Course: SOC210
Instructor: Fernandez-Kelly
F 2016

Description of Course Goals and Curriculum

The goal of this course is to analyze and compare the evolution of the city in Europe, the United States and select parts of Latin America. The course looks at the economic, political, and social factors that shape urban life, covering topics such as migration, state legislation, industrialization, residential segregation, neoliberalism etc.   The course begins by looking at the rise of the modern city and the reemergence of markets Europe. The material then shifts to industrial cities in England and the United States. Then the professor emphasizes the nuances of the administrative city, as it is tied to colonialism and neoliberalism in Latin America. Finally, the course ends by looking at global cities in light of migratory and globalization patterns.

Learning From Classroom Instruction

The majority of the content of the course can be learned from a combination of the readings and the lectures. Although the course covers a range of different places and times, the readings are typically focused on a very specific part of the syllabus. For example, they may discuss the effects of residential segregation on urban poverty in the U.S after the 1960s, or the informal economy in Latin America in the 21st century. During lecture the professor will explain how the reading fits into the general narrative of cities.   There are two lectures that are fifty minutes long. Although the professor’s lectures may not always explicitly refer to the readings, the information that is given should be able to be connected to the different readings. The lectures typically cover one topic in more than one class, with headings such as: Urbanization, Residential Segregation and Culture in the United States Neoliberalism, Globalization, and the Latin American City   Use the power points as guiding resources. It may be useful to print them before lecture to annotate them.  Some of the pictures may not seem relevant, but the professor to introduce key points uses them.   The classes also have precepts during which the readings and information from the lectures will be discussed more thoroughly. This is also a good time to ask questions for clarification.

Learning For and From Assignments

This course has four memos that are due throughout the course, which are one to two pages. The memos compare and analyze the groups of readings each week. It is important to check the dates when the memos are meant to be due, and to prepare to do them ahead of time. These memos can be used as good resources for summarizing and explaining the arguments of different texts. If written intentionally they can be a form of preparation for the midterm and the final.   The midterm is a take-home exam that asks students to provide examples and the context of key concepts mentioned during lecture. The midterm will also ask students to use the authors of different readings to explain certain ideas. The professor will provide practice questions before the midterm.   The exam consists of three questions (CBLI students answer two) to be completed in two-to-three pages each, for a total of six-to-nine total pages (double-spaced; normal margins; 12 point font).  The midterm asks students to demonstrate familiarity with the texts assigned and show a capacity for comparison, analysis, and condensation.   In preparation for the mid-term, students can take notes on the arguments that each author brings to the narrative of cities. They can also consider the key questions that are brought up in lecture, and the ideas that the professor repeats. It may also be helpful to review the course content at the end of each week.   The final is also a take home exam with long answer questions. There may be a question asking students to comment on images. Students can prepare by writing outlines for practice questions. Review sessions with other students may also be useful to exchange ideas.   Professor Fernández Kelly also writes down class notes for each of the authors, you will want to ask her for those resources before the exams.

External Resources

The professors, and TAs are available by appointment. It should be noted that PFK’s office hours fill up quickly, so you would have to plan meeting her in advanced. Students can also use the Writing Center as a resource for writing the midterm and final paper. As the midterm is over fall break, students may want to think about booking an appointment ahead of time. It would be helpful to have study groups when thinking about the readings and the overall narrative of the course.

What Students Should Know About This Course For Purposes Of Course Selection

This course also offers a Community Based Learning Initiative component. Students interested in participating in this aspect of the course will be given a choice of working with one of two non-profits. The goal would be to partner with these organizations and use the knowledge learned in class to strengthen their outreach.
The City and Social Change in the Americas

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