Self and Society

Prerequisite: CHSS/SOC 1110 Invitation to Sociology
This course explores the dynamics of interactions between individual, group, and society in the context of a mediated and globalizing world. It aims to show how culture, social structure, and social institutions influence human behavior, and how individuals acting as a group reproduce and transform these same social forces. Across different case studies, the focus is on the relationship between structure and agency, and notions of emancipation and oppression, creativity and constraint. The course begins with a review of classic sociological theories on the self and identity. Succeeding weeks explore identity politics, the consequences of mass and new media to identity construction and the management of relationships, and the challenges of nationalism and cosmopolitanism to the construction of the self and relating with various 'others'.