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Course Date: 01 September 2014 to 24 November 2014 (12 weeks)
Understand your social location in a globally interconnected cultural and economic landscape.
Smitha Radhakrishnan is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Wellesley College. She is invested in the potential of a truly global sociology for fostering novel ways of seeing our everyday lives and enacting change. As a sociologist of gender, development, and globalization, her research has explored the multifaceted gendered effects of global capital in urban India, particularly in the industries of information technology (IT) and microfinance. In the classroom, she privileges horizontal, participatory teaching methods. In this course, she strives to bring that philosophy, nurtured in the classic liberal arts educational setting, to the world of online learning. She is the author of Appropriately Indian: Gender and Culture in a New Transnational Class (Duke University Press, 2011).
Sociology offers us a powerful set of tools with which to interpret our relationship to a global social and cultural economy. This course extends conventional sociology to foster an understanding of how the conditions of our everyday lives fit in with broader trends of continuity and change in regions across the world. We use the global garment industry as a vehicle for mobilizing our sociological imaginations, and follow the movements of capital, materials, and labor in the garment industry to examine the economic and cultural exchanges that keep our complex world in motion. Along the way, we’ll learn to critically read social scientific texts and construct evidence-based arguments.