Culture & Inequality

Term: Spring 2011

Subject Code: GSOC

Course Number: 5108

The course will introduce students to contemporary debates about the relationship between culture and social inequality. It will start with a general overview of how key theoretical schools define culture (as power and ideology, as meaning, as a reflection of social structure etc.). In this part of the course there will be a strong emphasis on moving beyond a narrow definition of culture as arts and developing a broader understanding of the place of culture in the constitution of social reality. The second part of the course will explore the role of culture in reflecting, reproducing and challenging social inequalities in a wide range of empirical research areas, including cultural production and consumption, the construction of class, ethnic/racial and gender identity, social classification, subcultures, symbolic boundaries, and social movements. The last part of the course will address the cultural dimensions of social inequality in a global context focusing on the construction of national cultures and cultural difference.

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