Along with speaking, writing, researching, consulting and mocking professional pundits that wear ascots, I also teach.
I am very excited to be writing a syllabus for a stratification course, to be taught in the Spring. I took to Twitter earlier today to crowdsource some of the excellent sociology tools that have floated across my timeline recently. As usual, the tweeps astounded me with their generosity. Academics who scorn social media have no idea what they’re missing out on. After some feedback from undergraduates about their needs I am proposing to ratchet up a basic class/status/power course for more advanced students. For the moment I am calling it “Contemporary Stratfication”. The description and objectives:
Course Description and Objective
This course is built upon a basic sociological principle: groups and resources in society are organized and stratified according to class, status, and power. We will study sociological explanations of a variety of social phenomena related to the question of “who gets what and why?” In the first part of the course, we will consider general trends in inequality in the U.S., the causes and consequences of stratification, and the question of why social inequality exists as both a process and a system. We will examine these issues at the individual, organizational, and global level. There is a particular focus on contemporary stratification post- “The Great Recession”.
In the second part, we will focus on contemporary class, racial/ethnic inequality, and gender inequality. This includes discussions of contemporary issues like long-term unemployment, structural changes in labor market, rising student loan debt and education costs, and the privatization of public services as mechanisms for status reproduction and inequality. The objective of this class is to develop your “sociological imagination”, that is the ability to see the processes and structures that order how we live, learn, work and participate in the national and global citizenry.
And here are some of the resources I will be drawing upon for contemporary case studies:
Sociological Cinema offers range of mass media examples of classic sociological principles: http://www.thesociologicalcinema.com/
Jessica Sherwood has an online resource of sociology videos and news clips:
The Anna Julia Cooper Project has resources on Race v Class debates: http://cooperproject.org/twic-week-7/
Current Events, examples of sociological imagination applied to news events:
Wendy Christensen’s resources on gender, class inequality: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL34243577EFB5D66E
Good current event reads on stratification: