Sociology & Social Work
SOC W40 Ripped from the Headlines. This course uses a critical sociological perspective to examine contemporary controversies through their fictional portrayal in a primetime drama. Stand-your-ground laws, hate speech, and racial bias in the death penalty are a few of the topics that will be explored. Students will consider the sociological aspects and data relevant to popular debates as well as ideological and practical implications of individual and organizational decisions and actions. This course may fulfill an elective in the Sociology major. E. Marr. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
SOWK W10 Grand Rapids: The Interim. Experiencing the rich context, history, and culture of Grand Rapids is sometimes difficult given the demands of coursework. This course, however, treats the city as our textbook and looks to religious leaders, elected officials, nonprofit organizations, and the business community to inform our understanding of this place. An experiential approach to learning about Grand Rapids offers students the opportunity to explore the city through visits to local businesses and organizations, home stays, recreational opportunities, service learning, and excursions to a variety of sites important to local culture. A special emphasis is placed on social justice and visual research techniques—the use of photographs, for example, to collect, analyze, and explain society and culture—which will allow students to explore the city through the lens of sociology and also to see this place through the eyes of locals, particularly those who may be marginalized. This course will fulfill the CCE requirement. Course dates: January 7-27. Fee: $666. J. Kuilema, R. Williams. Off campus.