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SOC 311: Sociology of the City

Course Description

This course will focus on providing a conceptual and analytical framework for examining urban life and how ordinary people interpret and respond to the actual experience of living in cities. Students will examine the underlying causes of urban problems and then proceed with a discussion about possible solutions. During the course of the semsester, students will study urban poverty, family dissolution, school drop out, street violence, urban crime, and homelessness, before turning their attention to various strategies for addressing these problems. (3 credits)

Prerequisites

  • ENG 101: English Composition 1
  • ENG 102: English Composition 2
  • SOC 101: Sociology (Recommended)

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to demonstrate an understanding of:

  1. Analyze and apply different theoretical and analytical perspectives of urban life.
  2. Apply and synthesize the different forces at work in an urban center; including political, economic, and cultural institutions.

  3. Analyze and evaluate how different groups of people can live very different yet interrelated types of lives in the same urban setting.

  4. Analyze, apply and evaluate the history and contemporary existence of at least one major city.

  5. Apply and evaluate how to research communities.

General Education Outcomes (GEOs)

Please check the applicable GEOs for this course, if any, by outcomes at GEO Category Search, or by subject area at GEO Discipline Search.

Course Activities and Grading

AssignmentsWeight

Discussion Questions

25%

Weekly Position Papers

25%

Midterm Exam

25%

Research Paper (counts as Final Exam)

25%

Total

100%

Required Textbooks

(Available through https://bookstore.mbsdirect.net/vbm/vb_home.php?FVCUSNO=35478)

  • 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

Course Schedule

WeekSLOsReadings and ExercisesAssignment(s)

1

1,2,3

Topic: Introduction to the City

  • Readings:
    • Lecture for Learning Unit 1
    • Gottdeiner and Hutchinson, New Urban Sociology chapters 1, 3, 13
  • Review lecture material
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in discussion
  • Submit weekly position paper

2

1,2,3

Topic: Introduction to Sociological Theories of Urban Life

  • Readings:
    • Lecture for Learning Unit 2
    • Gottdeiner and Hutchinson, New Urban Sociology chapter 4
  • Review lecture material
  • Read assigned chapter
  • Participate in discussion
  • Submit weekly position paper

3

1,2,3

Topic: Neighborhoods, the Public Environment and Theories of Public Life

  • Readings:
    • Lecture for Learning Unit 3
    • Gottdiener and Hutchinson, New Urban Sociology chapter 9
    • Lamphere, Structuring Diversity chapter 2
    • Zukin, Cultures of Cities chapters 1, 2, 7
  • Review lecture material
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in discussion
  • Submit weekly position paper

4

 

1,2,3

Topic: People and Lifestyles in the City

  • Readings:
    • Lecture for Learning Unit 4
    • Anderson, Code of Street chapter 4
    • Gottdiener and Hutchinson, New Urban Sociologychapter 7
    • Wilson, When Work Disappears chapter 3
    • Zukin, Cultures of Cities chapters 3, 4, 5
  • Review lecture material
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in discussion
  • Submit weekly position paper
  • Complete Midterm Exam

Midterm Exam
SLOs: 1, 2, 3

5

3,4,5

Topic: City Problems: Poverty and Racism

  • Readings:
    • Lecture for Learning Unit 5
    • Anderson, Code of Street chapter 6
    • Gottdiener and Hutchinson, New Urban Sociologychapter 10
    • Lamphere, Structuring Diversity chapter 1
    • Wilson, When Work Disappears chapters 1, 5
  • Review lecture material
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in discussion
  • Submit weekly position paper

6

3,4,5

Topic: City Problems: Crime

  • Readings:
    • Lecture for Learning Unit 6
    • Anderson, Code of Street chapters 2,3,7
  • Review lecture material
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in discussion
  • Submit weekly position paper

7

3,4,5

Topic: City Problems: Housing

  • Readings:
    • Lecture for Learning Unit 7
    • Lamphere, Structuring Diversity chapter 3
    • Wilson, When Work Disappears chapter 2
  • Review lecture material
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in discussion
  • Submit weekly position paper

8

 

3,4,5

Topic: Urban Families

  • Readings:
    • Lecture for Learning Unit 7
    • Anderson, Code of Street chapter 1
    • Wilson, When Work Disappears chapter 4
  • Review lecture material
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in discussion
  • Submit weekly position paper
  • Submit Research Paper
  • Complete Course Evaluation

Research Paper Due (Counts as Final Exam)
SLOs: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

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.