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Effectively teaching sociological theories to undergraduate students is challenging. Students often enroll in theory courses due to major requirements, not personal interest. Consequently, many students approach the study of theory with anxiety. This study examined the effectiveness of an experiential learning activity designed to teach Karl Marx’s theory of alienation. Based on pretest/posttest surveys, responses to open-ended questions, and observational data, students reported that the activity helped them gain a clearer understanding of Marx.
This address explores a broad framework for thinking sociologically about emancipatory alternatives to dominant institutions and social structures, especially capitalism. The framework is grounded in two foundational propositions: (1) Many forms of human suffering and many deficits in human flourishing are the result of existing institutions and social structures. (2) Transforming existing institutions and social structures in the right way has the potential to substantially reduce human suffering and expand the possibilities for human flourishing.
This article uses data drawn from nine months of fieldwork and student, teacher, and administrator interviews at a southern high school to analyze school racial conflict and the construction of racism. We find that institutional inequalities that stratify students by race and class are routinely ignored by school actors who, we argue, use the presence of so-called redneck students to plausibly deny racism while furthering the standard definition of racism as blatant prejudice and an individual trait.
Teaching about Race and Ethnicity: Trying to Uncover White Privilege for a White Audience