Sociology 160: Culture (Summer 2019, UC Berkeley Department of Sociology)

This course will introduce students to sociological approaches to the question of culture. We will begin by examining important theoretical debates about what culture is, where it comes from, and how it works. Next, we will consider the relationship between culture and power, focusing on empirical sites of culture in action including class, race, gender, and sexuality. The last part of the course will center on culture’s role in relation to what is often purported to be its opposite: “nature.” This will show that even what may appear as the most “asocial” and “acultural” aspects of the world can be fruitfully analyzed using a sociological conception of culture. After considering multiple approaches to the course’s guiding questions, students will walk away well equipped to critically analyze cultural phenomena in the contemporary world.

See official course details on the UC Berkeley Sociology departmental website here. A provisional syllabus is available here.


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