SOC 252
Im/mobilities Fall 2021
Division II
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Class Details

We think of the freedom to move as a mark of privilege. In the United States, passing a driving test, owning a car, and getting a passport are milestones that signal modernity and freedom. Likewise, we think of restrictions on movement as the domain of the underprivileged, such as the current and formerly incarcerated. But as the Covid-19 pandemic reveals, there have always been two sides to immobility: privileged as well as involuntary immobility. There are correspondingly two sides to mobility: those who move because they want to and others because they have no choice. In this class, students will explore conceptions of mobility as adventurous, free, and modern (as with jet-setting international elites). They will compare and contrast when mobility can be threatening, exclusionary, and limited (as recognized by the Black Lives Matter movement). This class invites students to interpret their environment through the lens of mobility and inequality in the time of coronavirus. Drawing on sociology, anthropology, cultural studies, geography, and migration studies, this interdisciplinary course offers a beginning conversation on the causes and consequences of the freedom to move–or to stay still.
The Class: Format: lecture
Limit: 20
Expected: 20
Class#: 1413
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Thoughtful and consistent class participation, three reflection papers (4-5 pages), and two drafts of an op-ed (with class presentation/workshopping)
Prerequisites: None
Enrollment Preferences: Given to first-year students and sophomores
Distributions: Division II

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