Core Area E: Social Sciences

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.

Introduction to Urban and Regional Planning

This course provides an overview of the planning of cities and metropolitan regions. The legal and historical context as well as substantive areas of urban planning
are addressed. Tensions among economic, environmental and equity results of public policies and private developments are examined. Tools for involving
stakeholders in planning decisions are surveyed.

Sustainability, Technology, and Policy

This course - taught on the Pacific Program - will develop a theoretical understanding of sustainability, from a bottom-up perspective that considers ecological outcomes as a function of human institutions. It begins with defining and understanding the tragedy of the commons, and develops an understanding of why we might not be doomed to this tragedy. While exploring broad themes in environmental ethics, philosophy, and management, it will explore cases in the Pacific context, and will include a service-learning project in Fiji.

Introduction to Global Development

This course introduces students to the history, theory and practice of international development. Students will examine the different meanings and objectives of global development, paying particular attention to economic growth, poverty alleviation, inequality reduction, capability enhancement, the defense of human rights and sustainability.

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.

Introduction to Historic Preservation

This course will help students develop an understanding of the history, philosophy, organization, current legislation, policies, and practices of historic preservation in the United States. The course is designed to give students an overview of the field and its relationship with other built environment professions, such as architecture, construction, planning, engineering, and landscape architecture and the critical role historic preservation plays in creating sustainable communities. Service projects give students real-life experience in historic preservation.

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.

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.

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