Sociology | Global Society
S308 | 12080 | Greer
10:20AM-11:55AM MTWR BH 003
Today the word Globalization is commonly used in circles that range
from the media to politics to the environment (both natural and
social). We hear about the World Trade Organization, global terror,
growing demand for oil in China, the European Union, indigenous
people’s movements in Latin America, recalled toys manufactured by
American companies in China, global food crisis, global warming… the
list goes on. But what this means concretely for our standards of
living and how our lifestyles may be affected are not always clear.
A main objective of this class is to familiarize students with
ideas, concepts and ways of analyzing global relations. In order to
achieve this, this course will endeavor to build the following
1. Basic Economic Literacy – Globalization today is at its core
defined by new economic relations. Inevitably, to analyze these
relations we will have to use some economic concepts. For some this
may be unfamiliar territory, but stick with it, it will be well
2. Sociological Analysis of Economic Development – understanding the
underlying economic structures is our starting point – how these
structures affect the social and political realms is our ultimate
goal. An economy is not some intricate super computer that makes
objective decisions about how to maximize wealth and welfare.
Economies are people working with each other “from 9-5.” Who gets
what and how from the economy is a social issue because some ways of
distributing work and goods may be conducive to general welfare,
peace and blissful coexistence, while other ways of distributing
work and goods foster distrust and warfare. Who gets what from the
economy is also a political matter, because it depends on power and
not everyone enters the game with the same amount of it.
3. Historical Perspective – S308 places the current period of
globalization (1970’s-present) in historical perspective. Students
will become familiar with global relations in two earlier periods –
the era of European colonialism (pre-WWII) and the National
development era (WWII-early 1970’s).
One central question drives this whole course, for which we will
seek preliminary conclusions throughout the term: If most of our
rights depend on a national institution – citizenship - how are they
affected by the globalization of economic relations?