Globalization and Social Responsibility

Discipline: Sociology
Instructor: Strouse
Credits: 3
Day: B
Start: 1415
End: 1530
Field Work: Day 1 | South Africa
Prerequisites: previous coursework in Sociology is strongly suggested Download Syllabus

Globalization and Social Responsibility invites both empirical examination and critical reflection on timely worldwide social problems that we will encounter as we circumnavigate the globe. The United Nations Millennium Development Goals will provide the broader context within which students will identify specific problems to investigate. The purpose of this course is to make the global dimensions of these important issues more comprehensible and our responses to them better informed. Special emphasis is placed on reflective thinking, team building, partnership development, and capacity generating for social transformation. The interdisciplinary approach of this course invites students coming from different disciplines and majors to discover ways to learn about and address global and local community issues.




Field Work

Country: South Africa
Day: 1

During this Field Lab we will visit Langa Township. Langa, the Xhosa word for “sun,” is the oldest township in South Africa. This township was planned and created shortly following the 1923 Native (Urban Areas) Act, which forced Africans to live in certain locations. Langa Township has also been the site of much resistance to Apartheid. We will witness the daily life of township residents via a walking tour of the area, observing residential and commercial life in the township. Education, employment, migration, ways to keep local customs alive, the importance of traditional foods, and the role of women will be discussed. We will have lunch in the commercial center of Langa, a hub of entrepreneurial activity where just twenty years ago Apartheid had outlawed these endeavors. Next, our time will be spent doing hands-on community service at the Cheshire Home. We will have a great experience meeting the disabled residents while we help out by feeding and assisting them. This time will help to reinforce ways in which we as individuals and as citizens can be responsive to and responsible for the world in which we live.  Our involvement will help us experience, understand and appreciate social responsibility and what it means to live a life of commitment.

Our Field Lab will be capped off by a visit to the Happy Feet Project, an initiative started in 2007 to provide township children with positive influences to keep them away from gangs and drugs in the community. We will get to experience an inspiring performance of gumboot dancing before returning to the ship. Academic Objectives: 1.      Investigate aspects of race, class, gender & poverty and relate them to broader global issues 2.      Support or challenge the value of social responsibility 3.      Discuss avenues that are open to them to participate as engaged global citizens within their political, social, cultural, and chosen career contexts