This course is intended to provide a conceptual and analytical framework for examining urban life and how ordinary people interpret and respond to the actual experience of living in cities. This course will examine the underlying causes of urban problems and then proceed with a discussion about possible solutions. First we will examine how U.S. cities have changed historically and how urban life is shaped by economic and political dynamics. Next we will explore the cultural dynamics that occur within an urban context. During the course of the semester, we will study urban poverty, family dissolution, school drop out, street violence, urban crime, and homelessness, before turning our attention to various strategies for addressing these problems.
- ENG 101: English Composition 1
- ENG 102: English Composition 2
- SOC 101: Sociology
Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)
Students who successfully complete this course will be able to demonstrate an understanding of:
- Different theoretical and analytical perspectives on urban life.
- The different forces at work in an urban center; including political, economic, and cultural institutions.
- How different groups of people can live very different yet interrelated types of lives in the same urban setting.
- The history and contemporary existence of at least one major city.
- How to research communities.
General Education Outcomes (GEOs)
Course Activities and Grading
Weekly Position Papers
Research Paper (counts as Final Exam)
(Available through Charter Oak’s online bookstore)
- Anderson, Elijah. Code of the Street. W.W. Norton & Company: New York., 1999. ISBN-13: 978-0-393-32078-7
Note: Code of the Street is also used for SOC 320.
- Gottdiener, Mark & Ray Hutchison. The New Urban Sociology. 5th ed. Westview Press, Inc., 2015. ISBN-13: 9780813349565
- Lamphere, Louise. Structuring Diversity. The University of Chicago Press: Chicago, Illinois, 1992. ISBN-13: 978-0-226-46819-8
- Wilson, William Julius. When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor. Random House/Vintage Books: New York, 1996. ISBN-13: 978-0-679-72417-9
- Zukin, Sharon. The Cultures of Cities. Blackwell Publishers, Inc.: Cambridge, Mass, 1995. ISBN-13: 978-1-55786-437-6
|Week||SLOs||Readings and Exercises||Assignment(s)|
Topic: Introduction to the City
Topic: Introduction to Sociological Theories of Urban Life
Topic: Neighborhoods, the Public Environment and Theories of Public Life
Topic: People and Lifestyles in the City
Topic: City Problems: Poverty and Racism
Topic: City Problems: Crime
Topic: City Problems: Housing
Topic: Urban Families
Research Paper Due (Counts as Final Exam)
COSC Accessibility Statement
Charter Oak State College encourages students with disabilities, including non-visible disabilities such as chronic diseases, learning disabilities, head injury, attention deficit/hyperactive disorder, or psychiatric disabilities, to discuss appropriate accommodations with the Office of Accessibility Services at OAS@charteroak.edu.
COSC Policies, Course Policies, Academic Support Services and Resources
Students are responsible for knowing all Charter Oak State College (COSC) institutional policies, course-specific policies, procedures, and available academic support services and resources. Please see COSC Policies for COSC institutional policies, and see also specific policies related to this course. See COSC Resources for information regarding available academic support services and resources.