Sociology 2010 – Sociology of Race and Ethnicity
Professor Jake Rosenfeld, Monday-Wednesday 2:30-4:00
Overview of sociological understandings of race and ethnicity, with a particular focus on race and ethnic relations in the contemporary United States. We begin by investigating how sociologists understand racial and ethnic distinctions, asking: What comprises a racial or ethnic group? What constitutes a “group” in the social sense? We then shift our attention to patterns of racial and ethnic inequality in the U.S., investigating the intersection of economic, political, and racial/ethnic stratification. After analyzing national trends in race and ethnic stratification, we narrow the focus to particular regions and metropolitan areas, including St. Louis, to shed light on pressing public concerns such as the interrelationships between race/ethnicity and the criminal justice system. The course ends by looking beyond U.S. borders to compare the way that race and ethnicity are understood in other countries. Are there common patterns of racial and ethnic classification shared by many societies? What makes the U.S. system of racial and ethnic stratification distinctive? No prerequisites.
Sociology 2020 – Order and Change in Society
Professor David Cunningham, Tuesday-Thursday 10:00-11:30
Identification and analysis of processes that create social order and forces that generate social change. What kinds of structures make social life coherent so that we all can navigate a wide range of social settings? How do societies sometimes mobilize to alter the status quo, and what kinds of barriers limit those efforts to change social systems? This course engages with such core issues through a sociological lens. Specific topics include: the emergence of social roles and status systems; how social networks matter in communities, schools, and other groups; and the performance, reproduction, and subversion of privilege and inequality. Introductory level; no prerequisites.
Sociology 3001 – Social Theory
Professor Adia Harvey Wingfield, Tuesday-Thursday 4:00-5:30
Overview of major theoretical frameworks used by sociologists to understand social behavior and group patterns. Explores classical theories, including those developed by Marx, Weber, and Durkheim along with contemporary perspectives such as exchange and feminist theories. Class discussions and writing assignments emphasize application of theory to understand current social experiences and structures. The course has no specific prerequisites, but students should be prepared for intensive study of challenging ideas and the application of these ideas in new contexts relevant to modern society.