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Media and Social Class

8:00 Seminar

What is social class? In what ways does social class impact our daily lives? Economists and sociologists approach the study of social class using different methods and theories. In this co-taught course we will explore the various models and conceptual frameworks used in Economics and Sociology that focus on social class, consumerism and citizenship. An overarching theme is how social class is portrayed in popular news outlets and films as well as scholarly texts from different disciplinary perspectives and the value of using interdisciplinary approaches to study this complex, multifaceted issue in contemporary society. We will analyze diverse issues ranging from policy, employment, health, education and disparities of economic opportunities based on race and gender in contemporary society. Students will read a variety of "texts" including national newspapers, magazines, blogs, popular films, documentaries and traditional academic, peer-reviewed writing. Assignments include in-class exercises, oral presentations, writing and research assignments such as content analysis and each student will be required to complete a service-learning project related to the themes of the course. Possible service- learning projects include recruitment and advertising for the Pharmacy School for Medicare Part D outreach events, tutoring with local school children and creating financial literacy pamphlets. This course relates to three of the major themes from Pacific Seminar I including Education, Private Life and Civil Society and Politics, Law and Citizenship.