Current Social Problems
“This course was a great tool to understand the ongoing world around me and start to identify the factor and forces that shape the way I, and others, currently see it.” -Student evaluation
This course provides an introduction to sociological thought by examining contemporary social problems, including economic, racial, and gender inequality. The course takes a social movements perspective to show how groups mobilize collectively to draw attention to and address social problems. We will learn to think critically about how social problems develop, persist, and change by applying sociological theory and methods.
Technology in Society & Culture
“[This class] has been one of the best online courses I’ve taken in my 20+ online course experience! The whole course was really well structured and organized, had such an interesting diversity of content and activities, and I truly did learn a lot.”
– Student email
The goal of this course is to critically examine the role of technology in modern society. We often think of technology as material objects that exist independently of humans. By contrast, a social science approach takes as its central premise that technological artifacts are inextricably bound up in social relations. This course explores the practices and relations that create and sustain technology, as well as the social, cultural, and political consequences of these systems. We discuss the relationship between technology and a number of different areas of social life, including the environment, inequality, medicine, and work.
Sociology of Agriculture & Rural Society
“Very engaging in class discussions, receptive to all students’ answers, very helpful outside of class and willing to meet one-on-one to discuss projects.”
– Student evaluation
This course examines the changing conditions in rural America, focused on what makes rural areas structurally, culturally, and politically distinct. We pay particular attention to economic conditions and transformations in agriculture. Other topics include biotechnology, extractive industries, environmental issues, and inequality.