Introduction to United States Sociology
Undergraduate: Level 4
Monday 17 January 2022
Friday 25 March 2022
07 October 2021
Requisites for this module
BA T700 American Studies (United States),
BA T702 American Studies (United States) (UK Study),
BA T708 American Studies (United States) (Including Year Abroad),
BA T710 American Studies (United States) (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad),
BA T712 American Studies (United States) (UK Study) (Including Placement Year),
BA T770 American Studies (United States) (including Placement Year),
BA MT26 Criminology and American Studies (UK Study),
BA MT27 Criminology and American Studies (Including Year Abroad),
BA MT28 Criminology and American Studies (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad),
BA MT2R Criminology and American Studies,
BA MT3R Criminology and American Studies (Including Placement Year),
BA MT62 Criminology and American Studies (UK Study) (Including Placement Year)
Our appreciation of American society will attempt to understand both the 'big picture' and studies of small social worlds. The module will explore America by looking at democracy, race, crime, gender relations, cities, ecology and gangs. We will cover one key sociologist each week.
This module introduces students to some important and interesting visions of American society. We will focus on particular writers that have located their studies in place, often by using travel as a method of discovering hidden layers of meaning in the landscape and the cities.
By the end of the module, students will have a broad appreciation of a variety of understandings of American society and the relevance of sociological thinking to them.
Week 16. American Democracy I (Alexis de Tocqueville)
Week 17. American Democracy II (Alexis de Tocqueville)
Week 18. The Great Depression: Men on the Move (Nels Anderson)
Week 19. Work and Bureaucracies: Office Workers (C. Wright Mills
Week 20. Reading Week
Week 21. Women and the Home (Betty Friedan)
Week 22. The Colour Line (W.E.B. Du Bois)
Week 23. Racial Segregation and Incarceration (Michelle Alexander)
Week 24. Communities at the Margins (Sudhir Venkatesh)
Week 25. Sacrifice Zones (Chris Edges and Joe Sacco)
As there are still restrictions related to COVID-19 in place, some of the teaching on most modules will take place online. Most modules in Sociology are divided into lectures of around 50 minutes and a class of around 50 minutes. Some are taught as a 2hr seminar, and others via a 50-minute lecture and 2-hr lab. For the majority of modules the lecture-type content will be delivered online – either timetabled as a live online session or available on Moodle in the form of pre-recorded videos. You will be expected to watch this material and engage with any suggested activities before your class each week. Most classes labs and seminars will be taught face-to-face (assuming social distancing allows this).
Please note that you should be spending up to eight hours per week undertaking your own private study (reading, preparing for classes or assignments, etc.) on each of your modules (e.g. 32 hours in total for four 30-credit modules).
The lectures provide an overview of the substantive debates around the topic of the week, while the classes will give you the opportunity to reflect on your learning and actively engage with your peers to develop your understanding further. The weekly classes will take place face-to-face (unless there is a change in the current COVID safety measures). You are strongly encouraged to attend the classes as they provide an opportunity to talk with your class teacher and other students. The classes will be captured and available via Listen Again. However, if you want to gain the most you can from these classes it is very important that you attend and engage. Please note that the recording of classes is at the discretion of the teacher.
This module does not appear to have any essential texts. To see non-essential items, please refer to the module's reading list.
Assessment items, weightings and deadlines
|Coursework / exam
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Carlos Gigoux Gramegna, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr Carlos Gigoux Gramegna
email: socugrad (Non essex users should add @essex.ac.uk to create the full email address)
No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
Of 27 hours, 27 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).
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