Introduction to Sociology
This course is designed to give students an introduction to the discipline of sociology. We are all sociologists. We all have a conception of the way things work in our society given our most prominent identities and experiences with various institutions like schools, prisons, marriage or corporations. Sociology examines how people and communities make sense of the society we live in. Sociology also examines how we use these conceptions to navigate and understand how systems work on a daily basis. During class, students will identify their own sociological lens around topics covered each week. In this class, students will be encouraged to grow as students and thinkers of sociology.
Read here about my introduction to sociology courses participation in the Sandy Truth project with the New Jersey Organzing Project, canvassing door to door to collect data on victims of SuperStorm Sandy 4 years later. The completed report can be found here.
Sociology of Gender
This course is an introduction to the sociology of gender, an important part of the way we live and structure our lifestyles. Taking an intersectional approach, we will learn how gender works with race, class and sexuality to inform our personal identities and how these identities intersect with institutions like the family, marriage and the labor market. The purpose of this class is not to conclude with one “proper” way to think about gender but to acknowledge the complexity and nuances that define both men, women and transgendered individuals in our society. We will spend time using examples from films and other forms of media to analyze the way gender is constructed, negotiated and enforced through these mediums. By the end, students should be able to critically analyze the ways gender is defined and applied to our everyday lives.
This seminar will give students a sociological overview of the social, historical, political and economic factors that impact the current conditions of life in urban cities. There will be a special emphasis on groups that are disadvantaged by race, class, gender and sexuality. We will also focus on the development and permanence of the ghetto from a sociological standpoint. As a class, we will explore how cities and residents resolve issues of inequality through understanding history, urban policies, ideas and social movements. Students will have opportunities to reflect on ideas related to urban spaces experientially.
Read the blog the students and I created based on their work in Atlantic City interviewing residents.
This seminar on provides a sociological overview of social movements primarily in the US. Students will analyze several kinds of social movements to understand why they occur and how they are organized. Close attention will be paid the affect that society’s social, political and economic climate of the time has on the emergence of social movements. Students learn to cultivate tools of critical thinking on why individuals view their social worlds in particular ways and choose to act on them collectively. We draw on my research on urban social movements in both San Francisco and Atlantic City, NJ.
Black Lives: Social and Economic Realities
This class is an important one because what “blackness” is or means is in question everywhere. The most notable slogan was launched by the Black Lives Matter campaign. As a class, we will seek to understand blackness sociologically ranging from meaning and identity (what does it mean to be black? How is blackness represented by blacks and non-blacks) to current connections with institutional entities (criminal justice system) and quality of life issues (wealth inequality).
Currently, my students are promoting a screening of Our Side: The Other Atlantic City created by Media Mobilizing Project which details a story of resiliency and struggle within the Black community in Atlantic City and the impact Casinos have had on their livelihoods. Read blog posts written by my students which focuses on different aspects of Black life in Atlantic City.