SOC 221
Money and Intimacy Spring 2023
Division II Writing Skills

Class Details

Does money matter in affectionate relationships? Can dollars buy love and care? What impact does market economics have on intimate relationships? This course will examine these questions and their relevance over the course of history, considering what forces have contributed to the shift in thinking about them, and, most importantly, how sociological research and knowledge helps us understand their current status. We will look into a wide range of aspects of private life that require actors to mix personal affairs with financial transactions, including romantic encounters, marriages (and divorces), families of various kinds and compositions, child adoptions, and outsourced care for dependents to name just a few. Intimacy carries different value and content in these contexts, as so does handling exchanges within them, and negotiating the balance of intimate and economic exchanges also necessitates applying diverse strategies vis-à-vis the external social world. The course will simultaneously look into the changing character of the economy as it has responded to shifting social values. We will specifically focus on how previously private concerns have penetrated the public sphere and shaped the evolution of what has been dubbed ’emotional capitalism’. People skills, teamwork, emotional labor, commodification of intimacy, care, sex, and body parts, are only few examples of the central concepts at stake. Naturally, a reflection on the growth of new technologies and social media will enrich many of the discussed themes.
The Class: Format: tutorial
Limit: 10
Expected: 10
Class#: 3597
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Each student will be expected to submit five or six 5-6-page essays and five or six brief responses. In addition, each student will be expected to actively participate in tutorial discussions. There will be no final paper or exams.
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: Anthropology and Sociology majors
Distributions: Division II Writing Skills
WS Notes: Students will be required to submit a 4-5 page essay every other week. During the week when students are not submitting essays, they will submit a brief (1-2 page) response to their partner's essay.

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