Society in Comparative Perspective
From our vantage point in the 21st century, we perceive that the nature and fate of American society is increasingly connected to the nature and fate of society in other parts of the world. But what is "society" and how does it change over time? How, exactly, does society shape the human experience and human behavior in the United States and elsewhere? And how can we understand the ties that bind society "here" to society "there"? Sociology crystallized in the 19th century to address big questions like these in light of the profound uncertainty and human suffering that accompanied the rise of industrial capitalism, rapid urbanization and the consolidation of the centralized bureaucratic state. This course introduces students to the discipline by revisiting the work of early sociologists, then using the analytical lenses they developed to examine concrete cases of social change and globalization. Students may take only one introductory-level course. This counts toward the foundation requirement for the major. Offered every year.