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SOC 384 Environment, Power, and Justice

SOC 384.  Environment, Power, and Justice.  3 Credits.     

This course is focused on the relationships between human beings and the planet (the environment, resources, places). We explore the major insights of sociology (primarily how to understand power and inequity) and apply them to our relationship with climate change, environmental justice, water, land, soil, food, viruses, animals, each other, and the future. Using the concept of the sociological imagination that connected one’s biography with one’s historical and class context as a starting point, this course expands C. Wright Mills’ foundational insight to incorporate both the background knowledge of environmental relationships between society and the planet. This course also builds a research skillset to understand, debate, and develop them at the same time. Skill-building assignments develop research skills related to library searching, research question formation, assessing and using valid sources, sociological observation, interviewing, and data analysis. Combined with a diverse set of readings, we explore the social, cultural, political, legal, and ethical debates that shape the contemporary and unfolding environmental issues. Topics may include environmental justice, environmental social movements, science communication, sustainability, biodiversity, environmental ethics, policy, land use change, and greenwashing. (Same as EVRN 384.)