Lunch and Learn: Community Studies Honors Course

Dr. Tony Baker will be presenting a Lunch and Learn on Tuesday, April 11th entitled “Community Studies Honors Course.” During his presentation, he will discuss the honors course he teaches, SOCH341, to give Honors students a better idea of what the course covers and why you should take it. Below is a short description of the course.


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“Through a variety of inputs: readings, speakers, excursions and class discussion we will explore the role communities have played in our life and the changing community in our society today. We will be particularly concerned with  the American “experiment” in creating a multi-cultural democratic society. This society envisions itself as a society that celebrates freedom of movement and openness to diversity, but also builds ghettos, enclaves and gated communities.

We will explore this contradiction with an understanding that communities are built. We don’t simply adapt to our environment as humans, we produce our environment. Thus the communities we live in are our products.

Our units of study will be communities we visit together in West Michigan and Chicago. The units will also include communities we research academically as well as the communities of our youth and the communities of our future. Community life has changed very much in the United States, yet we still require it as humans. Community life can and does restrict individuals from self-fulfillment, such as class or gendered expectations. At times we may want to transcend the limitations of community. Yet, this causes a loss of the ties of the community.

We will explore these questions in a seminar and experience based course relying on the development of sociological method and theory to broaden the notion of community and to challenge the individual’s responsibility within the community.”

To learn more about this topic and ask questions, please join us for the Lunch and Learn on Tuesday, April 11th from 11:00am till 11:50am in Pickell’s Conference Room. As usual, pizza from Jets pizza will be provided for those who sign up ahead of time. Please make sure to sign up before noon on Monday, April 10th by emailing .



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