EXI309: Social Strat: Identity Power Systems

The sociological imagination considers the relationships between individual actors and the social systems in which they operate.

The sociological imagination considers the relationships between individual actors and the social systems in which they operate. Social identity and systems of social stratification shape human experience in profound ways. The characteristics that make up identity, those that are ascribed or achieved, determine both a person's position in society and ability to access resources and social power. The extent to which social systems are open or closed determine a person's social mobility or how easily they can acquire or lose resources. The study of social stratification asks how structure provides opportunities or creates limits for the people within it and how social inequalities are created and perpetuated. In this course, students will look at the origin, emergence, reproduction, and consequences of social stratification and social inequality in the United States. The course will draw on sociological theories and empirical studies to examine historical and contemporary manifestations of social stratification. Students will learn to describe and discuss the intersections of social identities and the roles that social institutions play in shaping culture.