.  This course explores key topics, debates, and theoretical perspectives ion STS.

Semester in the City: Engaging Communities

“Semester in the City” seeks to familiarize students with nearby Westside communities that have historically faced, and continue to face serious sustainability challenges – even as they continue to develop significant strategies for positive change.  Students learn how ecological, social, and economic systems have operated in these neighborhoods and explore how policy and community mobilization approaches might be re-envisioned to improve liveability.

Health Inequalities

This course is designed to investigate social conditions such as poverty, social isolation, and segregation, as well as ascribed characteristics of gender and race that are predictive of a battery of contemporary chronic diseases and causes of premature death. The course will be designed and instructed around student community engagement with local non-profit organizations that serve social needs directly and indirectly related to health.

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