Sociology | GLOBAL SOCIETY (3CR)
S308 | 8706 | Greer
11:45AM-1:20PM 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 global financial crisis, the rising power
of China, and the prediction of an even stronger India, the World
Social Forum, and democracy movements in the Middle East…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 skills:
1. Basic Economic Literacy – Globalization 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 worth it.
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 – Sociology 308 places the current period of
globalization (1950’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) as a means of making sense of the
current era of globalization.