Sarah L Quinn
Examination of current substantive topics in sociology. Content varies according to recent developments in the field and the interests of the instructor. Topics covered in courses with this number lie outside those covered by other special topics courses numbered SOC 581 through SOC 589.
Culture infuses social life, and so its study intersects with a great many sociological subfields. This expansiveness makes the sociology of culture rewarding to study and a beast to wrangle. As a survey of the sociology of culture, this course does not outline the field so much as it offers an introduction to some major themes with the goal of providing a foundation for future inquiry. We will spend most of our time reading contemporary research that grapples with a selection of core questions and debates: What is the source of meaning? What is the relationship between culture and structure? Culture and power? Culture and interests? Culture and interaction? Culture and practice? Culture and the modern self? We will also consider seminal theoretical statements about how to define and theorize culture. This is a reading and writing intensive course. Students are expected to read the equivalent of a book a week, and will be asked to regularly contribute through written responses and presentations. It is run seminar style. I will rarely lecture.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading