Sociology 130AC: "Social Inequalities: American Cultures"

About the Course Assignment

Sociology 130AC: “Social Inequalities – American Cultures”, is a course that explores the causes and consequences of social inequalities in the United States. This is a large lecture course of nearly 200 students. For the creative discovery assignment, Reed recruited a small group of students from the class to join the "Soc. 130 Creative Team". This group of seven students were then tasked with developing a creative project that would connect to an assignment undertaken by all students in the class--the Neighborhood Project. For the Neighborhood Project, students visit a census tract clustered around the #18 AC Transit bus line. Their data and observations are collected into a class data set, which students then analyze in different ways. Students who were part of the Creative Team earned one unit of independent study credit, and met weekly throughout the semester. They decided to build on the neighborhood project by making a short film about homelessness and collaborated to plan, film, conduct interviews, research, record, edit and produce their film, which was shown to the entire class at the end of the semester.

The project let me delve deeper into the real impacts of inequality in our own backyard and adds a dimension of understanding that will spark impactful change.

Homelessness Documentary

The students of the creative team created a documentary video exploring what homelessness looks like in the communities surrounding the 18 bus line in Alameda County, why it exists, and what can be done to help.

Joanna Reed 

Continuing Lecturer, Sociology

My impression was it was a very meaningful experience for [the students]....It was really fun for me to see them take control of the process. I loved that it was so open ended and creative and they could just do it.
Joanna Reed