Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Power & everyday life


Sociology 2700 - Power & Everyday Life

This fall and winter I'll be teaching a new (for me) course and I'm excited. I knew I wanted to reinvigorate my long-standing love affair with theories of everyday life (it is where we live, after all) by better combining them with technosocial studies, and better grounding technology and media studies in lived experience. But on a more fundamental level, I think I was happiest to be able to dedicate an entire course to "questioning everyday life and allowing everyday life to question our understandings of the world."

As a second-year undergraduate course open to arts and science majors, the first half of the course builds a foundation by focussing on historical and contemporary theories of everyday life and power relations. Drawing on my interests in material culture and feminist theory, I wanted to concentrate on how daily living involves shaping and being shaped by the people and things around us. The second half of the course focusses on technoscience as a primary force shaping everyday life today, and how this affects our different experiences with, and understandings of, everything from space and time to bodies and objects. If nothing else, I wanted students to get a solid sense of how even the mundane and taken-for-granted activities of our daily lives involve complex relations of power where it's not always clear and obvious who - or what - is in control. (And how sometimes, of course, the powers-that-be totally kick your ass but that doesn't mean you have to take it with a smile.)

In any case, I decided to stick to the equal parts lecture/seminar/workshop structure that's worked so well in recent classes, but I also decided to become more prescriptive with the assignments. Maybe it's the subject matter, or maybe it just has to do with becoming more comfortable and confident in the learning I want to facilitate, but this fall I also sense a greater willingness and desire to put my own politics and values on the line. This should be good.

Now, that's just one of five things on my to-do list so...

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If your looking for a TA...

-Kevin

12:43  
Anonymous anne said...

There should be two TAs for the course, and I think you can request it... but you'll need to watch you're grammar ;)

07:20  
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