Instructor: Ewa Grigar
GEP: Social Science & U.S. Diversity
This course provides students with an introduction to sociology using your experience of Prague as a springboard for learning about local and global issues from sociological perspective.
Amongst many things, sociology is about the study of society, social inequality, different human systems, and how people create meanings, particularly when working together in a group. Prague is exceptionally interesting to examine from a sociological perspective as it offers a rich social and cultural history permeated with both similar and completely opposite paradigms of life than those witnessed in the United States.
We will build our sociological experience in Prague by embracing the Kafkaesque experience, which is so often associated with life in the former Czechoslovakia and is still relevant to the Czech Republic today.
You’ll examine the cultural heritage of a city marked with the traces of past centuries which witnessed a monarchy, fascism, communism, and the present day democratic capitalism. This will involve visits to sites in Prague, significant for their social and historical context, as well as to art museums.
The assigned reading will offer a mix of sociological texts by Marx, Durkheim, Giddens, and Goffman, as well as various local and foreign writers who comment on the contemporary issues currently troubling Czech society.