Powers, Energies and Peoples
This course introduces students to the field of sociology through the study of energy and power in several of their conceptual forms: as social levers of oppression and inequities, as the physical capacity behind economic development and material accumulation, and as complicated and contested cultural symbols of tremendous consequence for the natural and social worlds. The course looks at human labor and energy as interwoven dimensions of western society and uses theories of power as lenses for understanding five case studies: The production and consumption of sugar; The contemporary cotton apparel industry; Mass incarceration in the United States; Appalachian coal and Global Climate Change. Students may take only one introductory-level course. This counts toward the foundation requirement for the major. Offered every year.