Soci 354: Sociology of Communities

Each of us have social relationships that are formed in order to meet a particular, perhaps short term goal. Some of our relationships have no single or special purpose. This distinction between instrumental and communal relationships is one of the most enduring and useful in sociology. Instrumental relationships are often important for allowing us to live our lives, while we often live our lives within communal relationships.

While we often think of relationships between two people, these relationships are often embedded in other relations of family, groups of friends, or shared aquaintances. Many of our relationships also straddle different relms. Our neighbours are also friends and our workplace sometimes includes family members.

If social relationships are at the heart of the sociological approach to community, social context is at the heart of the sociological approach. We all live in particular places, are part of primary and secondary groups, share experiences, ideas, and world views with others. While the social context can perhaps be more than a community, the concept of community can capture our proximate social context.

In this course we will explore these ideas through analytical and research oriented sociology. The course is reading intensive and discussion oriented. You can find the course outline here.

Sean.Lauer(at) , Rm. 3111 Anth/Soci Building, 604-822-1609, Office Hours: M,W,F by Appointment

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