This course will introduce students to the core concepts, assumptions, and strategies employed by public sociologists. Although the discipline of sociology has maintained a longtime commitment to social justice and equity, there has been considerable debate in the field about how to achieve these ends. Some sociologists argue that producing high quality social science research is sufficient to meet this commitment. Others, including public sociologists, both encourage and engage in more direct community engagement and activism. These activities sometimes take the shape of formal and informal educational activities, community engaged research efforts, accessible writing across multiple genres, and community organizing activities. This course will explore the history of community and activist engagement among sociologists and will provide multiple examples of contemporary public sociology efforts, including but not limited to films, photography, performances, digital writing, and community-oriented policy work. Through both informal and formal writing assignments, students will have an opportunity to reflect on the practice of public sociology and learn how to communicate social science research to various publics. This course fulfills the WII core requirement for non-sociology majors. Three lecture hours per week.
Prerequisites: SOC110 or SOC201 or permission of Department Chairperson, and Level I writing (W-I).
This course fulfills these general education curriculum requirements: Written Communication-Level II