SOAN 290 - Special Topics in Sociology
Credits: 3 in Fall or Winter, 3 or 4 in Spring A discussion of a series of topics of sociological concern. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.
Spring 2021, SOAN 290-01: Special Topics in Sociology: Belonging in College (3). All college students face the problem of becoming part of their campus community. College is a transformative, but nerve-wracking transition for most students. At many colleges, the traditional student experience involves leaving home and entering a new environment without the comfort and protection of their former social ties. On the one hand, severing old ties provides students freedom to explore new identities and perhaps even reinvent themselves. On the other hand, this state of detachment is stressful as students may compare themselves to their new peers and frequently ask themselves: “How do I measure up?”, “Do I fit in?”, and “Do I belong”? This seminar explores the questions of what does it mean to “belong” in college and how academic institutional structures shape inequalities in who gets to “fit in” and who “belongs”. Students will also be asked to examine the additional barriers for inclusion and belonging for “nontraditional” students (e.g. first-generation and low-income students, students of color, non-heterosexual students, religious minorities, international students, students with disabilities, older students, etc.). Although “belonging” and “inclusion” are current buzzwords on American college campuses, these issues are not new and it is clear that diversification has not lead directly to integration, especially as colleges try to diversify their student body. Chin.
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