Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
Sociology

Academics

Sociology 298. Experimental Courses

Sustainability and Development

This course, Sustainability and Development, will utilize social science theory and perspectives to examine how sustainable development projects and climate change impacts are challenged by the social inequalities of resource-poor groups in the U.S. and globally: i.e., sustainable energy, water, built environment and transportation projects. How do sociological perspectives on community, participatory development, discourse, postmodern/poststructuralism and neoliberal economic development intersect with ‘sustainability’? Students will assess and analyze development projects and climate change impacts using community-based theory, devolution/empowerment strategies, distributive/procedural justice and antiracist perspectives.

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Environment and Society

This course focuses on Environmental Justice: The Science and Political Economy of Environmental Health and Justice. The class will examine the disproportionate burdens of environmental contamination and health disparities affecting communities of color across the US and internationally. Since the early 1990’s, an environmental justice movement in the US, led by many racially-diverse leaders, has achieved much progress in advocating for just forms of health research, industrial siting, improved environmental/health policies, and worker protections to remedy these harms of racial/cultural injustice. In this course, we will review environmental health/justice theories and perspectives as they bear on case studies of Black Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans and Asian-Americans and how they have organized to improve health and justice in their rural/urban neighborhoods, reservations and cities.

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Globalization

Globalization is omnipresent. It involves multi-directional flows of information, ideas, styles, politics, warfare, people, goods, places, technology, among others. These flows create encounters and structures that are old and new, set barriers and opportunities, and re-draw the boundaries of self identity, community, family, home, nation, ethnicity, religion, etc. How do we understand these global flows, structures, encounters, exchanges, and relations? This course will examine transnational processes that enable cross-cultural movements and flows of people and things. We will examine conflicting debates and perspectives on globalization.