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NORTHLAND / Engineering / SCD 430 / Why has social capital declined?

Why has social capital declined?

Why has social capital declined?

Description

School: Northland College
Department: Engineering
Course: Sustainable Development Theory
Professor: Brian tochterman
Term: Fall 2017
Tags:
Cost: 50
Description: Sociology of Community SOC 315 01 T/TR, 11-12:20 Wheeler 109 Instructor: Angela Stroud, Ph
Uploaded: 06/30/2017
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Sociology of Community SOC 315 01 T/TR, 11-12:20 Wheeler 109 Instructor: Angela Stroud, Ph.D. Office: Wheeler 311 e-mail: astroud@northland.edu Office Hours: Wednesdays 10-noon phone: 715-682-1327 (and after class or by appointment) Course Description: In this course we will utilize a sociological perspective to explore the  social forces that shape communities in the 21st Century. We will start by asking, “What is a  community?” Though this may sound like a basic question, the ways in which we approach  answering it will reveal much about what makes society function and what gives our lives  meaning. In short, community is profoundly important both to individuals and to the health of a  functioning society, and throughout this semester we will investigate how and why this is so. We  will spend time analyzing the relationship between community and lived space as we focus on  rural, urban, and suburban areas. We will focus on the socio-economic forces that have resulted  in a “brain drain” in rural communities, and we will contrast that phenomenon with the economic blight characteristic of many urban and some suburban spaces in the U.S. We will analyze how  this is tied to race, gender, and social class and will spend time exploring the implications of  market policies on human lives. Though we will focus on understanding the factors that inhibit  social ties in the U.S., we will regularly come back to two central questions: what can we do to  improve our communities? And why is it so critical that we do so? If you commit to this course, by the end of the term you should be able to do the following: Learning Outcomes: ∙ Understand how sociologists explain the significance of community. ∙ Have developed an appreciation for the importance of community-building enterprises in  our own lives. ∙ Have stronger analytic reasoning skills through deep engagement with course materials. ∙ Be a stronger reader, writer, and speaker. Required Texts: Carr, Patrick J. and Maria J. Kefalas. 2009. Hollowing Out the Middle: The Rural Brain Drain  and What it Means for America. Boston: Beacon Press. Hamer, Jennifer. 2011. Abandoned in the Heartland: Work, Family, and Living in East St. Louis.  Berkeley: UC Press. Evaluation: Grades will be assigned according to the following scale: 93-100 (A); 90-92 (A-);  87-89 (B+); 83-86 (B); 80-82 (B-); 77-79 (C+); 73-76 (C); 70-72 (C-); 67-69 (D+); 60-66 (D);  59 or lower (F). 1Community and Self Essay: 10% Mid-Term Exam: 20% Final Exam: 20% Community Engagement and Reflection: 15% Community Research Project: 20% Project Presentation: 5% Class Participation: 10%  100% Community and Self Essay (10%): One of the primary benefits of a sociological imagination is that it allows us to see the relationship between self and society. As we consider the impact of  community in our lives, it is important that we have the space to reflect deeply on how we have  been shaped by the people, meanings, and institutions around us. In this essay you will have that  space as you reflect on the connection between who you are and the communities that have  impacted you. This is a 3-4 page paper that must utilize a sociological perspective in identifying  specific ways that you are a product, at least in part, of your communities. Depth is much more  important than breadth, so please do not feel compelled to identify every institution and  community that has shaped you (not that it would be possible to do so!). Instead, pick one or  two and provide a deep analysis. This paper is due in class on September 29. Exams (40%): There will be two in-class exams in this course consisting of short essays that  will ask that you deeply engage with the material and make strong connections between  readings. Because essays require that you articulate a high level of understanding of the course  materials, it is strongly suggested that you participate in class discussions. If the exam is the first  time you’ve tried to explain answers to the types of questions asked in class discussions, you will likely struggle to do well. If you have completed all readings before class, and you come  prepared to discuss the materials, and you listen attentively, and you rarely miss class, you  should do well in this course. There are no make-up exams, so be sure to arrange any conflicts  with me ahead of time. See the course schedule for exam dates. Community Participation and Reflection (15%): To enhance our awareness of the importance  of community engagement, community participation / volunteerism of at least 15 hours over the  course of the semester is required. This experience should be conducted through an established  organization that relies on community volunteers; Faith in Action, The Brick, Hearts to End  Hunger, The Humane Society, St. Andrews Community Sharing Center, or volunteering to help a local school are all good options. If you choose a site outside of the ones that I have  recommended, it is best that you clear it with me to ensure that you get full credit. To reflect on your experience, you will write a 4-5 page paper describing the following: ∙ What did you do? Why did you do it? ∙ How did you feel about your participation prior to starting? ∙ Was there anything about your personal strengths / weaknesses that affected your  participation?  2∙ Did your participation change your view of the activity? If so, how? ∙ Did your participation change your view of the community?  ∙ What aspect of community (using course terminology) was enhanced by this experience? This is a wonderful opportunity to get course credit for something hands-on, so be thoughtful and intentional about the activity you choose. Your grade will be based on whether you completed 15 hours and whether the activity had a genuine impact on your learning (which you will convey— or not—in your reflection paper). Reflection papers are due in class on December 8 when we  will also share our experiences in informal presentations. I must receive confirmation from a  supervisor that you completed at least 15 hours of volunteer time by that day.  Community Research Project (20%): There are two options for this assignment, a 1) standard research  project and 2) a community solutions project. One asks you for a thorough description of a community,  the other asks that you utilize course concepts to identify a social problem within a community and that  you offer a community-based solution.  Option 1: Community Research For this assignment, you will critically analyze the social forces that  shape a community of your choice. Some examples of potential communities include: your hometown,  Northland, a group at Northland, Ashland, or a community organization in Ashland, a religious group, a  political organization, anything. Questions to consider: ∙ What constitutes membership in this community? What are its boundaries? How does this  impact its makeup? ∙ Are members active or passive participants? How does this impact their experiences with the  community? ∙ What external forces shape the community? How?  ∙ What makes it a successful community? Are there any threats to the existence of this community? The purpose of this assignment is to better understand the social forces that shape our communities, and  to do so by applying some of the course concepts that we have covered this semester to a case study. You  must include an analysis of power, a clear definition of how you’re conceptualizing community, and the  limits and possibilities of community engagement in your analysis.  Product: A 6-8 page double-spaced paper.  Option Two: Community Solutions: Like the standard project, this option is rooted in our local  communities (either the Chequamegon Bay, Ashland, or Northland) and is intended to allow you to apply  what we are learning to trying to figure out community-based ideas for positive social change (e.g.  change that improves people’s lives). I want you to focus on actionable solutions to community-based  problems. Your solution must be rooted in an understanding of the concepts that we have covered in our  class.  Examples could include: proposing a tutoring program with a local school; developing a community  liaison relationship between Ashland and Northland; starting a local Big Brothers Big Sisters chapter;  starting a Northland-specific effort like the bike shop and the gardens; etc. I don’t expect you to execute  this program (though if you did, that would be amazing), instead, you are doing the legwork of finding  3out what the community’s needs are and proposing how to address those needs. You are free to work with  one other person on this project, but each of you will be required to turn in your own paper describing  what you did and why you did it.  Product: You will turn in a 6-8 page paper in which you explain the problem and how your initiative will  help to address the problem. It is important that you utilize course concepts in explaining why your  program is important and that you show a sophisticated understanding of relevant issues that frame and  affect the populations most impacted by your program. Presentations (5%): Presentations should be professional, well-organized, and should inform  the audience of your central question and your most important findings. Be sure to tie what you  found to course concepts.  One important thing to keep in mind in your research, and particularly so for your presentation is that whenever we turn our analytical gaze on people “close to home,” we make them vulnerable.  Be sure that your analysis is done with care and attention to the ties that bind communities,  including your role therein. Presentations will be held the week of November 29. Participation (10%): Participation is a requirement for this course. Not only will this enhance  our experiences, it will also contribute to the depth with which you understand the material. The  reading course for this class is generally much lighter than for other 300-level courses, in part  because you are expected to be fully engaged with your community activities. Nevertheless, you  should come to class prepared to discuss the day’s assigned reading. The quality of our  discussion will largely be determined by how well-prepared you are. If you do not attend class  regularly, do not participate in discussion, do not bring in class examples when I have asked, and  show no signs of having read the course materials, including the newspaper, your participation  grade will reflect that. I realize that some of you are very shy and reluctant to participate in class. If you email me short  (one paragraph) thoughtful discussion points and/or questions about the material, I will count this as participation. If appropriate, I will share your comments / questions with the rest of the class  and will credit you with the contribution unless (for some reason) you’ve asked that I not. Attendance: Attendance is required and will be recorded daily. You can miss up to two class  periods without a penalty, but each absence thereafter will negatively impact your participation  grade. If you are absent, please ask one of your classmates for lecture notes as I do not provide  notes for students.  Technology: Though some of you may prefer to take notes on laptop computers, during our class time all computer use must be focused on this purpose alone. I reserve the right to ask you to put your computer away during class time if you are distracting me or other students. If I have to ask you to do this more than once, I reserve the right to ban laptops and other technologies from the  classroom and to ask you to leave the class. It is also considered completely unacceptable to text during class time. Phones should be turned off and put away during our class.  4Late Papers: Late papers will receive a one-step deduction for each day they are late (i.e. A to  A-). If, for some reason, you find yourself in need of an extension on an assignment, I am  willing to discuss your reasoning and your options; however, it is critical that you inform me of  your need at least one day ahead of the due date.  Students Needing Accommodations: If you need accommodations, be sure that you have  appropriate documentation on file with the Office of Accessibility Resources (OAR) and have  given me due notice. Do not hesitate to talk to me about any questions or concerns you may  have about accommodations. You are welcome to contact OAR located in 231 PCC, at 715-682- 1387, or Donna Jones-Ilsley, Coordinator of Student Accessibility Resources, at djones ilsley@northland.edu. OAR offers resources and coordinates reasonable accommodations for  students with disabilities and/or temporary health. Academic Integrity: Turning in work that is not your own will result in a failing grade and  referral to the Dean. It is important that you cite all text and ideas that are not your original  work. Please note that it is very easy to investigate suspicious work. I assure you that the costs  of cheating will always far outweigh any gain that might come from academic dishonesty.  5 DATE TUESDAY THURSDAY Week 1 9/6-9/8 NO CLASS Introductions ∙ Review syllabus ∙ Course expectations Week 2 9/13- 9/15 What is community? Read: Bender ∙ Why is a definition of community  important? ∙ How does our conceptualization  shape our analysis? ∙ Community theories Social Capital  Read: Putnam, Ch. 1 ∙ Identify importance of social capital ∙ How are social ties connected to how we  feel about place and each other? ∙ What is the significance of cultural shifts? Week 3 9/20- 9/22 Why Has Social Capital Declined? Read: Putnam, Ch. 10-12 ∙ Has American culture lost an  appreciation of civil society? ∙ What explains the loss in social  capital? How Are We Filling the Void? READ: Turkle ∙ What is the relationship between  technology and isolation? ∙ Given how entrenched technology is, what  can / should be done? Week 4 9/27- 9/29 Can Social Capital be Revived? Read: Putnam, “Portland”  ∙ How can socio-cultural forces be  reversed so that community ties can  flourish? ∙ What are the keys to building  community? Globalization and Communities Read: Longworth, p. 1-42 ∙ What is globalization? ∙ Connection between the global and the  local? Community and Self Essay Due Week 5 10/4- 10/6 The State of Community in Rural Places Read: Carr & Kefalas, vii-52 ∙ What constitutes rural? ∙ The ties that bind in small, rural  towns ∙ How do small towns craft success? ∙ What are the consequences? Identity is a Social Process Read: Taylor ∙ How do social dynamics shape our sense of  self? ∙ What is the lesson for community  institutions? Week 6 10/11- 10/13 Communities with Limited Opportunities Read: Carr & Kefalas, 53-105 ∙ How employment shapes our lives ∙ Small towns and deep ties ∙ How does the military offer  opportunity? Why do People Return to Small Towns? Read: Carr & Kefalas, p. 107-136 ∙ What policies could encourage returns to  small towns? ∙ Why are these potentially problematic?


We will start by asking, “What is a community?



If you want to learn more check out Explain the differences of Monism from Dualism.

6 Week 7 10/18- 10/20 Can Rural Areas be Saved? How? Read: Carr & Kefalas, p. 137-192 ∙ How do micro and macro forces  shape rural towns? ∙ What solutions are possible? What Economic Options are Offered to Small  Towns? Read: TBD ∙ How might market “solutions” affect the  community? ∙ What can be done to stop them? Week 8 10/25- 10/27 EXAM ONE Suburbia and Its Discontents Read: Hamer, 1-29 ∙ How are shaped by the places we live? ∙ Housing policy and inequality Week 9 11/1- 11/3 Urban Renewal or Urban Abandonment? Read: Hamer, 30-75  ∙ Environmental racism ∙ Housing and choice Work and Meaning Read: Hamer, 76-124 ∙ How are communities impacted by lack of  access to employment? ∙ Differences / similarities from rural  context? Week 10 11/8- 11/10 The Market and Family Ties Read: Desmond ∙ How are social ties impacted by  poverty? ∙ What is the importance of housing? Gender and Community Ties Read: Hamer, 125-179 ∙ Who keeps communities together? ∙ How is this labor understood? ∙ What is the significance of gender in  shaping community life? Week 11 11/15- 11/17 Community Policing and Community Health Read: The Atlantic: “How to Fix a Broken  Police Department” ∙ How are communities impacted by  violence? ∙ What role should the police play? How Have Criminal Justice Policies Impacted Poor  Communities? Read: The Atlantic: “How Incarceration Affects a  Community” ∙ What is the relationship between our  criminal justice system and community  depravation? Week 12 11/22- 11/24 NO CLASS NO CLASS  THANKSGIVING Week 13 11/29- 12/1 What Can Be Done? Read: Hamer, 180-191, TBD ∙ How can communities in urban and  suburban areas be rebuilt? ∙ Implications? Presentations on Community Engagement  ∙ Five minute presentations ∙ What did you do? Why?  ∙ What did you learn? Week 14 12/6- 12/8 Research PRESENTATIONS Research PRESENTATIONS PAPER DUE


And why is it so critical that we do so?




, we will regularly come back to two central questions: what can we do to improve our communities?



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Don't forget about the age old question of capillary specialized for reabsorption

7 Week 15 12/13- 12/15 FINAL EXAM NO CLASS GRADING DAY REFLECTION DUE

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