The social, legal and cultural construction of racial and ethnic hierarchies in a comparative international context with the United States and the United Kingdom of central analytical concern. Racial formation and racial segregation in specific historical and national contexts including the normative case of the Anglo-Saxon core in the United States and how its dominance has led to patterns of ethnic antagonism and discrimination; the historical context of racial stereotypes and their representation in various mediums.
Explores trends in the use, abuse, and regulation of mind-altering substances in the United States. Topics include: patterns of drug use over time and across social groups; drug market creation and regulation; media promotion and condemnation of drug activities; drug policy legislation and enforcement; medicalization of deviance; rise and fall of drug panics; and critical analysis of the casualties of the current “war on drugs.” No prerequisites. One course.
The biomedical, economic, social, and psychological issues surrounding death and dying in the twenty-first century in America. Religious and cultural perspectives both in the Judeo-Christian ethic and in other religious frameworks. Theories of dying from sociological and social psychological perspectives. Required participation in service learning. One course.
Illness and health care utilization among the elderly, comparison to other populations, gender and race differences, medicare and medicaid, individual adjustment to aging and illness, social support for sick elderly, the decision to institutionalize, policy debate over euthanasia. Required participation in service learning. One course.
Sociological and psychological perspectives on aging, from adolescence through old age and death; demography of human aging; social problems caused by increased longevity; policy issues. One course.
Interface between sociology and health-related issues. Analysis of macro, mezzo, and micro perspectives as they apply to health and illness. Examination of the social and cultural context in which health care in the United States is delivered, particularly in terms of racial and age disparities, as well as disparities in rural and urban healthcare settings.