Overview of Course
This course applies sociological perspectives to analyze the objective and subjective realities of social problems in the North America and around the world. Students will explore how cultures, laws, policies affect diverse people and groups, majority and minority, as well as domestically, internationally, and globally. We will analyze the origins and perpetuation of social problems such as health disparities, poverty, education and income inequality, the various “isms,” climate change and environmental degradation. We will analyze how societies define their members’ characteristics and traits and develop policies and practices that reflect and reinforce those perceptions and perpetuate societal health and/ or problems.
As the voyage progresses, we will address the historical, contemporary, and ongoing effects of past and present physical and economic colonialism. In preparation for visits to countries in Africa and Asia, we will apply sociological perspectives to examine how local and regional practices as well as intersections with western countries have contributed to contemporary social, health, and environmental problems.
This course utilizes universal diversity theory to investigate strategies that mitigate, ameliorate and prevent social problems that transcend specific times, identities, and locations.