Academic Courses & Programs

The Sociology of Place, Home, Community & Ancestry

Communities, Ethnicities and Exclusion
The course is all about what it means to be in America - not just be an American, but actually be, here, in America. To figure this out we will explore: What it means to grow up a boy in the American heartland versus a girl in the big city. place-based communities versus imagined communities - including an examination of the theatre communities of New York City; Where - literally - America comes from with an emphasis on places currently in conflict with the United States or off limits; What community, ethnicity and exclusion means in places other than the US - specifically Afghanistan and Iraq; How organized religion + notions of spirituality overlap with notions of ethnicity; Communities rooted in dystopian ideals versus utopian ones; How in the United States, people negotiate conflicts between different ethnic groups in the courtroom, how courtroom dramas are idealized and how a person's status in the courtroom changes depending upon how wealthy or how poor they are. The actual communities we will study will include people who identify as Southeast Asian, Native American, Asian and Asian American, Texan, Afgani and Afghani-American, Nebraskan, Natives or residents of Wyoming, Gender and Sexual Identities, New Yorkers, Theatre Communities, Wealthy, Middle-Class, Working-Class, Working-Poor, South Asian (Indian/Pakistani/Bangledeshi). This course will include a detailed analysis of the academic field of Community Studies and how it has found a home both inside and outside formal, academic Sociology, Anthropology, Geography and Rural and Urban Studies Departments. It will also explicitly explore popular representation of community from the media. • Purchase College-State University of New York • Available as an On-Line Course

Home Economics
State University of New York-Orange

Rural Sociology
State University of New York-College at Potsdam

Sociology of Place, The
In this course we will examine how people are drawn together into a community and how they are kept separated in communities a part. In the first five weeks we will consider what community means in the contemporary moment by examining the ways people form groups, organizations and societies in the American Midwest and urban Afghanistan. The purpose of this investigation will be to articulate what American ideals of community might be and how they are used. Subject matter will include the social consequences for girls who live as/pretend to be boys; how work is socially constructed in the United States, Mexico and Canada; and two important moments in American legal history, the Salem Witch Trials and the writing of the U.S. Constitution. In the second five weeks, having established a working definition of American community, we will then consider how some specific communities in the North America are organized, policed and transformed using the analytic tools established by sociologists, geographers and social theorists. Subject matter will include the place stories of specific towns and cities, the sociology of global travel, and whether or not its possible to find enchantment in a disenchanted world. • University of Denver