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Christine L. Williams, Chair CLA 3.306, Mailcode A1700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-6300

Margaret Tate

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SOC F308 • Intro Sociol Health/Well-Being

87822 • Summer 2014
Meets MTWTHF 1130am-100pm CLA 0.106
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Introduction to the Sociology of Health and Well-being

Health and well-being are among the most popular topics in U.S. culture and media.  We are virtually inundated with ever-newer ways to fight back the consequences of aging and the stresses of modern life.  On a daily basis, we encounter cultural representations that communicate what healthy bodies and minds look or feel like.  Yet, how health and well-being are defined is something many of us take for granted.  This class will explore the socio-cultural aspects of health and well-being.  This will include unpacking what these terms mean and exploring how these meanings change over time or in different social contexts. Instead of viewing health and well-being as purely biological or psychological concepts, we will consider the ways that institutions and cultural practices shape what we view as healthy.  In addition, we will explore how individual health outcomes are shaped by socio-cultural dynamics such as social inequality in terms of race, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, etc.  The roles that social institutions play in determining access to and uses of health resources will be of particular interest, including how public policy shapes health attitudes and health outcomes.  By the end of the course, students should understand that health and well-being have cultural and institutional dimensions aside from just biological realities, and are therefore subject to cultural interpretations and power dynamics. 

SOC 308 • Culture And Society In The Us

46275 • Spring 2014
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am WEL 2.256
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Description:

This course will explore the meanings of culture in modern United States society, with a focus on cultural representation.  Course readings and lectures will introduce you to theoretical perspectives on cultural representations and will emphasize how such representations shape our experience and understanding of other social phenomena, such as class, race, and gender. The class will be particularly concerned with the role culture plays in the reproduction of inequality, and therefore will ask students to turn a critical lens toward the cultural practices and representations around them.  Therefore, engagements with current events, even if they do not follow the structure of the syllabus, are always welcome. 

Requirements:  

Students are required to attend lectures and complete all reading and written assignments by the date they appear on the syllabus.  Students are responsible for locating readings that are available through the library catalog, such as journal articles.  Chapters from books will be made available to read through Blackboard.

Grading:  

Final grades will be determined on the basis of the percentages below. To ensure fairness, numbers will not be rounded up or down. For example, a B- will include all scores of 80.000 through 83.999. 

Participation and Attendance: 10%

In-class Quizzes: 10% cumulative

Online Video Analysis: 15%

Advertisement Analysis: 15%

Research Assignment: 20%

Exams: 15% each

 

Grade Breakdown

A: 100-94         B+: 89-88         C+ 79-78          D+: 69-68        F: 59-0

A-: 93-90         B: 87-83           C: 77-73           D: 67-63

                        B-: 82-80         C-: 72-70         D-: 62-60

 

SOC 308 • Culture And Society In The Us

46062 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm UTC 3.132
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This course will explore the meanings of culture in modern United States society, with a focus on cultural representation.  Course readings and lectures will introduce you to theoretical perspectives on cultural representations and will emphasize how such representations shape our experience and understanding of other social phenomena, such as class, race, and gender. The class will be particularly concerned with the role culture plays in the reproduction of inequality, and therefore will ask students to turn a critical lens toward the cultural practices and representations around them.  Therefore, engagements with current events, even if they do not follow the structure of the syllabus, are always welcome. 

 

SOC 308 • Culture And Society In The Us

45620 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 900am-1000am CLA 0.102
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Description:

This course will explore the meanings of culture in modern United States society.  Course readings and lectures will introduce you to theoretical perspectives, methodological issues, and empirical work in the sociological study of culture. We will examine sociological accounts of the production, reproduction and reception of culture, with an emphasis on a critical understanding of culture in relation to other sociological phenomena such as power, inequality and identities.  Topics will range from the changing meanings of blue jeans, to the uses of culture in everyday life, to musical likes and dislikes.  As a survey of the sociological study of culture, this course will be of interest to those who are interested in culture broadly defined, as well as to those who wish to use this course as a basis for doing further scholarly work on culture. 

Required Texts:

 Orientalism, by Edward Said.

The Practice of Everyday Life, by Michel de Certeau.

Understanding Popular Culture, by John Fiske

Grading Policy:

There will be three writing assignments worth 20% each.  There will also be two exams, each worth 15%.  The final 10% will be based on participation and attendance. 

 

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