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Teaching Sociology
Journal Prestige (SJR): 0.451
Citation Impact (citeScore): 1
Number of Followers: 10  
 
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ISSN (Print) 0092-055X - ISSN (Online) 1939-862X
Published by Sage Publications Homepage  [1175 journals]
  • Introduction to the Special Issue: Teaching Apocalypse, Now

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      Authors: Graham Cassano, Barbara Gurr, Melissa F. Lavin, Christine Zozula
      Pages: 305 - 308
      Abstract: Teaching Sociology, Volume 50, Issue 4, Page 305-308, October 2022.

      Citation: Teaching Sociology
      PubDate: 2022-09-10T06:42:31Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0092055X221120866
      Issue No: Vol. 50, No. 4 (2022)
       
  • New Resources in TRAILS: The Teaching Resources and Innovations Library
           for Sociology

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      Pages: 409 - 411
      Abstract: Teaching Sociology, Volume 50, Issue 4, Page 409-411, October 2022.

      Citation: Teaching Sociology
      PubDate: 2022-09-05T05:27:35Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0092055X221120864
      Issue No: Vol. 50, No. 4 (2022)
       
  • List of Reviewers: July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022

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      Pages: 412 - 412
      Abstract: Teaching Sociology, Volume 50, Issue 4, Page 412-412, October 2022.

      Citation: Teaching Sociology
      PubDate: 2022-09-05T05:29:55Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0092055X221120867
      Issue No: Vol. 50, No. 4 (2022)
       
  • A Sociological Lens on Linguistic Diversity: Implications for Writing
           Inclusive Multiple-Choice Assessments

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      Authors: Katherine Lyon, Nathan Roberson, Mark Lam, Daniel Riccardi, Jennifer Lightfoot, Simon Lolliot
      Abstract: Teaching Sociology, Ahead of Print.
      Multiple-choice questions (MCQs) are widely used in large introductory courses. Recent research focuses on MCQ reliability and validity and overlooks questions of accessibility. Yet, access to the norms of academic discourse embedded in MCQs differs between groups of first-year students. We theorize these norms as part of the institutionalized cultural symbols that reproduce social and cultural exclusion for linguistically diverse students. A sociological focus on linguistic diversity is necessary as the percentage of students who use English as an additional language (EAL), rather than English as a native language (ENL), has grown. Drawing on sociology as pedagogy, we problematize MCQs as a medium shaping linguistically diverse students’ ability to demonstrate disciplinary knowledge. Our multimethod research uses two-stage randomized exams and focus groups with EAL and ENL students to assess the effects of a modification in instructors’ MCQ writing practices in sociology and psychology courses. Findings show that students are more likely to answer a modified MCQ correctly, with greater improvement for EAL students.
      Citation: Teaching Sociology
      PubDate: 2022-11-08T01:25:46Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0092055X221134126
       
  • The Opportunity of Now: Adopting Open Educational Resources in the
           Sociology Classroom and Beyond

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      Authors: Robert D. Francis, Carleigh E. Hill, Jenise Overmier
      Abstract: Teaching Sociology, Ahead of Print.
      There is no better time than now for sociologists to adopt open educational resources (OER), and sociology as a discipline is well positioned to lead. Adopting OER takes seriously the well-documented financial challenges faced by many students, supports classroom and campus goals of equity and inclusion, and allows for increased instructor flexibility. However, OER are not without their difficulties and limitations. This conversation article suggests four ways for instructors to begin or advance their utilization of OER: Ask your librarian, start with an open textbook, join the existing OER conversation, and incorporate OER within one’s broader commitment to inclusive and empathetic pedagogy.
      Citation: Teaching Sociology
      PubDate: 2022-11-04T04:33:01Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0092055X221129638
       
  • Counting Tents: Pedagogical Reflections on Faculty–Student Collaboration
           in a Real-World Project on Homelessness

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      Authors: Karen A. Snedker, Andria Fredriks, Emily Nye
      Abstract: Teaching Sociology, Ahead of Print.
      This teaching note describes the design and implementation of an undergraduate research team project to conduct a tent census. Previous studies highlight the importance of real-world research as a part of sociology curriculum. Tents, as a visible sign of homelessness, represent one such contemporary social problem. Our undergraduate research team documented and geolocated tents in the city of Seattle between 2019 and 2020. This project integrated elements of active learning, collaborative learning, and problem-based learning. The strengths of our student research team were experiential learning, greater awareness and engagement in homelessness, and development of research and problem-solving skills. We offer some generalizable “lessons learned” from our assessment of the successes and challenges of a unique tent census project for student learning and engagement. This article concludes with the challenges of these kinds of real-world projects as well as recommendations for future faculty–student collaborations on important sociological issues.
      Citation: Teaching Sociology
      PubDate: 2022-11-02T12:27:21Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0092055X221134125
       
  • “You Make Your Own Luck”: Building Cultural and Social Capital in a
           Major-Based Career Course

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      Authors: Mary E. Virnoche
      Abstract: Teaching Sociology, Ahead of Print.
      This teaching note presents a required proseminar for sociology and criminology and justice studies majors. The American Sociological Association reported that about half of U.S. sociology program curriculum integrate career resources and about one-third offer a course. On a spring 2021 proseminar pilot self-assessment pretest, 18 students indicated it was important to them to get help on developing professional skills and materials. On that same pretest, most indicated that already developed materials would not support their professional needs for the next one to three years, and few were confident about soft skills related to networking, searching for jobs, or in translating major skills to job needs. Data based on proseminar assignment completion indicate students mitigated these shortfalls by engaging heavily in resume building, networking, and soft skills development. The author argues this work may mitigate first-generation inequities in both the type of jobs secured and related satisfaction.
      Citation: Teaching Sociology
      PubDate: 2022-10-13T05:52:25Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0092055X221129635
       
  • Going to Zion! Experiencing Environmental Sociology in an Iconic National
           Park

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      Authors: David Burley
      Abstract: Teaching Sociology, Ahead of Print.
      In this article, I examine the effects of an environmental sociology travel study program in Zion National Park (United States) on 11 students during the summers of 2018 and 2019. I outline the program, and then I use students’ reflections in their posttrip final papers to illustrate the effects of the program on their sense of environmental identity. While there was some variance in the growth of environmental identity, all students reported that they were profoundly affected by the program. For many, their environmental identity became salient. I also argue that we, as sociologists, need to grow our experiential environmental education so that many will become advocates for environmental change but also so that some will become the leaders we need to address the climate crisis and the environmental, social, and economic injustices that are deepening because of it.
      Citation: Teaching Sociology
      PubDate: 2022-09-29T08:12:28Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0092055X221125786
       
  • The Undergraduate RA: Benefits and Challenges for Sociology Faculty and
           Research Assistants

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      Authors: Molly M. King, Megan K. Imai
      Abstract: Teaching Sociology, Ahead of Print.
      The undergraduate research assistantship is key in the professionalization of future sociologists. Our study is the first in the social sciences to document benefits and challenges from both faculty and student perspectives. By interviewing 13 undergraduate research assistants (RAs) and 10 faculty in sociology departments at primarily undergraduate institutions, we outline the benefits and challenges of faculty-directed research with undergraduates. We find that students develop practical research, project management, and interpersonal skills while learning about career interests and developing relationships with mentors. RA challenges include repetitive tasks and time management. Faculty benefit from assistance with their work, the opportunity to mentor, and pedagogical feedback. Faculty challenges include communication, undergraduate turnover, and institutional barriers. Comparing these benefits and challenges with the goals and motives of both RAs and faculty, we suggest recommendations for departments and institutions interested in increasing undergraduate engagement in research.
      Citation: Teaching Sociology
      PubDate: 2022-09-24T12:58:12Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0092055X221125783
       
  • Teaching Civic Engagement through an Op-Ed Writing Assignment

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      Authors: Raj A. Ghoshal
      Abstract: Teaching Sociology, Ahead of Print.
      This teaching note presents an assignment in which students write an op-ed on a course-related issue and submit it to a newspaper. I argue that an op-ed assignment dovetails with pedagogical goals around democratic citizenship and public sociology. I explain the project’s objectives, instructions, and timeline. I present evidence from three courses showing that the assignment fostered understanding of op-eds’ form and function; deepened engagement with course-related issues; led many class members to apply their learning to a real-world civic setting; and generated high-quality work. I consider ways the project can be modified and used in other courses.
      Citation: Teaching Sociology
      PubDate: 2022-09-13T06:30:52Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0092055X221123336
       
  • Streaming Verstehen: Whither Feature Film in the Classroom'

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      Authors: Jordan Fox Besek, Anupriya Pandey
      Abstract: Teaching Sociology, Ahead of Print.
      Scholars have long praised the ways in which film can provide students with an opportunity for deep intellectual and emotional connections to classroom material. With contemporary technology, however, instructors are instead turning toward shorter audiovisual material that can be accessed with little preparation, take up less class time, and cater to an instructor’s needs. But what has been lost' Are film’s established advantages now irrelevant' Here we aim to begin a conversation about the continued use of film in the classroom. We do so through an analysis of surveys sent to students who have previously taken a class that used streaming services to assign over a dozen films as homework assignments over the course of the semester. Results show that films remain an immersive and reflexive complement to course readings and often continue to have an impact on students after the class has concluded. Nevertheless, instructor guidance remains essential.
      Citation: Teaching Sociology
      PubDate: 2022-09-13T06:29:52Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0092055X221123337
       
  • The Sociological Role of Empathy in the Classroom

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      Authors: Colleen E. Wynn, Elizabeth Ziff, Allison H. Snyder, Kamryn T. Schmidt, Lauryn L. Hill
      Abstract: Teaching Sociology, Ahead of Print.
      Teaching during a global pandemic has prompted many discussions about how faculty can best support students and create classrooms where deep learning and engagement occur. In this conversation, we argue there is a role for empathy in college classrooms. We present data from interviews with faculty at a small, Midwestern, teaching-focused university during the fall of 2020. We map these perspectives onto the empathy paths framework and suggest that the therapeutic and instrumental paths are most useful for understanding empathy in the classroom. We also discuss why it is important for faculty to think about empathy and the role sociology can play in these conversations. Finally, we present a series of empathetic practices individual faculty can incorporate into their pedagogy and structural supports that departments and universities can provide to help faculty engage in empathetic practices in the classroom.
      Citation: Teaching Sociology
      PubDate: 2022-09-10T06:43:50Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0092055X221123338
       
  • Leaving the Lectures Behind: Using Community-Engaged Learning in Research
           Methods Classes to Teach about Sustainability

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      Authors: Mehmet Soyer, Gina McCrackin, Sebahattin Ziyanak, Jennifer Givens, Vonda Jump, Jessica Schad
      Abstract: Teaching Sociology, Ahead of Print.
      This article explores the outcomes of using community-engaged learning in a sustainability-focused social sciences research course titled Methods of Social Research. The integrated components of the course were designed to teach students about the research process while addressing sustainability issues at Utah State University. Throughout the course, students learned how to collect, analyze, and interpret data; work in research teams; write a grant; and write and present a final research paper. Student sustainability surveys and the final course evaluation were used to analyze student learning outcomes. We found that students demonstrated increased confidence in collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data and an improved effectiveness and enjoyment in working in teams toward a final product. Students also exhibited their knowledge of small- and large-scale sustainability challenges as well as a decisiveness in answering questions related to sustainability. These outcomes resulted in heightened student self-efficacy and critical thinking skills when performing research and engaging with issues related to sustainability.
      Citation: Teaching Sociology
      PubDate: 2022-07-30T11:55:52Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0092055X221114688
       
  • Encouraging Productive Behavior in Student Teams with Interventions

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      Authors: Jacqueline M. Zalewski, Susan Brudvig
      Abstract: Teaching Sociology, Ahead of Print.
      Teamwork pedagogies are used for teaching and learning in sociology, addressing general education goals, and developing students’ professional skills. Nevertheless, problems arise in group work that negatively affect learning, engagement, treatment of others, and team satisfaction. An intervention was added to an Introduction to Sociology course with an established teamwork pedagogy to improve these outcomes. We compared the results of student surveys before and after the intervention, finding improvement in students’ satisfaction with teamwork and students’ perceptions of their teammates. There were large, statistically significant improvements in interactional fairness. Students’ perceptions of learning improved, although the gains were not statistically significant. We theorize that the intervention improved the psychological safety climate for students, resulting in attitudes and dispositions that benefited social interactions in their teams. Our study demonstrates that faculty can encourage productive behavior in student teams with carefully crafted interventions.
      Citation: Teaching Sociology
      PubDate: 2022-07-11T12:00:45Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0092055X221108105
       
  • Learning to See Like a Medical Sociologist: Comparing One- Versus
           Two-Semester Fieldwork-Based Courses

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      Authors: Nicole Lehpamer, Daniel Menchik
      Abstract: Teaching Sociology, Ahead of Print.
      Using observations from a medical sociology course offered in two formats, we compare how undergraduate premedical students learned to see sociologically after (1) completing a one-semester course in which theory in medical sociology and fieldwork were taught concurrently or (2) completing a two-semester course in which theory in medical sociology and fieldwork were taught in successive semesters. We developed a taxonomy of stages to capture students’ learning and measured their progress using video simulations that alternatively depicted scenarios in a more familiar setting (an academic hospital) and a less familiar one (a foreign cultural exchange). Students learned how to see in different ways: In the one-semester course, students came to see like medical sociologists, and in the two-semester course, students also came to see like sociologists more broadly. Educators interested in teaching students to “see more” outside of the health care realm may benefit from choosing the two-semester course option.
      Citation: Teaching Sociology
      PubDate: 2022-06-17T11:23:58Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0092055X221104837
       
  • Impacts of Teaching Critical Race Theory and Applying Contact Theory
           Methods to Student’s Cross-Cultural Competency in Diversity Courses

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      Authors: Julie Putnam Hart, Austin C. Kocher
      Abstract: Teaching Sociology, Ahead of Print.
      We examine the outcomes of three different teaching methods in courses where cultural competency is a course objective: (1) multiculturalism lecture only, (2) student research and reporting on other cultural groups plus multiculturalism lecture, and (3) cross-cultural conversation partners applying contact theory plus multiculturalism lecture. Lectures in courses 1 and 3 also include antiracist and critical race theories that directly challenge colorblind racism. The study measures both cultural competency and colorblind racism before and after courses over a semester on 181 students at a small midwestern university. Cross-cultural competency scores improved significantly in all three courses but were significantly higher in the course that included both content on critical race theory and contact theory methods. Colorblind racism fails to improve in courses without critical race theory. These findings have implications for improving cultural competency outcomes among undergraduates from a variety of majors.
      Citation: Teaching Sociology
      PubDate: 2022-06-15T10:52:43Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0092055X221104836
       
  • Behind the Scenes: Teaching the Sociology of Tourism Abroad

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      Authors: Lissette Aliaga-Linares, Troy Romero
      Abstract: Teaching Sociology, Ahead of Print.
      International travel has long been considered a key pedagogical strategy for global learning. Yet very little is known about whether study-abroad experiences increase students’ awareness of the impact of tourism as a global phenomenon. In this study, we assessed students’ learning through a content analysis of their journals and final essays from a short-term study-abroad course that used key concepts from the sociology of tourism to explore the impact of tourism in a developing country. Findings demonstrate how thinking sociologically about travel and tourism enabled students to look “behind the scenes,” fostered critical-thinking skills, helped in their self-assessment of ethnocentrism, and promoted a sense of global responsibility. We also discuss areas that merit further pedagogical attention, particularly when students struggle to unlearn preconceived ideas about poverty and inequality or resort to overgeneralizations when thinking comparatively.
      Citation: Teaching Sociology
      PubDate: 2022-06-14T10:46:08Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0092055X221104835
       
  • The Sociological Imagination within Teaching Sociology: 1973–2020

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      Authors: Nathan Palmer
      Abstract: Teaching Sociology, Ahead of Print.
      The sociological imagination is widely considered essential to sociology and sociological scholarship-of-teaching-and-learning research. Still, sociologists have struggled to agree on precisely what it is and how to measure its development effectively. A content analysis of every article published in Teaching Sociology was conducted examining where the sociological imagination appeared in the journal, where authors claimed to develop students’ sociological imagination, and the methodological sophistication of the evidence they provided to substantiate those claims. Analysis confirms the importance of the sociological imagination, appearing in a fourth of all published articles and nearly half of the articles published between 2010 and 2020. Just over a fourth of claims-making authors provided no evidence to validate their claims, and the frequency of making unsubstantiated claims persists even as the methodological rigor of the journal overall increased. Among the studies that provided evidence, however, the methodological sophistication appears to be increasing.
      Citation: Teaching Sociology
      PubDate: 2022-05-21T06:19:54Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0092055X221098452
       
  • Abolition as Praxis and Virtual Community-Based Learning

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      Authors: Theresa Rocha Beardall
      Abstract: Teaching Sociology, Ahead of Print.
      The distressing events of 2020 challenged the United States to reimagine how our social institutions can and should respond to demands for racial justice. These demands impacted higher education and debates arose about whether the classroom is an appropriate place for teaching abolition. I address this debate by introducing a senior-level elective course, Policing in the American City, to explore how abolitionist pedagogy can guide our teaching, learning, and doing sociology alongside our students. I begin with a brief grounding in abolition and then introduce virtual community-based learning (VCBL) as an ideal medium to facilitate abolitionist pedagogy in the classroom. Next, I provide preliminary insights into the use of VCBL to illustrate how it helped students develop critical skills, mobilize their learning, and benefit community partners. Throughout, I call on instructors to consider how online education, service learning, and public sociology can align with abolitionist practices to create communities of care in our classrooms and empower students to engage abolition as praxis beyond their college years.
      Citation: Teaching Sociology
      PubDate: 2022-05-13T08:07:46Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0092055X221096663
       
  • So You’ve Provincialized the Canon. Now What'

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      Authors: Caleb Scoville, Heather Mooney
      Abstract: Teaching Sociology, Ahead of Print.
      Sociologists are engaging in a long-overdue reckoning about the place of the traditional canon in social theory courses and pedagogy. Instructors are revising their syllabi to include a more diverse set of authors while “provincializing” classics that have long been taught as universal. We confront the question of how to teach contested canonical works after an instructor has committed to this work. We argue that progressive reforms to theory syllabi can raise new problems associated with teaching “canonical” works and propose one way to address them with a flexible recipe designed to resolve tensions between pedagogical imperatives. An extended example from our experience teaching Durkheim’s The Elementary Forms of Religious Life is employed to illustrate our proposal. Our aim is to contribute to an ongoing disciplinary dialogue that will maintain theory’s central place in sociology’s identity while constantly asking what, and whom, it is for.
      Citation: Teaching Sociology
      PubDate: 2022-05-13T08:05:46Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0092055X221096658
       
  • Engaging Students Using an Arts-Based Pedagogy: Teaching and Learning
           Sociological Theory through Film, Art, and Music

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      Authors: Linda Hunter, Eleanor Frawley
      Abstract: Teaching Sociology, Ahead of Print.
      In this study we explore how incorporating an arts-based pedagogical approach, specifically, the use of film, art, and music, into a second-year sociological theory course enhances students’ overall learning experiences. We report on data collected from a survey given to students enrolled in this course in 2020. Findings reveal that employing this arts-based pedagogy helps students to sustain an interest in the course material, understand the theoretical course material, engage in a higher level of thinking/analysis, feel more confident in their abilities to write about theories covered in the course, apply theory in the real world, contextualize historical content, and enhance their memory of theories and concepts. Findings are also compared with data collected from a similar survey conducted in 2009, revealing that the overall favorable responses to arts-based resources have remained consistent over time and that this pedagogy remains an enduring approach that contributes to positive student learning experiences.
      Citation: Teaching Sociology
      PubDate: 2022-05-13T08:03:46Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0092055X221096657
       
  • “Everyone Is Supersmart Now”: Learning Higher-Level and Critical
           

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      Authors: Benjamin Gallati
      First page: 309
      Abstract: Teaching Sociology, Ahead of Print.
      Sociology instructors have long used nontraditional texts such as literary fiction to demonstrate core course concepts, increase student engagement, and develop students’ critical thinking in the classroom. In this article, I explore how written assignments structured around identifying core course concepts in a dystopian novel that connects to student interests can help develop higher-level and critical sociological thinking skills. Using data from an upper-level Sociology of Media course at a large, Midwestern university, I detail a final paper assignment centered around M. T. Anderson’s dystopian satire novel Feed. I present qualitative and quantitative findings that demonstrate students’ successful use of higher-level and critical sociological thinking to identify, analyze, and support original arguments regarding core course concepts within the dystopian world and our own.
      Citation: Teaching Sociology
      PubDate: 2022-09-02T09:57:32Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0092055X221120859
       
  • Is COVID-19 Like a Zombie Apocalypse' Using Horror Films to Examine
           the Pandemic and Social Inequalities

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      Authors: Danielle Denardo
      First page: 322
      Abstract: Teaching Sociology, Ahead of Print.
      The COVID-19 pandemic has both exposed and exacerbated many enduring social inequalities in countries throughout the world. Sociology instructors are thus likely to incorporate content related to this relationship between the pandemic and inequalities in their courses. This article explores the potential of horror films, specifically the subgenre of zombie apocalypse, as a teaching tool for critically analyzing social inequalities and the COVID-19 pandemic. To examine the usefulness of this subgenre of film, I describe and evaluate an assignment and class discussion.
      Citation: Teaching Sociology
      PubDate: 2022-09-02T09:50:32Z
      DOI: 10.1177/15248380221120857
       
  • Sociological Theory through Dystopian and Fictional World-Building:
           Assigning a Short Story Parable Inspired by Derrick Bell’s “The Space
           Traders”

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      Authors: Juan L. Salinas
      First page: 331
      Abstract: Teaching Sociology, Ahead of Print.
      This article is a reflective analysis of an assignment in which undergraduate students developed dystopian, postapocalyptic, fantasy, and fictional short story parables to illustrate their understanding of sociological theory. In a social theory course, students were assigned a final paper in which they designed a short story that integrated sociological theory, including classical and contemporary concepts, which were applied to these fictional worlds. The assignment encouraged students to develop both macro- and micro-level creative social theory analysis using a fictional society that often touches on the themes of futurism, science fiction, or postapocalyptic settings. These scenarios allowed students to engage in world-building linked to systems of oppression that were analyzed through various perspectives, including Marxist theories, critical race theory, and feminist theories. The assignment is a creative way for students to apply their sociological imagination with the world-building process for an in-depth understanding of sociological theory.
      Citation: Teaching Sociology
      PubDate: 2022-09-05T05:24:56Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0092055X221120863
       
  • The Handmaid Still in the Classroom' Using The Handmaid’s Tale
           in Sociology of Gender

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      Authors: Barbara F. Prince
      First page: 340
      Abstract: Teaching Sociology, Ahead of Print.
      Sociologists are uniquely positioned to use science fiction literature in the classroom. Despite students reading less, the science fiction novel The Handmaid’s Tale is more popular than ever. I obtained the data for this study through content analysis of 108 student journal entries in a sociology of gender course at a small liberal arts college. Journal entries were analyzed for identification and application of class concepts in addition to an overall rating of The Handmaid’s Tale. Students successfully identified and connected 58 distinct class concepts to the novel. The most common concepts that students identified were gender stereotype, doing gender, and patriarchy. In addition, students enjoyed the novel and rated it highly. The average rating was 4.2 stars out of 5. Results from this study suggest that science fiction remains relevant and useful in the contemporary sociology classroom.
      Citation: Teaching Sociology
      PubDate: 2022-09-07T06:41:06Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0092055X221120861
       
  • Aliens and Strangers: Exploring the “Other” in a Team-Taught
           Science Fiction Course

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      Authors: Katrina Rebecca Bloch, Stephen E. Neaderhiser
      First page: 349
      Abstract: Teaching Sociology, Ahead of Print.
      While prior research has illustrated the strengths of collaborative teaching between sociology and English, less has examined the potential of cross-listed courses, instead largely focusing on how to bring writing instruction into the sociology classroom. Similarly, other work has explored the possible uses of literary examples within sociology lessons. We argue that a fully collaborative teaching model capitalizing on strengths from both sociology and English studies can be beneficial not only for students but also coteachers. Drawing from autoethnographic approaches, we reflect on our experience teaching a cross-listed sociology and English course in science fiction literature as well as the sociopolitical landscape that motivated our pedagogical decisions. We discuss our rationale for choosing the theme of the “alien” as “other” and the importance of low-stakes writing assignments. We offer practical ideas for integrating science fiction into sociology classes and provide insights for anyone thinking about cross-listed classes on any topic.
      Citation: Teaching Sociology
      PubDate: 2022-09-02T10:44:14Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0092055X221120856
       
  • Monsters among Us: Using Lovecraft Country to Teach about Du Bois and
           Fanon

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      Authors: Randall Wyatt
      First page: 360
      Abstract: Teaching Sociology, Ahead of Print.
      This article provides tips on how popular media, specifically that of science fiction and horror, can be utilized in the classroom to elucidate complex concepts concerning race and ethnic relations. Drawing from the television series Lovecraft Country, I highlight how concepts found in the work of authors such as W. E. B. Du Bois and Frantz Fanon are made more interesting and digestible for students at the undergraduate level when presented in films that rely heavily on science fiction and imagination. Reflections are included from students who watched this series in class during weeks where Du Bois and Fanon were required reading, demonstrating the impact the show had on their understanding of the two thinkers specifically and the study of race and ethnicity generally.
      Citation: Teaching Sociology
      PubDate: 2022-09-02T09:58:52Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0092055X221121038
       
  • Monsters, Michael Myers, and the Macabre as Tools to Explain Ideological
           Framing

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      Authors: Justin Huft
      First page: 372
      Abstract: Teaching Sociology, Ahead of Print.
      Framing as a metacommunicative device establishes the narrative of a given story and mobilizes emotional support. Within the framework of monster theory, horror movies are seen as a way of framing common fears about moral decay, concerns about the future, anxiety about outgroup members, and spiritual unknowns. In the classroom, we explore the monstrous body as a stand-in for the demonized (often literally) outgroup. Through tracing some of the historic roots of monsters, students are better able to see monsters as a recurring framing device for social fears. Utilizing the concepts of frame alignment (aligning individuals’ frames with larger social movement frames) and frame analysis (investigating the processes and mechanisms people utilize to make sense of situations), exploration of various subgenres of horror (including psychological horror, body horror, killers, monsters, zombies, and the paranormal) flesh out how frames are amplified, bridged, transformed, and extended.
      Citation: Teaching Sociology
      PubDate: 2022-09-08T08:41:05Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0092055X221120860
       
  • Immersion in Alien Worlds: Teaching Ethnographic Sensibilities through
           Dystopian and Science Fiction

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      Authors: Katherine E. Fox
      First page: 384
      Abstract: Teaching Sociology, Ahead of Print.
      The Alien Worlds project teaches ethnographic skills using the societies of dystopian, postapocalyptic, and science fiction texts as imagined field sites and targets for analysis. These exercises and assignments, which illustrate principles of qualitative fieldwork, were developed when COVID-19 precautions made it impossible to assign tasks that involved in-person social interaction. Preliminary findings from use in 2020–2021 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (n = 140) and Science Fiction and Society (n = 10) classes suggest that science fiction may have an ongoing place in beginning and intermediate social science courses, as it provides an entertaining, low-stakes way for students to practice observation and analysis. The original project is designed to span at least six weeks or the course of a semester, but variations for shorter and stand-alone assignments are provided in addition to ways that it can be adapted to suit the needs of different audiences. Though it will not replace all in-person field experience for advanced sociology and anthropology students, it provides a bridge between classroom content and hands-on interaction that encourages a growth mindset in learning.
      Citation: Teaching Sociology
      PubDate: 2022-09-02T09:52:12Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0092055X221120858
       
  • Black Dreams, Electric Mirror: Cross-Cultural Teaching of State Terrorism
           and Legitimized Violence

    • Free pre-print version: Loading...

      Authors: S. M. Rodriguez
      First page: 392
      Abstract: Teaching Sociology, Ahead of Print.
      Sci-fi has the power to open dialogue because its alternate world-building enables students to feel far enough from reality to discuss social problems unreservedly. In this essay, I review an assignment I developed using Black Mirror and Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams that present episodes in which militarized policing, segregation, and genocide occur with the consent and complicity of populations convinced that these measures enable their safety. Paralleling U.S. carceralism, the fictional communities have been inundated with media and political advertising for greater segregation but have themselves never experienced the criminalized violence that justifies widespread state harms. Through a generative dialogue engaging the media, a discussion question, and the concept of state terrorism, students move to observe their positionality and critically assess state violence. Therefore, I recommend this teaching tool for any critical instructors—especially minoritized professors teaching primarily White classrooms—to inspire a stimulating dialogue in service of connection-making and peacemaking in the classroom.
      Citation: Teaching Sociology
      PubDate: 2022-09-05T05:34:16Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0092055X221120868
       
  • What’s Blood Got to Do with It' A Culture of Cinema Horrors at
           the Precipice of an Abyss

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      Authors: Erin Siodmak, R. Joshua Scannell
      First page: 399
      Abstract: Teaching Sociology, Ahead of Print.
      At a cultural moment in which the horrifying is central, what are the pedagogical options available by which to teach and think with our students' Horror movies, like all media, are mythmakers; media and culture reflect and reproduce but also create or consolidate. Teaching horror leads to new conversations, makes the familiar strange, and gives students new language and tools through which to assess and rewrite cultural and social narratives. This conversation bridges sociology, gender studies, and media studies to highlight the importance and usefulness of film analysis and theoretical texts that fall outside of sociology in developing robust sociological and interdisciplinary dialogue. We review the films, texts, themes, and approaches that we have used to get students to read difficult theory, think collaboratively and critically, and write in ways that push their voices and ideas beyond that with which they are accustomed and comfortable.
      Citation: Teaching Sociology
      PubDate: 2022-09-05T05:37:52Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0092055X221120870
       
 
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