Alison Better | Becoming Community Engaged Sociologists, Department of Behavioral Sciences and Human Services
This introductory sociology course gives students tools both to see the world as sociologists and to critically analyze persistent inequalities in society. Students’ everyday life experiences are incorporated into the classroom as a way to understand the world we live in and to seek avenues for social change. Students collect data on their lives and communities, focusing on the social inequalities (including race, class, gender, sexualities, age, immigration status, etc.) and social institutions (including families, education, work, religion, healthcare, and government) studied in this course. Students submit a final paper which focuses on three sociological concepts they observed, analyzes their lived experience with a sociological eye, and seeks avenues for social transformation in their communities. This project engages students directly with the study of sociology as well as with their local community and the places and people most important to them. Students gain tools to empower them to see the world, make connections, and orient toward change when confronted with everyday injustice.