Spring 2010

Thinking Differently about Culture

Listed in: Anthropology and Sociology, as SOCI-32


Ronald A. Lembo (Section 01)


In this course, we will focus attention first on the dynamics of cultural difference which characterize the civil rights era in the United States and use our sociological assessment of them to frame an analysis of culture leading up to and following from this tumultuous time, paying particular attention to what is now commonly referred to as a “post civil rights era.” Some of the important questions we will ask are: How adequate are conventional sociological ideas of culture—ideas that presume “cohesion” and “commonality,” among other things—when it comes to conceptualizing, documenting, and theorizing cultural difference? What are the consequences of accounting for cultural difference as something to be incorporated into what is, or could be, held in common by people? What is at stake, sociologically speaking, when aspects of cultural difference--previously ignored or marginalized in hegemonic accounts--become the focal point of intellectual inquiry or political practice? How do we distinguish among discourses of cultural difference? How are they subject to cooptation, assimilation, or exploitation?

Limited to 20 students. Spring semester. Professor Lembo.

If Overenrolled: First priority given to senior and junior sociology majors, then seniors and juniors.


Community based learning


2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2012, Spring 2013